The brief for the International Competition for Ideas for Architecture Students is being revised due to the postponement of the 27th World Congress of Architects UIA2021RIO to 18-22 July 2021. The revisions will be published soon.

O edital do Concurso Internacional de Ideias para Estudantes de Arquitetura está sendo revisado, devido ao adiamento do 27º Congresso Mundial de Arquitetos UIA2021RIO para 18-22 de julho de 2021. As revisões serão publicadas em breve.

La convocatória para el Concurso Internacional de Ideas para Estudiantes de Arquitectura se está revisando debido al aplazamiento del 27° Congreso Mundial de Arquitectos UIA2021RIO del 18 al 22 de julio de 2021. Las revisiones se publicarán pronto.

International ideas competition for architecture students
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Photo: Bira Carvalho (Imagens do Povo/Observatório de Favelas)



Nivaldo Andrade
President, Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB)

Sergio F. Magalhães
Chairman, UIA2020RIO Congress

Thomas Vonier
Chairman, International Union of Architects (UIA)


Fabiana Generoso de Izaga
Pablo Benetti


Observatório de Favelas
Jorge Barbosa
Aruan Braga
Lino Teixeira

    8. JURY
    12. PRIZES



Every three years, the UIA (International Union of Architects) organises an international congress of architecture. From 19 to 23 July 2020 it will be holding its 27th World Congress of Architects in Rio de Janeiro, entitled ‘All the worlds. Just one world. Architecture 21’. An international urban student ideas competition will be held to promote young talent in the field of architecture and related fields. The international ideas competition MARÉ-CIDADE is organised by the Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB - Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil) and the International Union of Architects and is supported by UN Habitat.

The competition site is located between an important and busy expressway (Avenida Brasil) and a cluster of favelas (Complexo da Maré). This territory is currently occupied by warehouses and industrial buildings, most of which are abandoned or in disuse. The competition invites students to propose innovative urban solutions for the area, considering the local population, and their connection with the city.


The objective of the ideas competition is to invite students of architecture and related fields to propose innovative urban design and architectural interventions in order to integrate the Maré (an informal settlement in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) to the city that would contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Read more about UN SDG Goal 11 here.


This single-stage student ideas competition is organised and conducted in accordance with UNESCO Standard Regulations for International Competitions in Architecture and Town planning and the UIA best practice recommendations (see UIA Competition Guide for Design Competitions in Architecture and Related Fields)

The General Coordinator of the competition is architect and urbanist Dr. Thiago T. A. de Soveral (CAU/BR 85000-4), being the Assistant Coordinator architect and urbanist Rodrigo M. F. Bocater (CAU/BR A91667-6).



The competition is open to any full-time registered students of architecture (individual or team) from all over the world. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged. Nevertheless, only students of architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, urban design or urban planning can register as authors or co-authors. Students from other disciplines can register as team members, collaborators, or consultants.

All participants must be enrolled as students by the time of proposal submission.

Teams may have from 1 to 5 students, with the possibility to have from 1 to 2 advisors/tutors.

Competitors are only allowed to participate in one team.

Students, employees and family members of jury members and persons involved in the preparation of this competition are not allowed to participate in the competition.


The official language of the competition is English.


Participants will be required to register on the official competition website. All the relevant reference documents are available therein.

After the registration, each participant will receive the following by email:

  1. the registration code, which must be indicated on all submitted boards;
  2. the login and password, which will allow participants to upload their entries.


Competitors may ask questions regarding the competition online at the competition website until the indicated deadline. Questions will be continuously answered until the indicated deadline.


Participants should ensure anonymity while submitting their entries. The name of the competitors (students, tutor, schools and their countries) should not be indicated on any part of the submitted material. All entries should only indicate the registration code provided by the competition organisers.

The submitted files must not display the author’s, advisor’s, university’s, course’s or school’s name or logo, nor signature of drawings that would allow the identification of the entry.


The following will not be accepted:

  • Entries submitted after the deadline;
  • Entries that do not respect the conditions for anonymity;
  • Entries that violate authors rights of third parties;
  • Proposals with links, animations, videos, animated GIFs, QR codes, Barcodes or features other than still images and text;
  • Presentation of attachments except for those documents required by this document.

Entries that do not meet the requirements set forth in this document or those that in any way contain any kind of irregularity, shall be indicated by the Coordinator of the Competition and submitted to the Jury, which shall decide on its possible disqualification, registering the decision in the Report of the Jury Decision.

Under no circumstances shall competitors participating in this Competition use their participation, at any time, to promote their names or their products, brands and/or services by means of making association with UIA2020RIO; and they are otherwise prohibited from using in any form the UIA2020RIO symbols that are its trademarks.


a. Declaration of Authorship

  1. The team coordinator and members shall confirm their academic affiliation with the educational institution, and the authorship of the project by completing and signing the “Declaration of Authorship” (see Annexe I);
  2. All team members shall be included in the “Declaration of Authorship” as proof of their participation;
  3. Submission of the “Declaration of Authorship” is confirmation of the submitted project and guarantees that the entry does not violate intellectual property rights of any third parties;
  4. The “Declaration of Authorship” shall be duly completed and executed by the student leader or by the tutor, professor or coordinator;
  5. Along with the “Declaration of Authorship”, proof must be submitted that all students are enrolled as undergraduates (PDF upload: student registration or student card).

b. Panels

Entries shall be submitted in four (4) vertical A2 (42.0 cm x 59.4 cm) panels, with up to 30 Mb each panel, in PDF format and in English, inserted into the presentation template (see Annexe II).

c. Graphical requirements

  1. Adoption of the metric system as a reference in the presentation of graphic materials is mandatory.
  2. The presentation is free, and the author is allowed to use any colour, collages, drawing techniques, electronic models etc. The use of graphical scale is recommended, thus allowing better visualization of the project on screen. The competitor must pay attention to the readability of the texts and drawings, so as to allow their perfect comprehension and assessment, as well as the future printing of the panels, in the case of the projects awarded, to be performed by the organization.
  3. Only the photographs provided in Annexe V (of the competition area) may be used, for example, on collages or photomontages background. The use of photographs of the competition area from other sources, even from the author him/herself, may constitute grounds for disqualification. This measure aims to equalize opportunities for all competitors. Photos used from Annexe V, either in their original format or in collages, must indicate the credit of the author of the original photo. The names of the authors are identified in the file name of each image.

Recommendations for submission of panels

Representational modes:
  • Plans;
  • Sections;
  • Elevations;
  • Isometric drawings;
  • Diagrams and visualizations;
  • Models cannot be directly submitted, but photographs of models may be included in the drawing set.

d. Report with description of the concept and the project R

A report with a short description of the entry must be included (up to 3,000 characters with spaces). Such abstract may be submitted for review by the jury and, therefore, it must not be identified with the author’s, advisor’s, university’s, course’s or school’s name, thus respecting the total anonymity requirement in the file submitted.

The report should be uploaded together with the submission of panels and it must be in .RTF format (e.g.: Microsoft Word for Windows OS users or Pages for Mac OS users).

Recommended outline

The project and its concept;
  • Concepts and principles;
  • Innovation and creativity;
  • Integration to the urban context;
  • Landscaping aspects;
  • Environmental and social sustainability (UN SDG’s).


The international jury is composed of 05 (five) official members:

  • Verena Andreatta, Architect, Brazil
  • Alejandro Echeverri, architect, URBAM, Medellin, Colombia
  • Nadia Tromp, Director of UIA Work Programme Community Architecture and Human Rights, South Africa
  • Gustavo Utrabo, Architect, Aleph Zero, Brazil
  • Elkin Velasquez Monsalve, Regional Director of UN-Habitat in Latin America and the Caribbean, UN-Habitat, Colombia

The jury evaluation is final and sovereign; decisions of the jury are not subject to reconsideration by the competition organiser, in whole or in part.


Preliminary examination
The entries submitted shall be examined by the competition organisers, in order to assess their compliance with the submission rules before being formally delivered to the jury at the beginning of the evaluation procedure. The entries will be examined under following aspects:

  • Submission of the entry until the deadline and compliance with the formal requirements;
  • Submission of complementary details of the project presentation.

The jury shall be entitled to accept or reject the findings, allowing or preventing the inclusion of such entries for evaluation in the competition.

Evaluation criteria
The entries shall be evaluated on an integrated basis, with main focus on the whole project submitted. The evaluation criteria mentioned below do not include any hierarchy or elimination nature:

  • Adequacy of the architectural and urban design concept
  • Quality of common use areas
  • Integration between local and urban context
  • Environmental and social sustainability
  • Creativity and innovation of the proposed solutions
  • Potential to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants
  • Pertinence of overall concept

Evaluation process
The evaluation process is divided into two phases.

The first stage will be an assessment of each individual entry in an online platform.

The second stage will be a virtual meeting to allow jurors to discuss and rank the short-listed entries and allocate the three prizes, as well as the honourable mentions.


The competition documents described below will be available for download from the competition website (www.uia2020rio.archi), on the date set in the timetable (see item 11).

Annexe I
  Declaration of Authorship. (1 PDF file - 197KB)
Annexe II
  Presentation template. (4 PDF files - 176KB) Instructions
Annexe III
  Aerial photo. (2 JPG files – High and Low resolution - 648MB)
Annexe IV
  CAD base maps. (1 CAD file - 460KB) R
Annexe V
  Photo Database. (1 ZIP file - 85MB)


02 December 2019 Competition launch and registration opens
30 March 2020 Deadline for registration
20 May 2020 Deadline for questions
28 May 2020 Deadline for answers
30 Jun 2020 Start for submission of projects
30 July 2020 Deadline for submission of projects
03-28 Sept 2020 Jury meeting and evaluation of entries
14 Oct 2020 Announcement of Competition results on web site


The Jury will award 3 prizes and 3 honourable mentions.
First prize: € 3.000,00 + Mido watch
Second prize: € 2.000,00 + Mido watch
Third prize: € 1.000,00 + Mido watch
Honourable mention Demetre Anastassakis: certificate + Mido watch
Honourable mention Roberto Burle Marx: certificate + Mido watch
Honourable mention Luiz Paulo Conde: certificate + Mido watch

No indemnity of any kind will be due to competitors as a result of this Competition or their relevant participation in it.


All competitors as well as members of the Jury, expert consultants, assessors and guests declare, by their participation and involvement in the competition procedure, that they agree to the conditions of participation set forth herein.

The UIA2020RIO and the Organizing Committee are the sole authorities to publish reports and announcements regarding procedural content and details during the preparatory phase, in the Congress and after the publication of the competition results.

All competitors hereby consent to their personal data being stored by the UIA2020RIO in a database for competition procedures. Such consent shall be confirmed upon submission of the “Declaration of Authorship” (Annexe I).

It is reserved to the participants, the authorship of the submitted projects.


The authors will retain their copyright and right to publish their projects. No design, whether or not awarded a prize, may be used wholly or in part by the competition organizers or third parties without the explicit agreement of its author.


Competitors, whether awarded or not, grant the UIA2020RIO Organizing Committee and the IAB the right to, at any time, exhibit and disclose the entries submitted by any disclosure means, without being authors entitled to any remuneration, as well as allow the use of their name(s) and image(s) to advertise this competition and its results in any media organization, without any burden to the parties involved.

Competitors will confirm their consent upon submission of the “Declaration of Authorship” (Attachment I).

Competitors are not allowed to publish their projects before the competitions results are officially announced.


The report of the jury decision shall be made available online on the competition website.

The award ceremony shall take place during the World Congress of Architects - UIA 2020, in Rio de Janeiro. If necessary, the organization will ask the relevant authors of the selected entries for new files according to the rules and deadlines to be provided at the time. The exhibition will be a parallel event to the World Congress of Architects UIA2020RIO. The competitors and the press shall be informed in a timely manner of the opening date, the venue and the duration of the exhibition.


The jury decisions shall be sovereign, unappealable and irrevocable.

The mere submission of the entries implies the tacit acceptance of all the conditions and rules of this regulation and the results of the competition, waiving the author and/or advisor and/or school to any lawsuits, challenges and/or appeals.


Demetre Anastassakis
Demetre Anastassakis (1948-2019) was born in Athens, Greece, moved to Brazil at the age of 8, to the city of Nova Iguaçu, in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro. He graduated from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro - UFRJ in 1973 and has a post-graduation in Urban and Regional Planning from COPPE/UFRJ.

Anastassakis was a great advocate of architecture of social interest. He was president of the IAB-RJ (1994/1995) and the IAB National Board (2004/2006). He worked for the adaptation of historical ruins in Social Interest Housing, in the Historic Center of Salvador, acted as a consultant to the Favela-Bairro Competition and designed various developments for the MCMV housing programme. He participated in the development of Master Plans for several cities such as Nova Iguaçu, Paracambi, Nilópolis, Magé and São João de Meriti. He was also founder of the collective Co.Opera.Ativa. He was a professor at Universidade Santa Ursula and at Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora. Among its architectural production, there is the Conjunto São Francisco, a social housing project in São Paulo, and the redevelopment of the Favela da Maré, Rio de Janeiro, designed under the Favela-Bairro programme initiatives.

Roberto Burle Marx
Roberto Burle Marx (1909–1994) was an internationally renowned landscape architect who gave form to the Brazilian Modern Movement idea of garden and landscape. He was born in São Paulo, but lived most of his life in Rio de Janeiro, where most of his works were built, by the way of a new interpretation of tropical flora. Nonetheless, many of his gardens can be found around the world. Contemporary of Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer, he worked with them on several of their most important projects.

It is worth mentioning his project for the garden terrace for the Gustavo Capanema Building, which is considered a rupture in the Brazilian landscape architecture. Defined by native vegetation and winding forms, the garden (with contemplative and living spaces) had a unique setting in the country and the world. Among many of his awarded works are the gardens for the Ministry of Army, Foreign Affairs Building, Ministry of Education, and Itamaraty Palace, all in Brasilia. The Copacabana promenade, and the Flamengo Park, both in Rio de Janeiro.

Luiz Paulo Conde
Luiz Paulo Fernández Conde (1934-2015) was an architect, urban planner, professor, and politician, whose trajectory is very much involved with the city of Rio de Janeiro. It was during his years in office as mayor of Rio that the widely awarded programmes Rio-Cidade (public space renovation) and Favela-Bairro (favela upgrading) were created and implemented. He graduated in 1959 from the Faculdade Nacional de Arquitetura da Universidade do Brasil (now UFRJ). Founded the office Luiz Paulo Conde e Arquitetos. He was a professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at UFRJ, where he was also Director. He has twice held the presidency of the IAB-RJ - Institute of Architects of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.

He was mayor of the city of Rio de Janeiro from 1997 to 2000. He also held positions in different governments, such as Municipal Secretary of Urbanism, State Secretary of Government Articulation, State Secretary of Environment and Urban Development, and State Secretary of Culture. Conde has a vast architectural production, having showed his work in several exhibitions and has received numerous awards (1963 Instituto dos Arquitetos do Brasil - IAB-Rio; 1987 Prêmio Interieur Forma - II Bienal Internacional de Buenos Aires; 1997 Prêmio Vitruvio 96 - Argentina), among others.


Figure 1: Outline of the project area.


When thinking about urbanism and plural and inclusive cities, we can no longer disregard the territories occupied by self-built housing made by low-income social segments. Such territories, widely known as favelas, are a substantial part of Rio de Janeiro for over a century.

Favelas can be generically defined as informal territories, mainly due to their non-compliance with official (or formal) local urban codes. The prevailing view of a unique, regulated and normative city conflicts with the reality constituted by the growth and expansion of the favelas, posing as a challenge for architects and urbanists in the sense of thinking and proposing another concept of city as a space for differences and diversity.

These are the aspects that future architects and urbanists must consider so they may propose spatial concepts that add innovation to this set of social and cultural diversities. Emphasis must be given to the fact that there are no alternatives to deal with favelas without considering the spatial relationship with its surroundings and the formally built city.

Figure 2: Competition site


The focus area chosen for this idea’s competition comprises a territory along an industrial territory neighbouring the Complexo Maré in Rio de Janeiro. Complexo here means a cluster of favelas, and the Complexo da Maré is one of the largest of these settlements in the city of Rio. In Maré, there are around 140,000 inhabitants, distributed among the 16 existing favelas, with more than 40,000 dwellings with different architectural morphologies, ranging from informal self-built to government-built housing projects.

In the 1940s with the construction of the expressway Avenida Brasil, the first settlements started alongside the highway. Although, the immediate margins of the Avenida Brasil along the Maré are formally occupied by industrial buildings, and warehouses. At the Maré, occupations take place mostly behind that front layer of industrial facilities.

In the 1960s, the dynamics of the area changed. Between the informal settlements, the government started to build housing projects. But these projects, such as the Centro de Habitação Provisória (Provisional Housing Centre), were not created for the local families. Instead, they were made to accommodate families removed from other favelas in Rio de Janeiro from wealthy areas, originally, on a temporary basis. But they became permanent, and Favelas such as Nova Holanda and the Praia de Ramos emerged from those housing projects.

Through time, with the settlement of new families, Maré was consolidated. Local buildings, which are mostly housing, began to be transformed to provide services to the local community. Pubs, cars workshops, bars, beauty salons, grocery shops and other services have made the area a productive territory of the city.

In the last decades, due to the urban expansion process of the metropolis, the industrial businesses along Avenida Brasil have been relocated to the outskirts of the city and, as a result, these large plots occupied by industrial facilities and warehouses have become obsolete or abandoned. This process contrasts with the expansion of Maré in the same period.

Figure 3: Favelas of the Maré Complex and the road axes. The Linha Vermelha expressway, built in the 1990s, cut the Maré’s contact with the Baia de Guanabara. For the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, a wall was installed between the expressway and the Maré).


One can say that the current configuration of the Maré is the result, on the one hand, of the occupation by working families unable to get access to housing in the formal market and, on the other, from the governmental public housing programmes for the low-income population.

However, government investment in these communities has never been sufficient to meet the residents’ needs. In addition to lack of basic sanitation, the health and social care system is precarious and insufficient. There are schools and cultural facilities, however, they are few and their quality is inferior to those found elsewhere in the city. Due to insecurity regarding land property, the local population made an effort to improve housing conditions, replacing fragile wooden houses by dwelling made of bricks.

There is a constant struggle for access to public services. The achievements made were due to the mobilization of the residents in negotiation with the public authorities. It was through the pressure by the residents that, for example, they achieved the paving of roads, access to electricity and street lighting. However, they still lack a number of key services; for example, despite its large population, the Maré still awaits basic services such as post offices and bank agencies.1

Departing from this logic of community organization, the Maré consolidated itself as a territory densely occupied by low-income social groups. Solidarity among relatives, friends and neighbors is what enables community actions and claims to public authorities. Those social groups strive for the right to live in the city.

Maré is seen by the authorities as an economically deprived territory, and as a gray area regarding law or order, and this discriminatory stance directedly influences the police interventions in the area. The residents have been living for over three decades with this vulnerability, which makes urban violence dominate the community’s daily routine. In addition, narcotraffic cartels interfere with territorial control. The war on drugs has resulted in constant police operations and, as a consequence, there are repeated cases of violation of the residents’ rights. Stray bullets, arbitrary raids on homes, arrests without a warrant, summary executions and other transgressions establish an atmosphere of concern and terror in those communities.

Despite such difficulties, the mobilization of the local population has accomplished important political achievements, such as the official recognition of Maré by the city authorities, which represents the success of more than half a century of battle. It is necessary to understand these communities not only for its needs, but also for its potentialities.


The competition site is delimited on one side by Complexo da Maré and by Avenida Brasil on the other. The urban form of Complexo da Maré presents little variation. With a few exceptions, the buildings range from two to five floors, and it is common to find stores on the ground floor on the community’s main access and circulation roads. One element found in almost all these constructions is a rooftop terrace, also known as laje. The role of the laje at the Maré, as in many other favelas in Rio, is fundamental to the residents’ life. The laje represents the possibility of expanding the built area, providing, for example, more space for the family—with a home for adult children, or potential extra income—through renting the surface for other building, as well as leisure area.

From the three major expressways that delimit Maré, Avenida Brasil is the most important regarding access public transportation. The history of the Avenida Brasil is directly connected to the city of Rio de Janeiro’s process of expansion towards the old rural areas, and it was designed to be a road axis to serve the industrial expansion. Along Avenida Brasil, there are also several public housing estates, industries, military areas, gas stations and auto repair shops, among other uses.

The Avenida Brasil absorbs an important portion of the city’s communal mobility. Along the area that borders Maré, the expressway is, on average, 70 meters wide with total of 10 lines, with two to three local service lanes with public transportation, and, two to three express car lanes on each side. In addition, a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) express corridor is currently under construction. In the competition designated area, between Parque União and Linha Amarela, two BRT stations are planned. The expected demand for this corridor is 900,000 passengers/day. 2 Upon the implementation of the system, the travel time saved is estimated to be around 40%. Besides public transport, 220,000 private vehicles circulate each day on this road. 3

By being next to Avenida Brasil, residents have access to many parts of the city, and the pedestrian flow from the footbridges and bus stops is an important factor that defines the hierarchy of Maré's internal streets. The streets Rua Teixeira Ribeiro, Rua Sargento Silva Nunes and Rua Bittencourt Sampaio are the three main streets to access Maré from Avenida Brasil. These streets connect Avenida Brasil to Rua Principal, which is the only street that crosses all favelas. These crossroads are important local centralities, with a vast offer of services and internal transportation, with minibuses and moto-taxis. These streets are the continuation of the industrial and warehouse street grid. The inner urban fabric is made up of narrow and irregular streets that can be defined by a constant negotiation between informal vendors, pedestrians, motorcycles and cars.


Considering the problems raised regarding the competition site – such as the relationship between Maré and the city, its proximity with Avenida Brasil, the lack of basic infrastructure, precarious housing standards and the problems generated from the poor quality of streets crossing the site – the competition invite students to propose innovative interventions considering the following aspects (but not restricted to):

  • The integration between Maré and the rest of the city, where the competition site could function as an interface, or as an articulator between the two areas.
  • The immediate relationship between competition site and Avenida Brasil, with proposals for new connections, and crossings. The plots on the opposite side of Avenida Brasil can be used for these interventions.
  • There are no restrictions concerning the use or programmes to be proposed for the competition site.
  • Regarding the site occupation, students may propose interventions covering the entire defined area, or a fraction of the site, which may be on the scale of the bloc, or the corner.
  • Take into consideration the UN SDGs.

The key challenge of this competition proposed by the International Union of Architects 2020 Congress is to find innovative solutions for a sustainable urbanization of these territories while increasing the quality of the built environment and improving the quality of life of its inhabitants. It is therefore expected that the proposals present new approaches in an effort of urban and social integration. In other words, spreading the vitality of the favelas, and benefiting from the potential of its surroundings.

Figure 4: Competition site. R


Revised in Dec 16th, 2019


Revised in Jan 22nd, 2020


Revised in Mar 30th, 2020



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