RIBA Gulf Chapter announces 'Urban Exchange: The Souk' to coincide with its formal launch in October

The RIBA Gulf Chapter is launching an architectural student competition entitled 'Urban Exchange: The Souk' open to students in the Gulf.

The results of the competition will be announced at a ceremony to coincide with the formal launch of the RIBA Gulf Chapter on 21 October 2009 at the British Embassy Abu Dhabi.

The competition aims to explore new visions and develop design proposals for ‘the city’.

It will set students the challenge of re-addressing the street culture and its human activities to the urban context.

Sunand Prasad, RIBA president

Students are asked to choose a site in an urban context which they feel is in need of rejuvenation, and come up with ideas and concepts representing the modern interpretation of the Souk.

Sunand Prasad, RIBA president, said: "The newly established RIBA Gulf Chapter has launched this scheme to celebrate the work demonstrated by students across the Gulf with focus on the theme of revitalisation of urban spaces.

"This new initiative forms part of the RIBA’s mission to promote design excellence in the region, to address key issues in appropriate design, cultural response and environmental sustainability.

"I am sure students will rise to the challenge of this exciting opportunity and look forward to seeing designs which will both inspire and demonstrate the creativity of a future generation of architects."

The competition will be assessed by a panel of judges in the UAE in September 2009.

There will be a 1st/2nd and 3rd prize awarded to the winning students and presented by Ruth Reed currently president elect of the RIBA who will by then have taken up her presidency.

The winning designs will take part in a touring exhibition post-competition and will be featured on the RIBA website, including coverage in the architectural trade press..