Stage 1: Enter
Steps to Enter
- Meet the Eligibility Requirements.
- Write a 500-word proposal for an essay on this year's Essay Question, as posted.
- Provide one photograph each of your chosen projects.
- Submit the essay and photographs online.
- The competition is open to all current full-time registered students in an undergraduate architecture degree program or undergraduates majoring in architecture in accredited schools of architecture worldwide. Diploma in Architecture students who have not yet completed their Diploma are also eligible.
- Essays must be submitted in English.
- Finalists will be required to provide proof of current registration in the form of copies of actual school transcripts. You are still eligible to compete if you were an undergraduate student on September 15, 2018, but graduate before the awards are scheduled to be given.
Two students (maximum) who meet the eligibility requirements above may collaborate as authors. An architecture student may team up with another undergraduate in architecture, landscape architecture, urban studies, arts and humanities, the social sciences, or engineering. If two students collaborate, then both names must appear on their essay and if awarded a prize, the prize is to be equally shared.
You are asked to include digital photographs of your two selected buildings with your essay. The photographs should be at a minimum 500 pixels wide, and in .jpg format. No more than two photographs will be accepted. You can use a digital camera, a film camera (and scan the printed image), or capture the image on a cell phone. The photographs should be as informative as possible in order to enable those reading the essays to determine how well you have described your subject matter. The Readers are instructed NOT to add or detract points from their evaluation because of the quality of the photograph itself. To the contrary, one of the primary purposes of the essay format is to test your skill in describing a place or building in words, rather then pictures or drawings. As with the Readers, use the photographs to continually review how good a job you have done in describing your selected building(s) or places in words.
Judging for the essay competition is on a numeric system. The members of the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee are asked to evaluate each essay in terms of the following criteria:
- Does the Proposal address the Question?
- How creative, or creatively developed, is the Proposal?
- Would the Proposal be clear to a broad audience?
- How does the Proposal rank in terms of writing style?
- How socially significant is the Proposal?
- What is the potential for developing this Proposal into a strong essay?
Each criterion is given a score of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest). The top approximately 25 scoring Proposals become Semifinalists.
There is a total prize of 25,000USD, minimum 7,500USD first prize. The remaining purse is to be allocated at the discretion of the Jury.
|September 15, 2018
||Launch of 2019 Essay Competition.
|November 1, 2018
||(Stage One) 500-word essay proposal due.
||Essay Semifinalists announced.
|February 1, 2019
||(Stage Two) Essay Semifinalists' 2,500-word essays due.
|February 8, 2019
||Launch of Travel Fellowship Competition for Essay Semifinalists.
||Essay Finalists announced.
|March 12, 2019
||Travel Fellowship Entries Due.
||Essay winners and Travel Fellowship winners Announced.
By submitting your essay, you give the BERKELEY PRIZE the nonexclusive, perpetual right to reproduce the essay or any part of the essay, in any and all media at the BERKELEY PRIZE’s discretion. A “nonexclusive” right means you are not restricted from publishing your paper elsewhere if you use the following attribution that must appear in that new placement: “First submitted to and/or published by the Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence (www.BerkeleyPrize.org) in competition year 20(--) (and if applicable) and winner of that year’s (First, Second, Third…) Essay prize.” Finally, you warrant the essay does not violate any intellectual property rights of others and indemnify the BERKELEY PRIZE against any costs, loss, or expense arising out of a violation of this warranty.
Registration and Submission
You will be asked to complete a short registration form which will not be seen by members of the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee or Jury.
Blocked drains, Almora, India, 2017. Highlighting the problem of waste management and a potential threat in case of excessive rainfall. Photo credit: Neelakshi Joshi
The Bullitt Center, Seattle, USA., 2013. The Bullitt Center is one of the greenest commercial buildings in the world. It is also the first urban infill projects to pursue and to receive a "Living Building" certification from the Interational Living Future Institute. The roof "prow" allows for an extended array of photovoltaic panels allowing the building to produce more electricity then it uses. Architect: Miller Hull. Photo credit: Brad Kahn ( http://www.bullittcenter.org/; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullitt_Center)
The Bullitt Center, Seattle, USA. Designed to have a 250-year lifespan, the building was also constucted without the use of common toxic building materials. It was the first mass timber building constructed in Seattle in 80 years. Photo credit: Brad Kahn (http://www.bullittcenter.org/; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullitt_Center)
The Bullitt Center, Seattle, USA. The rooftop solar panel array. The building also features an onsite rainwater-to-potable water system, an onsite composting toilet system, and 26 geothermal wells extending 120 m (400 feet) into he ground that help heat the building in the winter and cool it in summer. Photo credit: Brad Kahn (http://www.bullittcenter.org/; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullitt_Center)
Soso House, Leh, India. Designed and built by: Sonam Wangchuck and Neelakshi Joshi, 2016. Combining local earth and solar resources to address housing needs in a cold desert region. Photo credit: Neelakshi Joshi.
Flux.Land is a geospatial risk and planning platform developed for Broward County, Florida by the University of Toronto's Daniels Faculty + MIT Urban Risk Lab. The Platform helps visualize various distinct elements of the built and natural environment, land use code and policy, in relation to climate risk and vulnerabilities. Image courtesy of Fadi Masoud. (https://www.urbanrisklab.org/fluxlad/)
Flux.Land, Broward County, Florida, USA. "Our goal is to design and develop a web-based tool for Broward County to understand the potential adaptability of the urban fabric to manage the dynamic hydrological condition in the face of increased vulnerability due to climate change." Image courtesy of Fadi Masoud. (https://www.urbanrisklab.org/fluxlad/)
Housing Project, Auroville, India. Building designed and built by: Auroville Earth Institute, 2012. A 17-unit housing project built using compressed earth blocks. An example of low cost and low carbon footprint housing. Photo credit: Neelakshi Joshi
The Floating Village, Kompong Khleang, Cambodia. This village is a striking example of vernacular flood adaptation, and potentially a model for low-lying areas where climate change is resulting in increased flooding. Photo credit: Yohann Legrand. (http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150915-where-houses-are-designed-to-float)
The Floating Village, Kompong Khleang, Cambodia. This fishing village sits on the Tonle Sap Lake that historically rises as much as five-fold during the rainy season. Houses are built both on stilts and as floating habitats. Photo credit: Yohann Legrand. (http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150915-where-houses-are-designed-to-float)
Old City of Shibam, Yemen. This 16th century city of towers in the Wadi is an outstanding example of density and natural climate control. The city is on the United Nations World Heritage Danger List. Built of mud and located in a flood prone area, the city "remains at severe risk of major damage unless necessary preventive measures are taken...[involving] the conservation and use of Shibam oases, which are considered as the buffer zone of the property." Photo credit: Will De Freitas. (https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/192)
Old City of Shibam, Yemen. From the World Heritage listing: "Abandonment of the old agricultural flood management system in the wadi, the overloading of the traditional sanitary systems by the introduction of modern water supply combined with inadequate drainage, together with changes in the livestock management have all contributed to the decay of the city." Photo credit: Twiga_Swala
Water Tank, Rweru Green Village, Rwanda, 2016. Rwanda's Green Fund invested in Rweru Green Village by providing water tanks, including this one which is connected to mains water to serve the community in times of drought. Photo Credit: Rwanda Green. (http://www.fonerwa.org/)
Boston’s Resiliency Districts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism at MIT introduced a working concept of “resilient districts” for urban areas that are vulnerable to climate impacts. Resilient Districts include four central tenets 1) protecting critical infrastructure, 2) thickening regional soft systems, 3) transferring density to less vulnerable areas, and 4) encouraging landscape-based land uses in low laying areas. Image courtesy of Fadi Masoud. (http://lcau.mit.edu/)
Shallow Dome Residence, Kalyani (near Kolkata), India. Designed by: Laurent Fournier. This is a unique example where a formal architectural project has incorporated incredible innovations taking place outside the professional world to help improve environmental performance of formal construction industry. "Shallow dome roofing" developed by informal masons from a village in northern India have made it possible to reduce use of steel and cement in building construction lowering its carbon footprint. Photo credit: Avikal Somvanshi
Rainwater tank, Jalna, India. Designed by and built by: Neelakshi Joshi, 2018. Preparing for water variability by enabling houses to be water sufficient. Photo credit: Neelakshi Joshi.
Ladder House, Auroville, India. Designed and built by: Avikal Somvanshi and Manu Gopalan, 2012. A fast-track eco-friendly dis-mountable housing prototype that can be used to provide semi-temporary housing post-natural disaster in tropical regions. Built by unskilled volunteers using bamboo ladders, coconut-coir ropes and recycled tetrapak sheets on a retired tracker-trolley the structure has been use since. Photo credit: Avikal Somvanshi.
Bing Image Search: "Climate resilient architecture"
Hunnarshala Foundation Office, Bhuj, Gujarat, India. Designed and built by: Sandeep Virmani and Kiran Vaghela. The campus is living laboratory of innovation and experiments with traditional building techniques and modern lifestyle requirements. The campus is splattered with examples how age-old construction practices can be brought to speed and help address the resource and resilience issues especially in rural areas. Photo credit: Avikal Somvanshi.
Understanding community perceptions and preparations for a variable climate, 2017. Fieldwork conducted in emergent urban settlements of the Himalayas. Photo credit: Neelakshi Joshi.
Google Image Search: "Architecture and climate resistant buildings"
Condominium 1 at the Sea Ranch, California, USA. Designed by: Donlyn Lyndon,. A wind-protected courtyard. Photo credit: Donlyn Lyndon.
The Bowsprit House at the Sea Ranch, CA, USA. Designed by: Donlyn Lyndon FAIA, with Tomas Frank and Associates, Architects. Wind-sheltered courtyard with tower to gather light into the rooms of the house from all directions, and shading for south facing windows in the living spaces. Photo credit: Donlyn Lyndon.
Flickr Image Search: "Climate resilient architecture"