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Call for registrations to ARKxSITE's Site Cloister International Architecture Ideas Competition

Portugal Architecture News - Jul 16, 2019 - 02:34   3511 views

Call for registrations to ARKxSITE's Site Cloister International Architecture Ideas Competition

ARKxSITE has announced the Site Cloister international architecture ideas competition for architecture students and young professionals. The Site Cloister competition aims to create a museological path to enhance the historical significance and contemplative nature of the ‘Aldeia da Mata’ dolmen. The competition is open to students and young professionals (≤ 40 years old).

It is an intimate and secluded place between the natural landscape and the ‘inner courtyard’ where the megalithic monument becomes a powerful scenery. A sequence of spaces, above and / or below ground, welcome visitors and provide shade while stimulating movement between open-air and / or enclosed spaces and outdoor environments.

This international one-stage architecture ideas competition invites all architecture students, young architects and young professionals with a degree in architecture studies (≤ 40 years old) to develop and submit compelling ideas for the design of a Site Cloister located near the ‘Aldeia da Mata’ dolmen, in Crato, Alentejo, Portugal.

The ‘Aldeia da Mata’ dolmen is a landmark of great cultural heritage and historical significance with characteristics that must be fully preserved.

When generating a vision for an intervention located within such a spectacular place, it is essential that each design proposal emphasises, respects and celebrates the megalithic monument, while providing visitors with a unique experience.


1. Site Cloister

Entrance _ * m2
Provide a space of transition to welcome visitors and articulate the access from the natural landscape to the ‘Site Cloister’.

Permanent exhibition _ 120 m2
The permanent exhibition provides visitors with detailed information about the origin of Megalithism in the region and the megalithic dolmen (brochures, books, historic documents, video projections, etc) while displaying archaeological artifacts found within the burial chamber (bone fragments, potsherds and artifacts); spaces can be combined and/or separated.

Multi-purpose space _ 70 m2
Provide an area to accommodate temporary exhibitions, seminars and lectures, including a variety of seating arrangements.

Administration office _ 20 m2
Provide an area for 2 administrative staff members of the ‘Site Cloister’.

Meeting room _ 30 m2
Provide an area for conducting internal meetings for personnel and researchers.

Research office/s _ 40 m2
Provide an area for research activities related to the origin of Megalithism in this region.

Archive for archaeological artifacts _ 50 m2
Provide an area designated for storing and archiving archaeological artifacts found in the region.

Classroom / Workshops _ 60 m2
Area for diverse educational activities related to the Megalithism.

Gift shop _ 40 m2
Provide an area where books, exhibition catalogues and souvenirs are sold.

Cafe _ 60 m2
Provide an indoor / outdoor cafe with 16 indoor seats and 20 outdoor seats.

Restrooms _ 20 m2
Provide public restrooms.

Storage room _ 15 m2
Provide an area for storing maintenance equipment.

Mechanical / electrical room _ 15 m2
Provide an area for mechanical and electrical equipment.

2. Inner Courtyard  _ * m2

* Areas to be determined by each participant’s design proposal.

Total area of the Site Cloister to be determined by each participant’s proposal.


The overall design of the Site Cloister must be sensitive to the megalithic monument.  There are no limitations in height or excavation.  The spaces of the Site Cloister can be open and / or enclosed to the natural elements.  Area of the Site Cloister spaces may be increased / altered according to the design proposal.  Because this is an ideas competition, urban planning and building regulations will not be applied to the design proposal.

Download the competition brief here


It will be announced soon.


1st Prize   2000€ (two thousand euros)

2nd Prize 1000€ (one thousand euros)

3rd Prize   500€ (five hundred euros)

7 Honorable Mentions


All submissions will be published on the ArkxSite website.  All reasonable efforts will be made to publish and promote the winners and honorable mentions in architectural magazines and blogs worldwide; however, such results will rely on agreements made with the publication entities.


Competition Opening: July 08, 2019

Early Registration Period: July 08 - September 09, 2019

Regular Registration Period: September 10 - October 10, 2019 

Late Registration Period: October 11 - October 21, 2019

Submission Deadline: October 26, 2019

Jury Evaluation: November 22 - December 06, 2019

Competition Results: January 10, 2020

To see more details and download the competition documents, please visit ARKxSITE website.

Top image courtesy of ARKxSITE

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