The WAN AWARDS 21 for 21 category is a major international competition now in its third year, an initiative aiming to highlight 21 architects who could be the leading lights of architecture in the 21st century. Outstanding, forward-thinking people and organisations who have the demonstrable potential to be the next big thing in the architectural world.


Any qualified architect may enter the WAN AWARDS 21 for 21 category 2013.

Architects are invited to submit examples of their work for assessment by a distinguished panel of leading international architects and prominent figures from the world of design and development.

This work may be from any sector including Education, Healthcare, Civic, Transport, Commercial, Retail, Residential and Interiors & Design.

Judging criteria

The jury will judge entries on a number of factors including originality, innovation, form and special quality, sustainability and context. They will also be looking for individuals that manage to incorporate fresh ideas and forward thinking into their designs whilst still keeping within the boundaries of commercial viability and sustainability. Another key factor will be the quality of the presentation; how the architect conveys his or her ideas to the panel will be seen as a vital communication skill.


The WAN AWARDS are gaining interest from local, national and international media around the world and have increasingly become the talking point of the global architectural community - a fact proven by visitors to the WAN website, which attracts over two million page impressions per month.

The selected architects will be featured prominently in WAN News Review, and a press pack will sent to the winners enabling them to generate even more exposure in their locality. Past winners have reported that the WAN AWARDS' high profile and the publicity they have received have contributed noticeably to their business success.

Benefits of entering

As we have developed the awards over the years, we have also tailored the news on the site to be sector-specific, which in turn promotes the winning and shortlisted projects of the awards to be pioneers of their sector, selected by the experts and specialists on the prestigious judging panel. The winning entrant receives an award certificate and their project makes headline news on WAN. The remaining five from the shortlist and any other schemes that the judges deem suitable will be listed as 'commended'.

The winning and shortlisted entrants all receive dedicated press kits and their projects will be featured in a special edition of News Review which reaches over 200,000 property developers, architects, consultants and organisations in 210 countries.

You will also be featured in the WAN World Architecture Day 2013 which will be held in New York – an international platform in which to launch your practice. Last year’s WAD saw winners and runners-up of the WAN awards presenting their award-winning scheme to an audience of key industry leaders, clients and architects.

In addition, in partnership with Arup, WAN will host a 21 for 21 design showcase later in the year to exhibit the creative talent of our 2013 winners.

Press Kits

Winning and shortlisted entrants are provided with a press kit to enable them to promote their achievements; included in the kit is a prepared press release, a press contact list for national and international media and industry publications, and a 'WAN Winner' jpeg footer for emails and websites. Past winners have reported that the WAN AWARDS' high profile and the publicity they received have contributed noticeably to their business success.

The competition stages

WAN are on the search for 21 architects to represent the best in emerging architecture for the 21st century. Now in its third year, previous year's juries have begun selecting architects and firms they believe can make an impact on the future of architecture. This year, the quest for the 21 for 21 continues.

Submission format & guidelines


This award gives you the opportunity to be creative with how you put yourself forward as an individual or as a firm.

You can submit as many ideas/projects/proposals as you like (of the 6 images), so it is up to you whether you think one particular project would make the strongest case or several different ones.

You can upload 6 images at the initial stage, so these could comprise one or more image for each project, or all 6 for one project - again, it's entirely up to you. The 'main image' will be the first to appear beside your entry on the WAN website. If you get through to the next stage you will be able to submit more visual and written material.

There are no restrictions as to whether the project is built, onsite, in the planning stage or just a concept.

The format for the initial submission is as follows:

Text summary - 200 - 300 words (approx.)
1 main image @ 385 pixels wide
1 larger version of the main image @ 1000 pixels wide
5 additional images @ 1000 pixels wide

Text summary - include information about how your practice addresses the judging criteria above. The completion date of your project/s must be properly declared.

Images - if submitting your entry online, you can upload the small version of the main image, the larger version and 5 additional images using the upload form in 'Backstage'. Or you can send all the materials to: megan.cox@wantoday.com

Please send images in jpeg format, text summary as a Word doc or Adobe PDF. Entrants are responsible for providing copyright information for all images. Any uncredited images received will, by default, be credited to the architect.

Where possible please send text summary as continuous text, not bullet points etc.

All submissions will be published on the website; you can view an example of how your project will appear on WAN by clicking HERE


The closing date for the WAN AWARDS 21 for 21 category is 28 FEBRUARY 13.


The entrance fee is £50 GBP

How to enter

You are invited to submit your entry online - you can do this via the 'Visit Backstage' button on the WAN homepage: www.worldarchitecturenews.com

If you are already registered you will be able to click "login" and use your existing registration code and password.

If you are registering for the first time you will need to click the "register" button and complete the registration form. You will then be sent a registration code and password by email, which you can use to log in to "Backstage". (Please check your spam folder if you do not receive this immediately.)

Once logged in, you can submit your entry using the "Purchase Award Credits" link on the left side of the login page - use the drop-down menus to select the 21 for 21 category, then click "Submit" - this will re-direct you to the online payment screen.

When the payment is complete, click 'continue' to return to Backstage. You will then have the option to upload your project as a competition entry (another link will appear on the left of the login page.)

Alternatively, if you prefer, you can submit your project by email and send payment by cheque or bank transfer. We will send you an invoice with all the details you need to make payment. Please email submissions and direct any questions or problems regarding entries / registration to: megan.cox@wantoday.com

Please make cheques payable to WAN and send to the address below

World Architecture News
Accounts dept.
15-17 Middle Street
East Sussex
United Kingdom.

UK entries please add VAT