Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) Seventh International Student Design Competition 2006: A Small Sustainable Sports Centre

Nelson Mandela stated that, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.” Competitors are asked to design a small sustainable sports centre that will serve as a focus for a poor community. Entrants can choose a site from within their own region, but this is not mandatory. It can be located in a rural or an urban context. It can be a sports pavilion or an urban sports facility featuring regeneration. The architectural response to the site will be amongst the criteria for judging the competition.

The centre should aim at attracting people to participate in sport and physical activity, particularly young people. As such, it should have social facilities and its design should attract members of the community to participate in the building. The competition jury is not looking for a large centre, but one that will serve a wide spectrum of a small population. It can achieve a social purpose in attracting people who are unemployed or from problem areas of society to participate in sport. It can also perform a valuable role in persuading people to pursue a healthy agenda.

The building can be inspired by, or named after a famous sports person from the past or the present. A sporting hero or heroine may give appeal to the facility; if this course is followed, there should be link to the design and the jury will look for brief evidence and background. It can also be inspired by a certain sport or group in society, but the jury will be looking for a broad community appeal.

Whilst the competition is about social context and site response, proposals should also indicate the structure, materials, special qualities, lighting, and furniture and fittings. The design must demonstrate clear principles of sustainability not only through the choice of materials and management of energy and waste, with appropriate use of natural lighting and ventilation, but also in social aspects. These will obviously reflect the climate, culture and context relating to the facility. Adaptability can be a bonus to encourage flexibility of use now and in the future. Whatever the design approach, entrants should consider a building that requires minimal maintenance and one that is easy to manage and operate.

The competition is open to all students worldwide, who at the time of preparing their submission are registered at a higher education Institution. It is not limited to those studying in Commonwealth Countries. Individual and group entries are acceptable. Entries from multidisciplinary groups are welcome.

The jury is comprised of CAA President Llewellyn van Wyk of South Africa, Peter Davey, former Editor of the Architectural Review and a representative of HOK Sport.

First prize is 2000; second prize is 800, and third prize is 400. A bonus of 200 will be awarded to the best prizewinning, multidisciplinary group entry (i.e. a submission from a team comprising two or more people from different disciplines that is placed first, second or third). All students are eligible for first, second and third prizes. An additional 200 has been reserved for the best submission from a student (or team of students) in the first or second year of academic study at the time of the entry being made, where the entry has not been awarded one of the principal prizes. Any prize awarded for a group submission will be shared equally by members of the group. Winning entries will be published in the Architectural Review and displayed at the conference.

June 16, 2006 is the deadline for inquiries, and November 10, 2006 is the registration and submission deadline. Results will be announced on December 15, 2006.

For more information, please visit or e-mail Entrants must ensure that all costs relating to the carriage of their entry, including any customs duties have been paid in full at the point of dispatch. Late entries will not be considered.