Preface: The Recommendation Concerning International Competitions in Architecture and Town Planning was adopted at 9th Session of The General Conference of UNESCO, New Delhi, on 5 December, 1956. The Recommendation establishes the principles by which international design competitions are to be conducted. It provides guidelines for announcing competitions, inviting competitors, exhibiting plans, and awarding prizes. The Recommendations also cover copyright concerns, the composition of juries, and assistance by the International Union of Architects. The Recommendation makes no direct reference to historic sites and their conservation.
The General Conference of UNESCO (9th Session), New Delhi, 5 Nov.-5 Dec., 1956
- The Recommendation, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO, establishes the principles by which international design competitions are to be conducted.
- It provides guidelines for announcing competitions, inviting competitors, exhibiting plans, and awarding prizes.
- The Recommendations also cover copyright concerns, the composition of juries, and assistance by the International Union of Architects. The Recommendation makes no direct reference to historic sites and their conservation.
Recommendation Concerning International Competitions in Architecture and Town Planning (1956)
Recommendation Concerning International Competitions in Architecture and Town Planning
Adopted by the General Conference at its Ninth Session,New Delhi, 5 December 1956
The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting at New Delhi from 5 November to 5 December 1956, at its ninth session,
Having given approval in principle, at its eighth session, to the Standard Regulations for international competitions in architecture and town planning, designed to provide guidance for the drawing up of programmes for international competitions, in the interests both of organizers and of competitors; and having transmitted these Standard Regulations to Member States,
Having before it new proposals concerning international competitions in architecture and town planning, constituting item 9.4.4 on the agenda of the session,
Having decided, at its eighth session, that these proposals should be made the subject of international regulations by way of a recommendation to Member States,
Adopts, this fifth day of December 1956, the following Recommendation:
The General Conference recommends that Member States should apply the following provisions by taking whatever legislative or other steps may be required to give effect, within their respective territories, to the principles and norms formulated in the present Recommendation.
The General Conference recommends that Member States should bring the present Recommendation to the knowledge of the authorities and organizations concerned with competitions in architecture and town planning, and of national associations of architects and town planners.
The General Conference recommends that Member States should report to it, on dates and in a manner to be determined by it, on the action they have taken to give effect to the present Recommendation.
1. (a) For the purposes of the present Recommendation, the designation ‘international’shall apply to any competition in which the participation of architects or town planners of more than one country is invited.
(b) International competitions may be either open or restricted:(I) Competitions for which any technicians of two or more countries may enter aretermed open; (II) Competitions which are limited to certain technicians invited by theorganizers are termed restricted.(c) International competitions may consist of one or two parts.
II. ORGANIZATION OF INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS
2. The announcement of an international competition should include a definition of htetype of competition and a clear statement of the purpose of the competition. It shouldindicate whether the competition is open or restricted and whether it is in one or two parts.
3. The programme of an international competition should be drawn up in consultation with the International Union of Architects
4. The programme of an international competition should state clearly: the purpose of the competition, the precise nature of the problem and the and the actual conditions to be fulfilled in the preparation of the plan.5. The conditions and programme of an international competition should be identical for all the competitors, irrispective of nationality.6.The announcement of an open international competition should be made internationally and on an equitable basis.
III. THE JUDGING OF INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS
7. The jury should include a majority of qualified technicians.
8. The jury should include, among its members, persons of nationalities other than thatof the country organizing the competition.
IV. ACTION FOLLOWING INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS
9. The amount of prizes, awards and compensation specified in the programme of aninternational competition should be proportional to the size of the programme, its nature,and the work required of competitors.
10. The winner of an international competition should be given adequate safeguards with regard to his collaboration in the execution of the work. If the plan is not executed, provision should be made for compensation proportional to the importance of the plan.
11. Suitable steps should be taken to protect the copyright and rights of ownership of all competitors in the plans they submit for an international competition.
12. The results of an international competition should be made public and the plans submitted for the competition should he shown in a public exhibition.
13. Provision should be made for recourse to the good offices of the International Union of Architects for the settlement of any dispute which may arise in connexion with an international competition.
14. Organizers of international competitions should be guided by the provisions of theStandard Regulations attached, as an annex, to the present Recommendation.
Standard Regulations for International Competitions in Architecture and Town Planning
The aim of these regulations is to provide guidance for the drawing up of programmesfor international competitions, in the interests both of organizers and of competitors.
Art. 1. The designation ‘international’ shall apply to any competition in which the participation of architects and town planners of more than one country is invited.
II. Organization and Announcement of Competitions
Art. 2. International competitions may be either open or restricted. Competitions for which any technicians from two or more countries may enter are termed open. Thosewhich are limited to certain technicians invited by the organizers are termed restricted.
Art. 3. The conditions and programme of an international competition shall be identical for all competitors.
Art. 4. Open international competitions, with a general outline of the conditions, shall be announced by the organizers in technical journals and reviews in the various countries, as far as possible simultaneously, and with sufficient notice to enable those interested o obtain the complete programme by the time the competition opens. Mention shall be made in this announcement of the institution, in each country, where the detailed programme of the competition and all relevant documents are deposited, as well as the fact that, in accordance with Article 51 of the present regulations, the said programme has been submitted, for its advice, to the International Union of Architects.
Art. 5. In order to enable persons interested to verify that the conditions of the programme as issued to them are in fact the same for all countries and all competitors, a copy of the programme shall be officially deposited with the International Union of Architects.
Art. 6. Any programme which is not published in one of the official languages of theInternational Union of Architects (English, French and Russian) shall be accompaniedby a translation into at least one of these languages.
Art.7. International competitions may consist of one or two parts.
Art.8. Programmes shall state whether plans are to be signed or submittedanonymously
III. Preparation of Programmes
Art. 9. Programmes of international competitions, whether consisting of one or twoparts, and whether open or restricted, shall clearly state:
(a) the purpose of thecompetition and the aims of the organizers,
(b) the precise nature of the problem;
(c) theactual conditions to be fulfilled in the preparation of the plan.
Art. 10. A clear distinction shall be made, in programmes, between conditions that arecompulsory and those that leave competitors a freedom in interpretation, which shouldbe as wide as possible .
Art. 11. The particulars supplied (social, organic, economic, technical and physical) shall be sufficiently specific to rule out any misinterpretation. Competitors admitted to the second part of competitions should receive from the organizers, in each particular case, all the supplementary information necessary for drawing up plans to be entered in the final contest.
Art. 12. The programme shall specify the number, nature, scale and dimensions of the documents or models required in two or three dimensions, and indicate the conditions of receipt, acceptance and return of such documents or models. Competitors may be required to supply data from which it will be easy to check the estimate of costs in accordance with uniform standards.
Art. 13. In principle, the organizers of international competitions shall use the metre as a scale for plans; in cases where this is not done, a metric equivalent shall be given in anannex to the programme.
Art. 14. The organizers shall endeavour to reduce to a minimum, in all cases, the number and size of the documents and drawings required.
IV. Registration and Admission of Competitors
Art. 15. As soon as they have obtained details of the complete programme, competitorsshall register with the organizers. Registration implies acceptance of the conditions of the competition.
Art. 16. The organizers of international competitions shall supply competitors with all the documentation necessary for drawing up their plans. In cases where there is a deposit to be paid for this documentation, the deposit shall be returned to those competitors who in fact take part in the competition.
Art. 17. In competitions that consist of two parts, only those competitors who are successful in the first part shall be admitted to the final contest.
Art. 18. This list of competitors admitted to the final contest shall be drawn up and published in alphabetical order.
Art. 19. Competitors in the final contest shall, in each particular case, receive from the organizers, on the decision of the jury, all the supplementary information necessary for drawing up plans to he entered in the final contest.
V. Allocation of Prizes, Awards and Compensation
Art. 20. The programme of any international competition must specify the method of allocation of prizes. The amount of these prizes must be proportional to the size of theprogramme, the work involved and the expenses incurred by competitors.
Art. 21. International competitions for town planning are, by their nature, contests of ideas, since the work generally has to be carried out by the local authorities, frequently on a long-term basis; it is therefore specially important that the or- ganizers should allocate prizes of an amount adequate to recompense authors for their ideas and work; this may even be the sole remuneration received by the prizewinner.
Art. 22. Whatever the particular nature of prizes for any contest of ideas, they shall not be such as to exclude the possible collaboration of the author in the execution of the work.
Art. 23. Prizes shall be distributed within three months of the announcement of the results of the competition.
Art. 24. The programme shall specify the exact use to which the organizers of the competition intend to put prizewinning plans. Plans may not be put to any use other than that expressly stated in the programme. In cases where organizers wish to use a prizewinning plan for other purposes, or to modify it, a fresh agreement to this effect shall be concluded between the organizers and the author of the plan.
Art. 25. In restricted competitions, provision shall be made for payment of a certain sum to each of the competitors invited to take part, without prejudice to the regular award of prizes.
Art 26. The award of first prize to any plan places the organizers of the competition under an obligation to entrust the author of this plan with the execution of the work. If, however, the winner of the first prize is unable to produce adequate professional references, compatible with the importance of the work, the jury may invite him to enlist the aid, for carrying out the work, of a technician to be chosen by the prizewinner and approved by the jury after examination of his references.
Art. 27. Provision shall be made, in the programme, for cases when the organizers, on the expiry of the time-limit specified in the said programme, have not commenced work on the execution of the plan, and the percentage or the amount of compensation to be paid to the prizewinner in such circumstances shall be specified. Any sum thus paid to him shall be deducted from the fee due to him for the execution of the plan.
Art. 28. In competitions consisting of two parts, a reasonable sum shall be paid to all competitors admitted to the final contest. This sum, which is intended to cover the cost of drawing up plans for the final contest, shall be specified in the programme, and be distinct from the prizes awarded in the final contest.
Art. 29. Insurance charges on plans submitted by the competitors shall be borne by the organizers. The amount of such insurance may in no case exceed the maximum value of any plan.
Art. 30. In the event of the cancellation of a competition for which competitors have been officially registered, the organizers shall be obliged to compensate such competitors for work actually executed in connexion therewith.
Art. 31. The author of any plan shall retain the artistic copyright in his work; noalterations may be made without his formal consent.
Art. 32. The plan winning the first prize shall become the property of the organizers. No other plan, whether or not it is awarded a prize, may be used in whole or in part by the organizers except by special agreement with the author.
Art. 33. As a general rule, the organizers’ right of ownership in any plan shall cover only one execution thereof. However, the programme of the competition may provide for several executions of the plan and specify the terms.
Art. 34. In all cases, unless otherwise stated in the programme, the author of any plan shall retain the right of reproduction.
VII. Organization and Work of the Jury
Art. 35. The jury shall be set up before the opening of the competition. The list of members and of their deputies shall be given in an appendix to the programme of the competition.
Art. 36. The jury shall be composed of as small a number as possible of persons of different nationality, and shall include a majority of qualified technicians. If a preliminary report is to be drawn up, the name of the person – or persons – responsible for the preparation of this report shall likewise be mentioned in the programme.
Art. 37. The members of the jury shall be asked by the organizers of competitions to undertake not to be guided in their work by any consideration other than their own conscience and the interests of the competition.
Art. 38. No member of the jury shall take part, either directly or indirectly, in the competition, nor be entrusted, either directly or indirectly with work connected with the execution of the prizewinning plan.
Art. 39. At its first meeting, the jury shall elect its chairman and rapporteur.
Art 40. The decisions of the jury shall be taken by a majority vote, with a separate vote on each plan. If the vote is equally divided, the chairman shall have the casting vote. Are port of the meetings shall be drawn up by the rapporteur and signed by the chairman and all members of the jury.
Art. 41. All drawings, photographs, models or documents other than those specified in the programme shall be excluded from consideration, and shall be eliminated by the jury before examination of the plan.
Art. 42. The jury may disqualify ally plan not conforming with the conditions laid down in the programme.
Art 43. All decisions of the jury shall be explained and made public. All decisions of the jury shall be final.
Art. 44. The travelling expenses and allowances for members of the jury shall be paid by the organizers of the competition.
VIII. Exhibition of Plans
Art. 45. In the case of every competition, registered competitors in all countries shall benotified by the organizers in good time of the date and place of the public exhibition of entries. The organizers shall announce the place, date and hours of opening of thisexhibition in the same technical journals and reviews in which the general conditions of the competition were published.
Art. 46. All plans submitted for purposes of the competition shall, after the judging has taken place, be publicly exhibited. In addition to the plans themselves, all documents and drawings, as well as the report and decisions of the jury bearing the signatures of the chairman and of all acting members, shall be exhibited.
Art. 47. In competitions, consisting of two parts, plans submitted for the first part shall be kept secret until the results of the final contest are announced.
Art. 48. Plans disqualified in accordance with Article 42 shall be exhibited and details given of the reasons for the jury’s decision.
Art. 49. The date of the exhibition shall be specified in the programme of the competition. This exhibition shall be open to the public, free of charge, for a period of at least one week.
Art. 50. Within a month of the close of the competition and of the public exhibition, all plans which have been neither awarded prizes nor purchased shall be returned to the competitors, at the expense of the organizers.
IX. Assistance of the International Union of Architects
Art. 51. Before publication, the programmes of all international competitions inarchitecture or town planning shall be submitted, for its advice, to the InternationalUnion of Architects, which shall consult the International Federation for Housing andTown Planning in the case of all competitions in town planning.
Art. 52. It is desirable that one member of the jury should be appointed by the International Union of Architects, with a view to ensuring that the present regulations are observed.
Art. 53. The organizers of international competitions may request the assistance of the Commission on International Competitions of the International Union of Architects in drawing up the programme, nominating persons qualified to serve on the jury, determining the amount of awards in relation to the nature and size of the programme, the work involved and the expenses incurred by competitors, as stipulated in Article 20,and settling any disputes that may arise between the organizers and the competitors. Any expenses thus incurred shall be borne by the organizers.
The foregoing is the authentic text of the Recommendation duly adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization during its Ninth Session, which was held at New Delhi and declared closed the fifth day of December 1956.
IN FAITH WHEREOF we have appended our signatures this fifth day of December 1956.
The President of the General Conference
Legal Advisor of the
United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization
- Records of The General Conference, Ninth Session, New Delhi, 1956. (Full text, original documents) 1956-12-5-Records of The General Conference, Ninth Session, New Delhi, 1956
- Revised Recommendation Concerning International Competitions in Architecture and Town Planning (27 Nov. 1978).
- Draft Regulations For International Competitions In Architecture, Paris, 30 August 1954, UNESCO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0016/001607/160785eb.pdf
- Revision of The Recommendation Concerning International Competitions in Architecture and Town Planning (1956). http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0002/000277/027743EB.pdf
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