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Curatorial competition call: Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2024

Estonia Architecture News - Feb 02, 2023 - 17:04   3029 views

Curatorial competition call: Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2024

Estonian Centre for Architecture announces the curatorial competition of the seventh international Tallinn Architecture Biennale TAB 2024.

The Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB), organised by the Estonian Centre for Architecture (ECA), is an international architecture festival held since 2011. The festival contributes to creating and promoting a high-quality built environment by addressing timely issues, providing a platform for discussion, bringing together top players, delving into the present and future, and introducing local architectural culture. TAB’s programme offers events for the top of the field, young professionals just starting out in the field of architecture, and a broader audience of architecture enthusiasts.

TAB aims to: 

- promote a high-quality built environment;

- provide an international platform for Estonian architecture;

- highlight new ways of thinking and create a vision in the field of architecture.

The main organiser of TAB is the Estonian Centre for Architecture (ECA). TAB 2024 takes place between September and November. It consists of a main programme curated by a team of curators and a separate satellite programme. The TAB 2024 curatorial competition aims to find the best theme for the seventh biennale and a team of curators to organise the event. The main events will reveal the curator’s ideas not only in architecture but in society at large. The best examples from the previous biennales are when all the main events are woven into a complementary whole.

The curator(s) of TAB 2024 will be expected to choose and flesh out a theme for the biennale, create and curate content, and bring in exhibition/symposium participants. ECA provides production support to the curators throughout the biennale.


Participation

The curatorial competition is public and open to everyone. The team of curators should include at least one person who is well-versed in Estonian architecture and speaks Estonian. If the team participating in the competition does not have such a person, the ECA will help the curators find a suitable person after the conclusion of the curatorial competition.

The competition consists of two stages. For Stage I, the teams will submit a written entry, and for Stage II, they will present it orally to the jury. The jury may cancel Stage II if the winner can be determined in Stage I.

Questions can be submitted in Estonian or English; the competition entries must be in both Estonian and English. The deadline for submitting the written curatorial concept for the biennale is 4 April at 20:00 (Tallinn, Estonia). Competition entries must be submitted digitally to [email protected].

The chairman, members, reserve members and experts of the jury are not allowed to participate in the competition. Participation is also prohibited for the author of the rules of the competition, individuals who have participated in the preparation of the competition or who have an advantage due to the preparation or organisation of the competition and/or who could influence the jury’s decisions. Close relatives of the mentioned persons (spouse, cohabiting partner, direct relatives in ascending and descending lines, sisters, brothers) and business partners of the chairman or members of the jury (i.e. persons who are shareholders in a company operating in the same field of activity as a jury member or chairman) are also not allowed to enter the competition.


The Tasks

The curator is expected to choose a main theme related to the Estonian context and is relevant, innovative and resonates in today’s architectural world. The theme must have the potential to cross the news threshold internationally and engage a wider local audience interested in culture. The main events of the biennale should address themes that have the potential to become mainstream in the field of architecture. The focus must be on architecture and/or urban planning.

In addition to setting the theme, the team of curators will curate the following events, which form the conceptual core of TAB:

2.1. Curatorial exhibition. The theme of the exhibition must address spatial concerns and preferably be related to the local context. At least half of the exhibits must be created specifically for TAB 2024 and be related to the local context. At least a third of the participants must be practising architects with an Estonian background. The number of exhibited works must be at least 9.

2.2. TAB catalogue. The catalogue must include original content (at least a third of the volume) that explains the main theme of TAB. ECA assigns a project manager for this publication.

2.3. Installation competition. The competition involves conceptualising the proposed installation, setting the initial task and choosing the winner in cooperation with the production team. As a result of the competition, a structure will be installed in front of the Estonian Museum of Architecture. The winner to build the structure will be selected in an international two-stage portfolio-based competition. An exhibition of scale models submitted to the competition will also be organised.

2.4. Tallinn vision competition. The team will curate the vision competition, considering the themes recommended by the Tallinn Strategic Management Office to address the local context.

2.5. Symposium. The curating team will organise the symposium in cooperation with ECA. The content will be curated by the team, and ECA is responsible for organising the event. The symposium explores the background of the original works exhibited in the curatorial exhibition and brings together local architects and relevant experts from around the world. At least a third of the performers at the symposium must have a local background. The curator(s) are invited to suggest speakers and people to organise workshops.

2.6. The curating team will also participate in introducing TAB in Estonia and abroad before and after TAB 2024 and, if necessary, in finding sponsors for TAB and negotiating with them.

The curators are free to use creative means and activities not listed above to engage the international architecture community.

The curatorial fee for the activities described in the tasks is 28,000 euros. ECA’s production team will help in organising the biennale.


TAB Satellite Program

Alongside the main programme curated by the team of curators, the biennale also includes a satellite programme. ECA will hire a co-curator who will cooperate with the curatorial team. The content of the satellite programme must be related to the main theme of TAB 2024. 

The satellites for the 2024 biennale are as follows:

- An Estonian programme consisting of exhibitions, workshops, panels, public events and more in Estonian on local topics, aimed mainly at the local audience. ECA will hire a programme curator after the end of the curatorial competition.

- An international architecture schools exhibition related to the theme of the curatorial exhibition. The location and curators of the exhibition to be confirmed.

- A children’s programme related to the main exhibition.


The Competition Entry Must Contain The Following In Eestonian And English:

4.1.  A title for TAB 2024 in Estonian and English.

4.2.  A synopsis on a separate page (up to 300 characters).

4.3.  A theme for the curatorial exhibition and an initial list of participants (up to 6,000 characters).

4.4.  A description of how the symposium will explore the main theme and suggested speakers (up to 2,500 characters).

4.5.  A theme for the Tallinn vision competition in light of the input of the Tallinn Strategic Management Office.

4.6.  Themes for original content for the TAB 2024 catalogue.

4.7.  A list of the members of the team of curators, the distribution of roles and authorship, and CVs. Each biennale event must have a designated person in charge. The name of the curator who is responsible for the work of the entire team of curators and with whom ECA signs the curation agreement must also be indicated.

The received entries will be reviewed to determine their compliance with the rules of the competition. The entries will be reviewed and approved by the qualification committee, composed of Anna Lindpere and Anu Lill. In the case of technical shortcomings, the qualification committee may contact the applicants and ask them to eliminate the shortcomings. Entries with non-compliant content are not subject to evaluation. The jury only evaluates the entries approved by the qualification committee.

The jury selects up to five best entries from among the qualifying entries and invites them to Stage II, where the entries will be presented orally to the jury. The jury may ask clarifying questions in Stage II. The time and date of Stage II will be announced to the qualifying participants at least two weeks in advance.


The Prize Fund

Winner – 3,000 euros

Two runners-up – 2,000 euros each

The entire prize fund is subject to payment regardless of the number of participants and the result of the competition.


Entry Evaluation And Criteria

Submitted entries are evaluated based on the following criteria:

- theme relevance and originality of approach;

- compliance with the rules of the competition;

- feasibility of the curator’s vision;

- the team’s experience, abilities and professionalism;

- involvement of local Estonian architects in various parts of the programme and in the audience. 


Composition Of The Jury

Raul Järg, Chairman of the Estonian Centre for Architecture 

Villem Tomiste, Architect

Triin Ojari, Director of the Estonian Museum of Architecture 

Madle Lippus, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn

Sille Pihlak, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture of the Estonian Academy of Arts 

Lembit-Kaur Stöör, Architect, member of the Estonian Association of Architects 

Margit Mutso, Architect

Kaidi Põldoja, Head of the Spatial Planning and Design Department at the Tallinn Strategic Management Office

Johanna Jõekalda, Advisor on Architecture and Design at the Ministry of Culture


Legal Relations

- ECA is the main organiser of TAB and ensures that the organisation and the technical side of the biennale run smoothly.

- The competition is public, which means that by submitting the project, all participants confirm their participation in the project. Only the titles and authors of the winning entry and the runners-up will be announced. The authors of other submitted entries will remain confidential, unless the submitters request otherwise.

- After the end of the competition, ECA will sign an authorisation agreement for the curation of TAB 2024 with the curator(s) named in the winning entry to the extent specified in the rules of the competition.

- The property rights to the works created by the curator within TAB 2024 will remain with the main organiser; the property rights to the exhibits of the curatorial exhibition will remain with their authors, unless agreed otherwise with the authors of the works


Schedule

The competition will take place between 30 January and 4 April 2023. The jury will invite the authors of up to five best entries to present their work to the jury in Stage II. Based on the presentations, the jury will determine the winner and two runners-up. The jury has the right to cancel the Stage II. The results of the competition and the jury’s final report will be announced on 27 April 2023 at the latest.

A virtual public briefing for TAB 2024 will be held on 14 February. The briefing will discuss TAB as an architecture festival and the rules of the curatorial competition in more detail; the thematic recommendations for the Tallinn vision competition will be introduced.

30 January Announcement of the competition 

14 February Briefing

4 April Deadline for submitting entries

12 April Results of Stage I

19 April Stage II, jury meets with the teams 

27 April Publication of results


Questions and additional information:

Estonian Centre for Architecture [email protected].

For more infromation, visit TAB's website

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