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Site Cloister International Architecture Ideas Competition

Site Cloister International Architecture Ideas Competition is now open for entries!

Site Cloister International Architecture Ideas Competition

ARKxSITE is pleased to announce the new edition of ‘SITE CLOISTER’, international architecture ideas competition for architecture students and young professionals.


The SITE CLOISTER is an international one-stage ideas architecture competition that 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 Cloister located near the ‘Aldeia da Mata’ dolmen, in Crato, Alentejo, Portugal.


The Aldeia da Mata dolmen is a landmark of great cultural heritage and historical significance with characteristics that must be fully preserved.

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 megalithic monument, while providing visitors with a unique experience.

The Site Cloister aims to create a museological path to enhance the historical significance and contemplative nature of the Aldeia da Mata dolmen. It is an intimate and secluded place between the natural landscape and the inner courtyard where the megalithic monument becomes a powerful scenery. A sequence of spaces, above and / or below ground, welcome visitors and provide shade while stimulating movement between open-air and / or enclosed spaces and outdoor environments.

The overall design of the Site Cloister must be sensitive to the megalithic monument. There are no limitations in height or excavation. The spaces of the Site Cloister can be open and / or enclosed to the natural elements. Area of the Site Cloister spaces may be increased / altered according to the design proposal. Because this is an ideas competition, urban planning and building regulations will not be applied to the design proposal.


• Entrance - (Areas to be determined by each participant’s design proposal)
Provide a space of transition to welcome visitors and articulate the access from the natural landscape to the ‘Site Cloister’.

• Permanent exhibition - 120 m2
The permanent exhibition provides visitors with detailed information about the origin of Megalithism in the region and the megalithic dolmen (brochures, books, historic documents, video projections, etc) while displaying archaeological artifacts found within the burial chamber (bone fragments, potsherds and artifacts); spaces can be combined and/or separated.

• Multi-purpose space - 70 m2
Provide an area to accommodate temporary exhibitions, seminars and lectures, including a variety of seating arrangements.

• Administration office - 20 m2
Provide an area for 2 administrative staff members of the ‘Site Cloister’.

• Meeting room - 30 m2
Provide an area for conducting internal meetings for personnel and researchers.

• Research office/s - 40 m2
Provide an area for research activities related to the origin of Megalithism in this region.

• Archive for archaeological artifacts - 50 m2
Provide an area designated for storing and archiving archaeological artifacts found in the region.

• Classroom / Workshops - 60 m2
Area for diverse educational activities related to the Megalithism.

• Gift shop - 40 m2
Provide an area where books, exhibition catalogues and souvenirs are sold.

• Cafe - 60 m2
Provide an indoor / outdoor cafe with 16 indoor seats and 20 outdoor seats.

• Restrooms - 20 m2
Provide public restrooms.

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

• Mechanical / electrical room - 15 m2
Provide an area for mechanical and electrical equipment.

2. INNER COURTYARD - (Areas to be determined by each participant’s design proposal)

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

Evaluation criteria:

Originality and quality of the proposals design vision
Responsiveness of the proposal to the competition's objectives
Appropriateness to the site and it's context
Quality and clarity of the presentation

Entry fees:

• Early registration period ( July 08 - September 09, 2019) - 60 Euros + VAT
• Regular registration period (September 10 - October 10, 2019) - 75 Euros + VAT
• Late registration period ( October 11 - October 21, 2019) - 90 Euros + VAT


This competition is dedicate to architecture students and young professionals (≤ 40 years old).


The following prizes will be awarded:

1st Prize 2000€
2nd Prize 1000€
3rd Prize 500€
7 Honorable Mentions

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