Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition

Theme of the 44th Competition  A Community Gathering Place

The theme of this year's competition is architecture for a new type of community gathering place. It should be neither a conventional community center of the type commissioned by local governments, nor a completely informal space of the type that appears spontaneously. It should be a place where residents can gather to meet their fellow citizens and enjoy a richly fulfilling sense of community.
The modern community center was premised on the idea that local communities are the permanent homes of most of their residents. In that context, the community center was intended to function as the core of the local social network. But this idea didn't work. As society became more mobile, the falling percentage of permanent residents led to dispersion and diversity. Instead of returning to their neighborhoods, people shifted the focus of their social lives to alumni meetings, coworker gatherings, and interest groups. With the spread of information technology, mobile phones and e-mail became the primary means of communication, resulting in restricted opportunities for face-to-face contact.
Recently, however, the average age of the population is increasing and many communities have gained more permanent residents. People are looking for a place to share with the neighbors that they greet on the street every day. This is the birth of a new kind of social order. In contrast to the orderly mechanisms of theory, it is emerging in new and unexpected ways.
Is there anything that architecture can do to support these new developments? We would like applicants to approach the theme from the standpoint of contemporary requirements and to propose community gathering places which, while sidestepping distinctions between public and private, will represent solutions to the constraints and opportunities of the local communities where they are located.
We expect the proposals to differ in scale, conception, and execution. Some will be for small towns, and others for the residents of urban districts. Some will be for new towns, and other for mature neighborhoods. Different requirements will naturally call for different responses. Unlike community centers designed according to the conventional view of modern society, they will lack a single set of defining characteristics. But we do expect each proposal to be an attractive space in its own right.
We would like applicants to propose community gathering spaces that meet the requirements of specific places, scales, and mechanisms, approaching the theme from the standpoint of architectural solutions for the present and the future.

Application Information

Sponsor, Co-sponsor

Central Glass Co., Ltd.
Shinkenchiku-sha Co., Ltd.

Judges, Coordinator

  • Toyo Ito (Toyo Ito & Associates, Architect)
  • Masaru Okamoto (Kume Sekkei Co., Ltd.)
  • Riken Yamamoto (Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop)
  • Kiyoshi Sakurai (Nikken Sekkei Co., Ltd.)
  • Taro Ashihara (Taro Ashihara Architects)
  • Kengo Kuma (Kengo Kuma & Associates)
  • Kunito Takahashi (Executive Managing Officer, Central Glass Co., Ltd.)
Shozo Baba (Architectural Communication Consultant Ltd.)


First Place
one / ¥2,000,000 and a commemorative gift
Second Place
two / ¥300,000 and a commemorative gift, each
Honorable Mention
four / ¥100,000 and a commemorative gift, each
Special Prize
ten / ¥50,000

* First Place, Second Place, and Honorable Mention prizes awarded to entries that pass initial screening

* All prize money tax included

Initial Screening

The following must be included with your application: Floor plan, cross section, site plan (at any scale), and perspective diagram or photo of model.
You are free to add charts, diagrams and descriptive text to help describe your proposal. Descriptive texts must be within 100 words.
Complete all drawings, illustrative matter, and texts on one sheet of thick drawing paper (600mm×840mm). You may use blueprint, pencil, ink, color, and photographs. But do not use panels.
On the back of your entry attach a piece of paper bearing your name, address, age, telephone or fax number, and e-mail address. Also indicate the name, address, and telephone or fax number of your school or place of employment.
In the case of group applications, provide the same information and indicate one individual as the representative of the group.
Address entries to
Dept. of Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2009, Shinkenchiku-sha Co., Ltd.
2-31-2 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8501, Japan
*If any of the above is omitted, your entry will not be accepted.
* Applications from Japan must be submitted by mail and postmarked on or before August 3 (Monday), 2009. In person and courier applications will not be accepted.
* Applications from overseas countries must also be submitted by mail and must arrive at the competition office no later than August 3 (Monday), 2009.
The results of the initial screening will be announced in early September by notifications sent to applicants who have passed the screening and by an announcement on the competition website.

Initial Screening

Competition prizes will be decided by final screening of the seven highest ranking proposals from the initial screening. Final screening will consist of interviews with the winning applicants and presentations of their proposals. Both will be open to public. Final screening will be held open October 31 (Saturday), 2009.
The results of the final screening will be announced in the December 2009 issue of Shinkenchiku and in issue No. 76 of JA.

Additional Information

  • Entries must not have been previously published in any form.
  • Entries should not be submitted simultaneously to any other competition.
  • Registration in advance is not required to participate in the competition.
  • The sponsors will not answer questions regarding competition regulations. All matters not covered in these regulations are left to the discretion of the entrants.
  • Travel expenses will be paid to winners of the initial screening to enable them to participate in the final screening. Travel expenses will be covered for one representative from each Japanese group, and ¥100,000 paid to one representative from each overseas group. Payment will be made after conclusion of the final screening.
  • Copyright to the winning entries will remain the property of their designers, but the sponsors of the competition reserve the right to publish the entries in magazines and other media.
  • Competition entries must not infringe the copyright of any other work, either in whole or in part. Do not use images from magazines, books, or web sites. If a copyright infringement is found, prize winning proposals will be disqualified.
  • Entries will not be returned. If required, make copies for your own use before submitting your entry.
  • Failure to follow any of the competition rules will result in disqualification.
  • Personal information submitted in connection with this competition may be shared by the competition organizers and sponsors for competition purposes only. Personal information will not be sold or provided to any third party.