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RIBA International Awards

RIBA International Awards 2021

Due to international concern about the spread of the coronavirus, all international judging is currently postponed. Entrants have been informed. You can read more about our advice on the COVID-19 outbreak, and check our advice and guidance for those working internationally.

Our global architecture awards champion buildings that change the world. RIBA Awards are judged by a diverse, highly respected panel of international experts in their fields (architects and non-architects) as well as the RIBA's governing body for awards, the Awards Group. The awards include:

  • The RIBA International Awards for Excellence
  • The Emerging Architect Prize
  • The RIBA International Prize

The shortlists for the RIBA International Prize and RIBA International Emerging Architect are selected from the RIBA International Awards for Excellence winning buildings.

Grand Jury

The 2021 RIBA International Prize Grand Jury will be led by world-renowned multidisciplinary French architect and urban planner, Odile Decq, with:

  • Es Devlin OBE, acclaimed artist and stage designer
  • Jeanne Gang, Founder of Studio Gang, headquartered in Chicago 
  • Rossana Hu, Founding Partner of Shanghai based international architecture firm Neri&Hu
  • Gustavo Utrabo, Winner of the 2018 RIBA International Prize and Emerging Architect Prize
International Prize 2020 jury

Meet the International Prize Grand Jury

Grand Jury Chair

The Grand Jury for the 2021 RIBA International Awards is led by world-renowned multidisciplinary French architect and planner, Odile Decq. Gaining international recognition in 1990 for her first major commission: La Banque Populaire de l’Ouest in Rennes, France, she has since been committed to diversifying and radicalising her research. Odile Decq won the Jane Drew Prize in 2016 for her innovation, diversity and inclusiveness in architecture, and has received fellowships from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Odile Decq: “The RIBA International Prize has an incredibly important focus – to discover the best architecture for a better life – and I look forward to travelling the world to find a worthy winner”

Odile Decq

Benefits to Entering

These awards set a new global standard for architecture and are open to any qualified architect or architectural practice. Our fully inclusive awards celebrate emerging architects, small projects with limited budgets as well as larger scale projects.

Winning a RIBA International Award gives practices unparalleled global peer and industry recognition and high-profile exposure through RIBA’s channels, local, national and international media.

Nationally and Internationally, RIBA’s awards are the ones to win. The judging is formidably rigorous adhering to RIBA’s standards of excellence and architectural heritage; with projects visited by our expert jury panels to truly ascertain their design, quality and impact on their community and environment.

Entries for the RIBA International Awards 2021 are now closed.


“The RIBA International Prize is such a beautiful and well- done prize. I hope it continues as long as possible because it gives hope, and this is important for any generation. I think more than anything, it provides the hope to keep doing our profession which can be super challenging and so these kinds of moments really help.”

Gustavo Utrabo - Aleph Zero 2018 International Prize Winners

Entry Criteria

International Awards are open to any qualified architect. You will need to provide evidence of the project director’s membership of an organisation such as the RIBA, or registration with an architecture registration board. If you are not a member of any such organisation, we will need details of your qualification certificate and the academic institute you graduated from.

View our requirements for entry.

International Awards Timeline

RIBA International Awards entry process chart

Judging Criteria

Architectural integrity

  • capacity to stimulate, engage and delight its occupants, visitors and passers-by
  • design vision – is this reflected in all aspects of the design?
  • extent of innovation, invention and originality
  • selection of materials and rigour with which it is detailed
  • size/space, in terms of the special experience it offers
  • architectural and conceptual ambition

Usability and context

  • has it made a significant contribution to its immediate environment?
  • response to the issues of accessibility and other social factors
  • suitability of its structural and servicing systems
  • generous contribution to the public realm or environment

Delivery and execution

  • complexity of brief/degree of difficulty – its architectural ambition and ideas
  • fitness for purpose, especially in response to the clients brief as reflected in the level of client satisfaction
  • timetable – the project should not have gone over time without good cause
  • type of contract e.g. traditional, design & build etc
  • value for money – budget


  • environmental and economic
  • response to sustainability statement - data provided and observations of the sustainability advisor
  • An award-winning project should be capable of enduring as a fine work of architecture throughout its working life

Global Media partners

CNN Style logo

Dezeen logo

Wallpaper logo

ArchDaily logo


ArchDaily | Global Partner
Since 2008, the world’s most visited architecture website, ArchDaily serves as main source of architectural knowledge and inspiration for people all around the globe. Publishing up-to-date information on latest architectural projects and solutions, ArchDaily is proud to help build better homes and cities and be a useful tool on the way to a better world.


CNN Style | International News Partner
We are delighted to be partnering again with CNN Style for the International Prize. Their truly international reach and broad public audience elevates the promotion of this Prize, the projects chosen and the architects behind them, to audiences all round the world.

Dezeen | Professional Partner
This year we are working with Dezeen, as our professional partner, bringing their critical eye and pioneering editorial voice in the architecture and design community to bear on this prestigious award.

Wallpaper* | Lifestyle Partner
We are pleased to be working again with Wallpaper* as our lifestyle partner, having worked with Wallpaper* in 2016* to host a panel discussion at the Venice Biennale and to explore the intersection between architecture and design - Wallpaper* offer a creative take and personal insight on the human face of the industry and help us to convey the role buildings have to play in everyday life.


Union Internationale des Architectes logoAssociation of European Architects logoIndia Design Forum logo

The RIBA International Prize is in association with the Union Internationale des Architectes (UIA) and the India Design Forum, a pioneering initiative to promote innovative design thinking in India. The Prize is also in collaboration with Architects' Council of Europe (ACE), and our counterpart organisations around the globe.

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