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.

Unfair proudly presents the third instalment of our visionary biennial architecture award for the best up and coming architects of today. 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. Our open call is now closed for submissions, the deadline was May 21st.

Round 1

All submitted portfolio’s must have a maximum of 20 pages and include a resume and a short bio (max 300 words). Make sure your portfolio is combined into 1 pdf and does not exceed 10MB.

Round 2

Our jury will nominate three participants who will be given the opportunity to propose a design for the next Unfair™. During the sketch phase they will be briefed and guided by Unfair on the conditions for the design. A compensation for each participant has been reserved for the sketch round.

Round 3

The three short-listers then pitch their concept design to the jury. In this final round, the jury will choose one winner who will be awarded the Unfair Architect Award 2021-22. The winner will receive a fee to further develop their design for the next Unfair™.

Jury 21/22

We have put together an expert jury of professionals from different corners of the industry, who will assess the submissions and select three short-listers for the next round.


Afaina de Jong
(owner AFARAI, architecture agency)


Pascal Cornips
(partner Benthem Crouwel Architects)


Marieke Giele
(vakredacteur de Architect)


Daan Vulkers & Keimpke Zigterman (owners Unknown Architects)


Peter van der Es & Adam Nillissen (founders Unfair)

The Unfair Architect Award yet again showcases a unique cross-over between current architecture and contemporary art.

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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 inhabit.

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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

Unknown Architects

For “Collage City” Unknown Architects were inspired by four visionary urban plans from the past. Unfair™ was characterized by four unique areas, each with its own character: coulisses, light-air-space, square and superstructure.

Atelier Tomas Dirrix

The design of Unfair18, “Four Walls”,by Tomas Dirrix is based on the origins of the ‘fair’ as an spontaneously built extension of public life. Four folded walls, each of nearly hundred meters long form the overall scenography.

Donna van Milligen Bielke

“Unfair Spaces” by Donna van Milligen Bielke was the spacial design for Unfair16. A number of walls, varying in thickness, seemingly randomly positioned, divide the big hall into a non-hierarchical arrangement of empty spaces of various size.

Arna Mačkić and Lorien Beijaert (Studio L A)

Arna Mačkić and Lorien Beijaert designed Unfair14. Visitors could fluently move through the space while the triangular walls contiguously created open and closed spaces, it was a combination between an art installation and a functional art fair.