Course syllabus


ARK153 ARK153 Architectural competitions lp3 VT23 (4.5 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Contact details

Examiner, Björn Gross, +467036547344,

Secretary, Susanne Pettersson, +46 31 772 6102,


Gert Wingårdh, Professor, President Wernstedt Sketch Student Competition

XX, external jury member

Nisse Hassellöf, Architect SAR/MSA, QPG Arkitektur, local architect’s SAVG association jury member

Björn Gross, Architect SAR/MSA, secretary to the jury and additional eventual special advisor


Rasmus Waern, Architect SAR/MSA, Wingårdhs, ‘On the Architectural Competition’

Gert Wingårdh, Professor, Architect SAR/MSA, Wingårdhs, ‘Architectural Competition’

Nisse Hassellöf, Architect SAR/MSA, QPG Arkitektur Reasons not to take part in architectural competitions

Walter Unterrainer, Professor in Architecture, ´Architectural Competitions and Sustainable Design´

and ´a strong concept needs to be well communicated to become the winner´

Course purpose

  • The course intends to develop individual skills and readiness for independent participation in architectural competitions.
  • The course will provide insights, reflections and discussions on the history of architectural competitions and provide an overview of current types and conditions of architectural competitions in different national contexts through a number of lectures but also on competition strategies by experienced architects and jury members.
  • The course comprises initiation exercises in graphical and oral presentation techniques as well as information on the preparation of visualization and computer animation.




Course literature

available for consultation in A-biblioteket

  • Andersson, J. E., Bloxham-Zettersten, G., and Rönn, M. (eds.) (2016), Architectural Competitions as Institution and Process.Stockholm, Sweden: Kulturlandskapet I The Royal Institute of Technology.
  • 'Architectural Competitions' (2009) Nordic Journal of Architectural Research No 2/3, 2009.
  • Andersson, J. E., Rönn, M. & Bloxham-Zettersten, G., Eds. (2013). Architectural Competitions – Histories and Practice. Stockholm, Rio kultur kooperativ.
  • Arkitekttävlingar 2007-2010, (2010) Sveriges Arkitekter (Swedish Association of Architects)
  • CONDITIONS/NO (2010): ‘The Future of Competitions’, issue #7/2010
  • Dreams and comp(L)eted projects - 130 years of Finnish Architectural Competitions, (2006) SAFA exhibition
  • Europan 10 Result Book Sweden x 4 Result book, (2010) Stockholm, E. Wingquist & A. Johansson, eds.
  • Gromark, S. (2012). "Bakåtblickar - Framtidsvyer / Looking Backwards - Looking Forwards" in Torsvall, J., P. Kraft, H. Mattsson, E. Wingquist and A. Johansson. EuroPanic - Europan Sweden – a thousand new ideas for our cities / Europan Sverige – tusen nya idéer för våra städer. Stockholm, Europan Sweden / Europan Sverige c/o Sveriges Arkitekter pp: 76-80.
  • Hagelqvist, S. (2010). Arkitekttävlingen som föreställning: den svenska arkitekttävlingens ideologiska, institutionella och professionella villkor under 1900-talets första hälft. Stockholm, axl books. [diss.]
  • Kazemian, R, M Rönn & J E Svensson (2007). Arkitekturtävlingar - erfarenheter från Finland Stockholm, Axl Books.
  • Lipstadt, Hélène, (1989), The Experimental Tradition: Essays on Competitions in Architecture Princeton Architectural Press.
  • Prinz, Frederik and Uffelen, Chris Van (2011). Competition Architecture Braun Publishing AG, Berlin
  • Rönn, M, R Kazemian & J E Andersson, Eds. (2011). The Architectural Competition: Research Enquiries and Experiences. Stockholm, Axl Books.
  • Svensson, Charlotte (2008). Arkitekttävlingar, om konsten att hitta en vinnare, Stockholm: TRITA-ARK Akademisk Licentiatavhandling 2008:3, KTH.
  • Torsvall, J., P. Kraft, H. Mattsson, E. Wingquist and A. Johansson. (2012). EuroPanic - Europan Sweden – a thousand new ideas for our cities / Europan Sverige – tusen nya idéer för våra städer. Stockholm, Europan Sweden / Europan Sverige c/o Sveriges Arkitekter
  • Tostrup, Elisabeth, (1999), Architecture and Rhetoric. Text and Design in Architectural Competitions, Andreas Papadakis Publisher.
  • Waern, Rasmus, (1996), Tävlingarnas tid. Arkitekttävlingarnas betydelse i borgerlighetens Sverige. Chalmers arkitektur [diss.]

Course design

The Wernstedt sketch origins from a donation from professor Melchior Wernstedt (1886-1973). Thanks to his funding, Chalmers can arrange an accurate architectural competition with a program, a jury and a prize sum to the winner(s).

The competition is open to all students registered in the MPARC course Architectural Competitions; ARK 153; at Chalmers Architecture ACE. Each entry may be submitted by either one or by maximum two students. Only complete entries delivered in time will be evaluated. The competition is a student exercise only. The programme has no relation to the actual needs or demands.

The program is unique for every year. It has usually been a small or medium size building on a lot in Gothenburg. Previous students have worked with tasks as a new auditorium on Götaplatsen, a kindergarten in Slottsskogen, a space for waiting by the river, a wedding chapel at Saltholmen and many other hypothetic commissions.

The studio work will start with lectures ‘On the Architectural Competition’ and presentation of Wernstedt Student Competition Brief. Site analysis will follow this phase and continue with the architectural design of the competion proposal. Model work, drawings and illustrations are considered of crucial importance.

A series of lectures on competitions in architecture accomplish the exercise. The course aims to prepare the students for a situation where the work is carried out without assistance during the competition. Feedback will be given afterwards to the delivered proposals. A well executed project is therefore a good reference in your professional portfolio.

For earlier results see search Wernstedt Student-Competition

Communication between teachers and students takes place by mail and Canvas, schedule on time-edit.

Do not forget to use, studio space and carpentry, for physical or digital materials.

Late deliverance of competition proposal will not be judged or given feedback.

Changes made since the last occasion

New Programme.

Learning objectives and syllabus

Learning objectives:


  • construct her future practice on the basis of an enhanced awareness of the formal procedures, conditions and different characters, cultures and situations of competitions in a historical and contemporary international perspective conceived as a unique profile and feature of the profession;
  • independently conduct an interpretation of a common exercise brief or alternatively a professional advanced competition brief and produce the appropriate delivery of requested material such as poster presentation with appropriate drawings, illustrations and models as a preparation for practical activities in the profession;
  • articulate a well grounded opinion and a critical interpretation on and approach towards the cultural values and societal role of architectural competitions as a tool for developing the professional profile of the architect and for fostering innovation and urban architectural qualities as well as to identify and potentially apply valid and successful state of the art design strategies in professional competition situations.


Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen.

Study plan

If the course is a joint course (Chalmers and Göteborgs Universitet) you should link to both syllabus (Chalmers and Göteborgs Universitet).

Examination form

Completed delivery of a valid competition entry to the Wernstedt Sketch or other relevant student or professional international competition like Europan during the course period, examined and passed by the jury, together with presence at the debriefing seminar when competition final results are publically announced, as well as taking active part in 80% of all lectures.

Course summary:

Date Details Due