UIA-HYP CUP 2020 International Student Competition in Architectural Design

Jury Chairman: Wolf D. Prix

Architecture in Transformation should respond to contemporary challenges and changes. What concerns us primarily is the relationship between architecture and city, as well as the one between architecture and natural environment. The competition aims at searching and constructing human space with a Spirit of Place in the increasingly fragmented cities and unordered villages, exploring environment-friendly and sustainable ideas in the information age, and integrating creative concepts with solid basic skills in architectural design. The competition requires the participants to make detailed insights and reflections on architectural development, explore complicated demands of the people nowadays for architecture and environment, pay attention to specific sites and the events happening in them, and configure viable and dynamic urban and architectural spaces, at the same time seek suitable techniques to guarantee the possibility of implementation of the project. “UIA-HYP Cup International Student Competition in Architectural Design” was initiated in 2012. It is internationally sponsored by the Union International des Architects (UIA), organized by the School of Architecture, Tianjin University and Urban Environment Design (UED) Magazine. Shanghai HYP-ARCH Architectural Design Consultant Co. Ltd. is the Exclusive Naming Sponsor. It is an annual architectural competition which has been successfully held for 8 years. Each year, the UIA-HYP Cup is chaired by an internationally renowned architectural master, and the jury panel is selected from among the world's most outstanding architects and deans from schools of architecture. To boost the architectural education which mainly focuses on basic skill training in its conventional and progressive system, UIA-HYP Cup International Student Competition takes the role as an external platform for student to embrace a brand new thinking approach in order to improve their comprehensive problem solving skill, meanwhile it is also some kind of headhunter for discovering emerging elite architects.

Competition Topic: City Puzzle & Puzzle City

Background: “A century ago only 10% of the people of the planet lived in cities, and, according to the United Nations, this number is set to rise to 75% by 2050.” Besides these macro statistics, the surprising similarities of modern cities across the planet earth deems it increasingly necessary to consider the impacts of growth on people and on the environment. The analysis and understanding of the interaction between city, architecture and inhabitants; and how we chose to shape our cities, buildings and public spaces will indeed determine and relate to many other facts that will help determine our approach to future cities.

Argument: Many cities have increasingly alienating nature; in their density one finds “space” but no sense of “place”. The urban inhabitants constantly arrive “anywhere”, but not “somewhere”. Under such circumstances, what shall be the true concern of man in general, and what shall be the concern in architecture profession in particular?

Analysis: We have four squared plots, each plot 200 meters by 200 meters; we have to design mixed-use buildings for 2.000-8.000 people per plot. The building language is different, should be different, towers, high-density, low-density structures, whatever you want. But then, you have to add to the buildings, 30% green, on top of the buildings, on top of the roofs, courtyards, whatever you like; or, you can increase the greenery percentage in one plot, so that you have 50% - 60% green; or you allocate one plot to low density buildings and the other square to high density building, a city inside the city. In the middle of the four plots there should be a subway station; the program of every plot should be different, meaning one plot has more apartment buildings, the other plot has… etc. But it should be mixed-used within each plot as well, one square may be mainly allocated to shopping, one square to apartment, but each plot should still be mixed-up. The theme of the entire area is of a Media Cultural Center, and by extensive, it could be considered as an experimental unit with innovative strategies, which hopefully will contribute as the trigger for the future urban prototypes.

Purpose: To reflect the phenomenon of “pseudo-humanistic care” in the post-media society, we wish to engage the younger architecture professionals as a solutions-oriented generation rather than of computer generated generation.

Requirements: The competition participators shall define their design solutions for around 8.000-32.000 inhabits in Yangliuqing, Tianjin, P. R. China. Those inhabits share a core urban spatial area at a size of 4 x 200m x 200m, with relatively high density. The area’s function shall be focused on Media and Culture. The solution shall be inspired by the appointed city, Yangliuqing, Tianjin, P.R.China, which is selected specifically for this year’s 2020 UIA-HYP Competition; however, its innovative strategies, primitive and futuristic at the same time, shall also be able to contribute as the trigger for the future urban prototypes, sparking further design thinking. 

Further Technical Index: Energy Self-Sufficiency/Abundancy (creates more energy than the area consumes) - Solar and Wind Energies as the Driving Factors for the Energy Design - Food Self-Sufficiency - Water Supply Self-Sufficiency - Green Plot Ratio in the Urban Context shall be ≥ 30% - Sunlight Sufficiency (Through ingenious vertical and horizontal placement of the buildings) - An Area of RARES (RARES: Recreational, Aesthetic, Regional, Emotional and Sustainable) 


  • International Supporter:Union International des Architectes(UIA)
  • Hosting Organizations:School of Architecture, Tianjin University, Urban Environment Design (UED) Magazine
  • Co-hosting Organization:The School of Architecture of Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT)
  • Advising Institutions:Chinese National Evaluation Committee of Higher Architecture Education, Architecture Art Committee of China Artists Association
  • Exclusive Naming Sponsor:Shanghai HYP-ARCH Architectural Design Consultant Inc. 
  • Co-organizers:School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, School of Architecture, Southeast University, School of Architecture, South China University of Technology, School of Architecture, Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Chongqing University