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Registrations are open to ARKxSITE's Site Monastery competition in Cape Espichel, Portugal

Portugal Architecture News - Nov 5, 2019 - 16:19   1835 views

Registrations are open to ARKxSITE's Site Monastery competition in Cape Espichel, Portugal

ARKxSITE is pleased to announce the SITE MONASTERY international architecture ideas competition for architecture students and young professionals. Registration is now open

The Site Monastery is a place of solitude and contemplation, a secluded space for inner reflection and a platform for meditation. The quietness and stillness within monastic walls and the powerful natural scenery provide a profound and immersive experience within a serene atmosphere. A sequence of spaces stimulate movement between open and / or enclosed spaces and outdoor environments.


This international one-stage architecture ideas competition invites all architecture students, young architects and young professionals with a degree in architecture studies (≤ 40 years old) to develop and submit compelling ideas for the design of a Site Monastery located at the São Domingos da Baralha Fortress, in Cape Espichel, Portugal.

The São Domingos da Baralha Fortress is a historical landmark located within a remarkable place, a powerful natural scenery where the remains of the Fortress and the steep cliffs are prominent features within this setting.

When generating a vision for an intervention located within such a spectacular place, it is essential that each design proposal emphasises, respects and celebrates the site and existing ruins, while providing a unique and memorable experience.


1. Site Monastery

Entrance _ * m2
Provide a space of transition between the natural landscape and the ‘Site Monastery’.

‘Inner Space’ _ * m2
Provide a place of reflection and meditation, an intimate space for introspection and a moment of silence and solitude to enhance the contemplative nature of the Monastery and the experience of the place. This is the main space of the Site Monastery and it can be a singular space or a sequence of spaces, open and / or enclosed to the natural elements.

Look-out point _ * m2
Provide a look-out point, an outdoor area to rest and engage with the landscape, cliffs and the ocean while enhancing the sensitive experience of place; a water feature may be introduced into the design of the ‘Site Monastery’.

Dormitory (4-8 cells) _ * m2
Provide a place of stillness and profound tranquility, a secluded space to rest and sleep.

Rest rooms _ 30 m2
Provide restrooms next to the dormitory cells.

Dining room _ 40 m2
Provide a gathering place for the daily communal meals. An area with a basin for hand-washing should be provided before entering the dining room.

Kitchen _ 20 m2
Provide a space next to the dining room for cooking and food preparation.

Meeting room _ * m2
Provide an intimate gathering space for meetings and reading; spaces can be combined and / or separated.

Storage room _ 15 m2
Provide an area for storing maintenance equipment.

* Areas to be determined by each participant’s design proposal.

Total area of the Site Monastery to be determined by each participant’s proposal.

(suggestion: 200 - 250m2)

For detailed competition info, download the competition brief


The jury panel will be announced soon.


1st Prize: 2000€ (two thousand euros)

2nd Prize: 1000€ (one thousand euros)

3rd Prize: 500€ (five hundred euros)

7 Honorable Mentions


All submissions will be published on the ArkxSite website.  
All reasonable efforts will be made to publish and promote the winners and honorable mentions in architectural magazines and blogs worldwide; however, such results will rely on agreements made with the publication entities.


Competition Opening: November 01, 2019

Early Registration Period: November 01 - December 20, 2019

Regular Registration Period: December 21 - January 31, 2020 

Late Registration Period: February 01 - February 10, 2020

Submission Deadline: February 15, 2020

Jury Evaluation: March 06 - March 20, 2020

Competition Results: April 24, 2020

Top image courtesy of ARKxSITE

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