Competition: writing about architecture

The Henning Larsen Foundation is launching an international competition on writing about architecture - "Time & Space" - to inspire for an innovative approach to writing about architecture, with a particular focus on time and space.

Photo: Gary Dee, 5 August 2008, 16:42, Wikimedia

The Henning Larsen Foundation is launching an international competition on writing about architecture - "Time & Space" - to inspire for an innovative approach to writing about architecture, with a particular focus on time and space.

The competition "writing about time and space" follows the competitions "photographing architecture" in 2007 and "drawing architecture" in 2008.

The world of architecture is changing. The Internet and computer programmes have had revolutionary influence on architecture.

Has the dualism between dream and reality been replaced by a new dualism between computer technology and the Internet as a "second world" on the one side and the still more complex reality on the other? A new world where computer animations overdescribe and overcontrol reality while dreams are repressed? A world where architecture as a branch of art is oppressed by increasing documentation requirements on the one side and becomes star architects' market for "signature architecture" on the other?

Do we find ourselves without both dream and reality? Have we become children of a world where we do not really sense material reality and where our dreams are formulated by the media?

Why does "architecture without architects" - architecture in which the function is the dominant aspect - arouse a special fascination in us, even after the original function has ceased to exist?

Photos, drawings and texts challenge architecture. They can be a branch of art or a piece of architecture in themselves, or they can communicate an idea or a dream. The dream is the focus of attention in this competition.

An old, blurred photo, a sketch or a piece of writing can sometimes evoke thoughts and images stronger and more fascinating than those found in today's architecture projects.

Texts have the ability to evoke images inside us. The hope of the competition is that a poem, a fairytale or another kind of text will provide inspiration for architecture that creates dreams about time and space that could be.

Write an essay, a poem or a fairytale on architecture - about time and space.

Evaluation criteria
The entries will be evaluated on the basis on their description of space and spatiality and whether they offer something new to the genre -writing about architecture.

Previously published texts and texts about architecture created by Henning Larsen Architects are not accepted for evaluation.

Guidelines and submission of competition entries
The competition entries should be in either Danish or English and should not exceed 8,000 keystrokes.  A photo or a drawing supporting the text can be included.

The competition is anonymous and open to everyone - with exception of employees at Henning Larsen Architects who cannot enter.

Texts should be printed with page numbers. Additionally, all pages should be marked with a random five-digit code. A closed envelope with the code should be enclosed with the entry. The envelope should contain the writer's name, address, phone number and e-mail. The text should also be submitted in a digital version (as a Word file) at a CD-ROM or USB stick marked with the five-digit code.

Competition entries should be submitted in a closed enveloped marked "Time & Space" to Henning Larsen Architects, Vesterbrogade 76, 1620 København V. Deadline for submission is 12 March 2012.

The post stamp serves as documentation for timely submission. Out of consideration for the evaluation process, competition entries received after 19 March 2012 will not be considered.

The winners will be notified directly. The result of the competition will be published on 20 August 2012 at the website

Copyright and publication
The Henning Larsen Foundation reserves the right to reproduce all texts without cost in printed and electronic media. The artist remains copyright holder. The best entries will be published.

Awards and judging committee
The first prize winner will receive an award of €10,000, the second prize winner of €5,000 and the two third prize winners of each €2,000.

The judging committee consists of Professor, architect Henning Larsen; CEO, architect Kent Martinussen; Chief Editor, architect Martin Keiding; architecture writer, historian of ideas Christian Bundegaard and architect Troels Troelsen.

More information to be found on 

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014