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SITE CONVENT International Architecture Ideas Competition

Portugal Architecture News - Feb 25, 2022 - 10:08   1223 views

SITE CONVENT International Architecture Ideas Competition

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 CONVENT’ located at the Penafirme Convent, Portugal.

The ‘SITE CONVENT’ is a refuge for solitude, remembrance and spiritual enlightenment, intimate spaces for reflection and contemplation. Together with the existing ruins and the ever changing sand dunes, the Site Convent offers a unique experience within this remarkable landscape; it is a mystical place and meditative sanctuary through memory, time and silence.

The Penafirme Convent is a place of great cultural heritage and historical significance with characteristics that must be fully preserved. The ruins of the Convent together with the sand dunes are prominent features within this setting.

When generating a vision for an intervention located within such a remarkable place, it is essential that each design proposal emphasises, respects and celebrates the site and existing ruins, while provide a unique and memorable experience.


Entrance *
Provide a space of transition between the natural landscape and the ‘inner space’ of the Convent.

‘Inner Space’ *
Provide a monumental and magnificent space for introspection, contemplation and prayer, inviting visitors to experience a moment of silence and solitude while feeling the power and immensity of architecture. This is the main space of the Site Convent and can be a singular space or a sequence of spaces, open and / or enclosed to the natural elements.

Memory Chamber *
Provide an enclosed place of memory and remembrance, a space with the display of information about the history of the site and ruins.

Cells *
Provide intimate and enclosed spaces where visitors can spend the night; it may be an individual space or accomodate two people; size and number of cells to be determined by each participant’s design proposal. Provide communal spaces for reading, bathing and cooking (open and/or enclosed to the natural elements).

Cloister *
Provide a cloister for meditation; protected from the outside, but open to the sky to maintain a relationship with natural light and fresh air, to be able to sit down silently, sheltered from the natural elements. A water feature may be introduced into the design of the Cloister.

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


The overall design of the Site Convent must be sensitive to the site and existing ruins. There are no limitations in height or excavation. Spaces of the Site Convent can be open and / or enclosed to the natural elements. Because this is an ideas competition, urban planning and building regulations will not be applied to the design proposal.

For more detailed information, download the Competition Brief.


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.



Feb 14, 2022 – Apr 15, 2022


Apr 16, 2022 – May 16, 2022

FAQ Questions Deadline

Apr 22, 2022

FAQ answers posted

Apr 29, 2022


May 17, 2022 – May 23, 2022

Submission Deadline

May 28, 2022

Jury Evaluation

Jun 24, 2022 – Jul 8, 2022


Jul 29, 2022


* All deadlines are established @ 23:59 hrs (Current local time in Portugal)

* A tax of 23% (VAT rate in Portugal) will be applied to the fees.

Download photos and read further information on ARKxSITE website

Top image courtesy of ARKxSITE. 

> via ARKxSITE