International Urban ProjectExcellent works of 2021

International Urban Project 2021

IUPA2021 First Prize

PROJECT Big Air Shougang, Beijing 2022

ARCHITECT Atelier TeamMinus

SITE Beijing, China


Big Air Shougang is the first Olympic Winter Games venue sitting right inside an industrial heritage site.

Shougang is the most ambitious industrial heritage transformation project in Northern China, aiming at returning this hundred-year-long-history steel plant to the civil life, reconnecting the city with the Yongding River, and reclaiming the much deteriorated natural environment. It will affect an urban area of more than 10 kilometres squared. The entire project was initiated around 2010, and is planned to complete by the year 2030. It consists of a serious of adaptive reuse and energy transformation projects, with sports, leisure, culture and other public programmes as engines. The Big Air Shougang for Beijing 2022 is the most high-profile project among them.

Big Air is a relatively new sport in Olympic Winter Games, only becoming an official OWG sport in Peyongchang 2018. The sport is extremely popular among the urban youth in both European and North American cities, and is having more and more fans in China. It fits the demographics of the western part of Beijing very well, where the average age of local residents is well below 45, and a sporty and active life style is highly regarded. Big Air Shougang aligns the appeal of the Olympic movement, the peculiarity of a young sport, the demography of a youthful district, and the opportunity of an urban revitalisation.

IUPA2021 Special Prize

PROJECT Sara Cultural Centre

ARCHITECT White Arkitekter

SITE Skellefteå, Sweden


Located just below the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden, the city of Skelleftea has a long tradition of timber buildings; this was the primary inspiration behind the winning design in the international competition for Sara Culture Center. Strategically located in the heart of Skellefteà, between the main square and the train station, Sara revitalises the city and is the start of a transformation that will change the scale of Skelleftea's most central parts.

Sara Culture Center houses four art, performance and literary organisations and is built entirely in wood. The complex also features a new hotel, and totalling almost 30,000 sqm and a 20 storey high-rise, it will be one of the world's tallest timber buildings at inauguration in September 2021. Sara uniquely celebrates the craft behind the creative process. Accessibility is created by having open functions facing the street. Stages are located at the heart of the building while public foyers and workshops are placed around them (Open layouts combined with generous glazing reveal the ingenuity and skill involved in set-building and exhibition installation to visitors inside the building, as well as passersby outdoors. Similarly the flexible foyers can be programmed with exhibitions and events at the entrances to attract non-traditional visitors into the centre. New public spaces are introduced to attract visitors and adding multiple entrances make the functions interact with the city, creating a natural flow through the building.

IUPA2021 Special Prize


ARCHITECT Civic Architects

SITE Tilburg, The Netherlands


The LocHal is the new public library for the City of Tilburg. A former locomotive hangar has been transformed into a public meeting place that turns "the wrong side of the tracks" into a vibrant mixed-use district.

The LocHal redefines the library typology. While keeping traditional "book consumer" facilities, the new library also provides ample opportunity for interaction and the creation of new knowledge. The building acts as a covered public space, housing amenities shared by the library, arts organisations and co-working facilities. In addition to areas for lectures and public events, the building has a number of "labs" where visitors can learn new skills.

The architecture is a reinterpretation of the original late-industrial building, dating from 1932. With a footprint of 90 x 60 metres and a height of 15 metres, it is both imposing and inviting. This spaciousness is strengthened by a landscape of stairs and diagonal sightlines across the interior, enabled by smart engineering; the library capitalises the existing structure, thereby greatly minimising the amount of new structural elements. While an ingenious system of climate zones preserves the openness of the building; heating visitors in key contact zones (like the grand staircase) and not spaces.

International Urban Project(IUPA)

The International Urban Project Award (IUPA), presented by Bauwelt (Berlin) , World Architecture Magazine (WA, Beijing) , Messe München and MMU BAU Fenestration Co., Ltd. and guided by the Architecture Society of China, recognizes every year new and outstanding urban and architectural works that transform cities worldwide. The prize draws attention to the social and cultural strength of architecture and urban development to improve public space for civic life, ultimately celebrating urbanity.


Buildings and urban space can contribute to a more inclusive city. Both have the power to enable openness to different users and uses. Public space act as the backbone of cities. Libraries, theatres and other buildings with a public or urban devotion just as well as squares, streets and parks knit society together. In an ever more globalised, individualised and privatised world, shared physical social and cultural places in the city gain importance. Public space has multiple commissions to fulfill: mobility, recreation, meetings, arts and education, climate protection, sports and movement… How can new buildings be integrated in the urban context and give something back to the city? Where are potentials for new public uses hidden? Which urban design strategies can foster more accessible, flexible and diverse public spaces? With the third edition of the IUPA, we are looking for architecture, landscape architecture and urban design projects dedicated to the public realm. Projects that extend the playing field and scope of the creative practice, indoor as well as outdoor, at micro or macro scale, all around the globe, are welcomed.


Projects should be completed and less than five years old (2017-2021). Urban design projects might not be fully, but  should be largely completed.

Eligible to participate are architects, urban planners and landscape architects from all over the world, individuals as well as working teams.


The submitted project is to be presented on an A1 portrait panel consisting of four single A3 sheets. Participants may freely design the panel at their own discretion, but should follow the submission guidelines below:

  1. On the first A3, for instance in the up-left corner, the project should be presented with a single photo and the project title.
  2. Put down all relevant information about the project in writing on the second A3. In addition to the author’s details and key data on the project, the project should be briefly explained here. The explanatory report should not total more than 400 words. The competition language is English. You can supplement the text with pictures and drawings.
  3. Please show more project pictures on the third A3.
  4. On the fourth A3, present the work in drawings, comprehensively and clearly in its entirety and in detail

Legal recourse is excluded.

Please send the submission until June 30, 2021 via e-mail or wetransfer or similar transfer tool to or Log in to to submit project information


The jury meetings will take place in Beijing and Berlin in July 2021. The jury members are:

LI Cundong

Secretary-General, the Architectural Society of China (ASC)

CAO Jiaming

Vice President of the Architectural Society of China (ASC)
President of the Architectural Society of Shanghai China (ASSC)

H.C. Kristin Feireiss

Director of AEDES, Berlin / 2013-17 Member of the jury of the Pritzker Architecture Prize / 2012 Member of the international jury for the Architecture Biennale in Venice

Matthias Sauerbruch

Prof. AA Dipl, Dipl. Ing. Architekt, Hon. FAIA, Founding Partner and Director Sauerbruch Hutton, Berlin

Boris Schade-Bünsow

editor-in-chief of Bauwelt, Berlin


The First Prize will be awarded 3,000 euro, two Special Prizes will be awarded 1,000 euro each. The jury is entitled to split the sum differently. The award ceremony will take place as part of the BAU Congress China on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center.


All award-winning projects and a selection of further entries will be published in the catalogue of BAU Congress China 2021, WA and Bauwelt as well as exhibited on the fairgrounds of the Shanghai New International Expo Center during the BAU Congress China 2021. Submitters assure that they are the creators and authors of their competition entries. Furthermore, they declare their consent to the cost-free publication of their submission. Submitters are solely responsible for obtaining allowances for the right of use from third parties, especially regarding photographs.


World Architecture Magazine is a leading architecture journal in China published monthly. Founded in 1980, WA establishes a prominent platform for Chinese architectural debate and acts as a key bridge in architecture between China and the international scene. For the last two decades, WA has also created and organised the highly revered architecture award program WAACA (WA Award for Chinese Architecture).

Bauwelt is a German architecture and urban design journal published biweekly. The last issue of each quarter is published as StadtBauwelt and focuses on current urban planning issues. Bauwelt was founded in 1910 and has its registered office in Berlin. Bauwelt reports in a politically independent, critical, demanding and unbiased manner about contemporary architecture in Germany, Europe and around the world.


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