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The visionary biennial architecture award for the best up and coming architects now.

Designed to celebrate and promote the architectural stars of the future, the Unfair Architect Award yet again showcases a unique cross-over between current architecture and contemporary art.

The award is the tender for the exhibition design of Unfair™, our sixth exhibition of contemporary artists in spring/summer 2022 in Amsterdam. Over 35 up and coming artists present their latest work in solo-presentations, showing a unique overview of the most recent developments in contemporary art in the Netherlands.

This year, for the very first time, we host an open call for the Award. The award is specifically focused on emerging practices. We encourage all architects active in the first 10 years of their practice to submit their portfolio. Keep an eye out for updates on submitting your portfolio and news about our expert jury in the coming weeks!

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With the no nonsense promise of direct commission and talent development, the Unfair Architect Award sets out to find the most inspiring design, bringing Unfair™ to another level.

In search for a design in which the adventurous, exciting thrill of visiting large- scale exhibitions is combined with the more intimate experience of the over 35 individual art presentations, the Unfair Architect Award challenges the boundaries of architecture as subservient and focuses on designs with autonomous quality. By reflecting new ways of experiencing art, the design becomes a piece of art itself and therefore could be considered the most substantial artwork on show at the event.

Unfair™ is a museum concept focused on putting the artist first, contributing to a fair art community where you can discover and buy art directly from the maker. This hybrid format combines aspects of an art fair, large scale exhibitions and museum quality art to a space artists can comfortably inhibit.

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Location
Traditionally, Unfair will be held at the Zuiveringshal. This large industrial hall is known as the heart of the old gas factory that the Westergasfabriek once was. Dating from 1885, this 1200m2, 18m high hall is where originally the huge boilers that purified the gas were located. With only the explosion relief roof as a remaining relic from the past, the otherwise empty hall serves a perfect location for substantial architectural designs.

Previous winners

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Architect duo Unknown Architects have won the Unfair Architect Award 2019/20 with their design ‘Collage City’.
In their victory, Unknown Architects bested two other shortlisted designs by IWT and Office CCXD.

Unknown Architects was founded by Daan Vulkers (1991) and Keimpke Zigterman (1986). In their practice, they strive for a refined architecture with an eye for detail and context. They aim to create great spaces for their clients by means of specific and clear interventions, and a good sense of structure, detail and materiality. Unknown Architects is an office where the work, the architecture, comes first. Built works include interiors of private houses, store interiors and stage designs and have been widely published and exhibited among which in the Deutsches Architektur Museum in Frankfurt and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp.

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‘Collage City’, which features four different areas that each was inspired by visionary urban planning from the past, was chosen by our panel of judges. The design will be brought to life in July 2020 during Unfair™. On the winning design the jury stated the following:

“The jury believes the design ‘Collage City’, by designer duo Unknown Architects, to be strong and to speak of museum quality and a good sense of spaciousness. The large variations that are possible in the various individual presentation rooms are an extension of a strong concept and guarantee a playful walk-through for visitors.”

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Tomas Dirrix

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Donna van Milligen Bielke

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Arna Mackic and Lorien Beijaert (Studio L.A.)