Student Design Competition IFLA 2011 Zurich

Click on the link above to enter in a very interesting design competition. The details are below.

Student Design Competition

Topic: Urban boundaries pdf_button


Dealing with land as a resource in a sustainable way is a globally recognized goal. However, towns and villages continue to expand as long as there is sufficient space. The pressure on the landscape is growing. All too often it is still regarded as potential development land. In conjunction with these trends, the urban boundary is becoming critically important – it is the link to the open landscape that allows humans to meet their fundamental need to experience nature.

The following factors have a direct impact on the physical structure of the urban boundary:

  • Elements in the landscape such as topography, bodies of water etc.
  • Ecology – biodiversity and integration
  • The structure of developments and plots of land
  • Density of the settlement area
  • Intensity of use in the undeveloped landscape
  • Ownership / availability
  • Function and use, particularly accessibility to the area, access within the area and mobility through the area
  • Aesthetics
  • The urban and rural picture and visual references
  • Sociological aspects
  • Human constants such as the view, proximity to nature, identification and water


The population’s preoccupation with the value of potential development land plays a crucial role in this expansion. Landscapes have environmental, cultural, economic and other values, all of which influence patterns of development. This competition is based on the thought that the greater the economic value attributed to undeveloped land, the more indiscriminate the inappropriate development will be – and hence the concern about protection.

Entrants should choose one example of an urban/rural transition/boundary in which the values for land are in conflict. They should propose a landscape architectural response to it and show that urban boundaries can be positive transitional elements between the urban landscape and undeveloped land, if they are planned and designed properly.

Entrants are invited to develop conceptual proposals and plans for the use and design of urban boundaries using a specific example of their choice.


Definition and analysis of the problems of the chosen area should be made.

Land uses at the urban boundary and in the adjacent undeveloped land should be described and potential conflicts addressed and resolved.

The proposals should be outlined at conceptual level (scale from 1:10’000 to 1:5’000) and refined at a scale from 1: 2’000 to 1:500.

The conceptual statements on the urban boundary should address the following aspects (although the projects are not limited only to these):

  • Function
  • Use
  • Accessibility to the area
  • Mobility through the area
  • Access within the area
  • View from the area
  • View into the area

Detailed concepts will indicate design resolution of the issues, and may include such aspects as facilities, choice of materials and ambiance.


The Competition is open to all students of Landscape Architecture, or allied discipline (where a country or university does not include a formal Landscape Architecture program). Both individual and group submissions will be accepted, and each student or group is permitted only one entry.

Broad interdisciplinary submissions are welcome; however, the project must be about landscape architecture.

The number of members in each participating group shall not exceed five (5).

Professional collaborators and associates of the members of the jury and their relatives may not enter the competition.


Required deliverables
Entries must take the form of three (3) panels as PDF (Portable Document Format) files which when printed at 100% size would be 45cm x 90cm each (landscape format). The panels should be designed so that they will be positioned vertically above one another at the presentation with the final format 135 x 90 cm:

  1. Required

–       Aerial photograph of the current situation e.g. from Google Earth etc.

–       Overview, scale from 1:10’000 to 1:5’000 (typology, zoning, concept etc.)

–       Details using an example at a scale from 1:2’000 to 1:500 (preliminary project, functions, facilities)

–       At least 2 cross sections through the site that indicate clearly the transitional urban/rural area

–       At least one illustration (artist’s impression or rendering)

–       Explanatory text maximum 2’500 characters including spaces (approx. 1 page of A4 [ISO 216]) including the description of the urban/rural conflict (to be included as a separated pdf file)

  1. Optional

Other drawings, diagrams or illustrations to explain the context, the design process and/or the concepts.


1.    The three panel PDFs and page of explanatory text shall not identify names, faculty sponsors, or schools of teams. Please enclose a fifth PDF file consisting of the completed Declaration of Eligibility (please see page 5 ‘Student Landscape Architecture Design Competition Declaration Form’).

2.    PDFs must be titled to indicate the numerical order in which they are to be mounted.

3.    Legends, captions and all other text associated with the submission shall be in English.

4.    As entries are received, serial numbers will be assigned, and entries shall be referred to by number to ensure anonymity during the judging.


Please submit the panels as PDF files, including all pictures and graphics arrow_right_8x8_red HERE by March 26th 2011. (Note: files may not be emailed or sent by mail).

Submissions received after the deadline date will not be admitted.



  1. March 26th 2011: Deadline for entries
  2. April 12th 2011: Jury
  3. June 27-29 2011: Presentation


Contact regarding the competition


HSR Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil
Oberseestrasse 10
CH-8640 Rapperswil

Contact person:
Ms Kerstin Gödeke
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Phone: +41 55 222 49 60