9th 2A Annual Continental Architectural Awards (2ACAA 2023)

Theme: Innovative Contextual Architecture in the Continents

As part of its expanding activities, 2A is now organizing the 2A Continental Architectural Award (2ACAA). This event will take place annually to highlight and celebrate Globally achievements in architecture, and urban design which will feature awards and exhibitions as well as debates by the participants on the influences and methods.

2ACAA is a critical effort to recognize and acknowledge architects, and other designers who have engaged in creating and designing buildings and cities in the continents originating from their specific cultural and geographical localities and possess specific quality and characteristics attributable to their local origins. This continent-wide annual award is an attempt to offer long overdue recognition to a whole new class of architects, and urban/regional designers. A specific theme will be determined and announced every year, and the award’s content will be adjusted accordingly.

Organized by: 2A Magazine & 2A Inistitute of Architecture & Culture

Academic Partner and Hosted By: Xi’an Jiaotong- Liverpool University


2A Asia Architecture Award:

Historically, Asia’s architecture has tended to be heterogeneous; each civilization – from the Persians to the Chinese, the Indians to the Ottomans – has contributed to the creation of an architectural cartography that established the spatial organization of cities such as Istanbul, Isfahan, Samarkand, Calcutta, Beijing, and Tokyo, and immensely influenced the architectural traditions of the western continents. Consequently, Eastern contributions to Western culture and architecture deserve significant scholarly investigation. Nineteenth and twentieth century modernism (as evidenced by the modern movement in architecture in the West) dominated the landscapes and cityscapes in Asia, with largely unpleasant results. With the vast urbanization that has taken place in the later part of the twentieth century, the number of megalopolises that have emerged marks a dominant trend around the world. By the end of the twenty-first century, Asia will have the largest number of megalopolises. Recently, architectural traditions and cultures on the continent of Asia have started to stray from modernism. Architects in Asia are now offering alternatives relevant to their specific geographies and cultures.

As part of its expanding activities, 2A is now organizing the 2A Asia Architecture Award. This event takes place annually to highlight and celebrate regional and Asian achievements in architecture, which will feature awards and exhibitions as well as debates by the participants on the influences and methods. 2A Continental Architectural Award is a critical effort to recognize and acknowledge architects who have engaged in creating and designing buildings and cities in Asia originating from their specific cultural and geographical localities and possess specific quality and characteristics attributable to their local origins. This continent-wide annual award is an attempt to offer long overdue recognition to a whole new class of architects. A specific theme will be determined and announced every year, and the award’s content will be adjusted accordingly.

2A Europe Architecture Award:

An architectural style in any region is characterized by the features that make a building or other structure notable and historically identifiable. A style may include such elements as form, method of construction, building materials, and regional cultural character. Most architecture can be classified as a chronology of styles which changes over time reflecting changing fashions, lifestyles, beliefs and religions, or the emergence of new ideas, innovative technologies, or materials which make new styles feasible and possible.
Styles therefore emerge from the history of a society and are evident in the subject of architectural history. At any given time several styles may be fashionable, and when a style changes it usually does so gradually, as architects learn and adapt to new ideas. Styles often spread to other places, so that the style at its source continues to develop in new ways while other countries follow with their own twists, adding or omitting certain features in order to harmonize this new style with their local needs and culture.
European architecture has also been affected and shaped by many factors throughout its history. Major contemporary events such as two world wars, industrialization which lead to massive migration from farm lands to big cities where the factories were centralized . This lead to increased population in urban centers, Furthermore, foreign immigration and emergence of modern technologies have fundamentally affected the course of Evolution of European architecture.
This challenge among others, has caused the European architecture to transform. Today’s European architects have to deal with many dualities and sometimes even paradoxes when trying to design and build a unique new project, because they need to consider their cultural roots while building a modern project which should also be functional and suitable with their contemporary realities and needs.
Some of these challenges are taking into consideration the following dichotomies below.


Create unity in diversity, And also maintain the diversity and unique features and identities, in the unified continent


The euro banknotes reveal a lot about architecture. Its depiction on both sides of the bills – typical buildings on the one side and bridges more exemplary for engineering feats on the other – is a testament to its importance. The bills also prove that this importance stems from architecture’s powers of providing identity: The bridges seem to connect Europe, as does its shared traditional language of architecture or the technological progress interacting with it. If it can define the identity of a whole continent, architecture quite obviously has a great influence on society. It does more than simply stand for itself. It also represents what we stand for. The wielding of such influence demands responsible behavior, and that goes for all aspects of architecture: the aesthetic, functional, social, financial, political and, today more than ever, the environmental aspects.


the dialogue between old and new, traditionalism and Modernism. Moving forward and Progress is a necessity, because the needs and consciousness of any society are subject to constant change and transformation. Failing to react and respond means stagnation. However, the opposite of stagnation can be equally as harmful and dangerous. When a society accelerates so fast that it cuts off all historic ties and loses its cultural memory, it will also lose its identity. That is not progression, but regression. The idea that helps to avoid both of these is that of tradition. These problems concern the dual role of architecture and urban design in a special way with respect to aesthetic and social discipline. To that extent, tradition is of central importance to architecture. Innovation and identity in architecture are not possible without a responsible and keen approach to tradition. This is as true on the global stage as it is on the regional one.


Buildings and people have a common trait: an identity. At least, they should have one. A person lacking individual character isn’t necessarily a bad person. But he is uninspiring, lacking uniqueness and a dull conversation partner. Without an identity, no one can or wants to identify with him. More than likely, you wouldn’t even notice him in the first place. The same goes for buildings. A building lacking identity is a bad one, architecturally speaking, because it could just as well be a different one. A good building is always specific. It carries a message. This type of message can take various forms. Architecture can relate something about an individual person, a group, a city, or a country. It can tell a story about the relations between tradition and modernity, culture and nature, aesthetics, technology and function. Purely functional design overlooks the fact that it is part of architecture’s role to create identity. And this isn’t only about being distinctive. One of its noblest and most important tasks is to create an outward expression of identity.
Architecture is art applied to society; it is made for people, not for its own sake. In order to create an identity not just for the building itself, but also for the people around it or using it, two kinds of identity are necessary: People have to be able to identify the building as something special (by its distinctiveness). But they should also be able to identify with it and with its message. Identity creates dialogue, and dialogue creates identity.


Politics, the economy and technology have removed many boundaries in recent decades, or made them more penetrable. Long before the advent of the internet, media theorist Marshall McLuhan coined the often-used term “global village”. But the days of the village have gone. Nowadays it is more appropriate to talk about the “urban globe”: the world population is growing at the same pace as that of the cities. In 2007, for the first time in history, more people lived in cities than in rural areas.
In terms of its population, the world is becoming bigger – and people are living closer together. The word ‘density’ is perhaps the most important keyword for understanding urbanism and its corollary: mobility. The two terms are closely interrelated. Traffic density, population density, density of development – all of these are increasing rapidly.


Thanks to modern transportation technology and logistics, today almost anyone can travel easily to almost any place on earth. Masses of people are on the move at any point in time and meet each other, in particular, at urban intersections: in railway stations and airports.
Today, mobility-related architecture is one of the most complicated building tasks there is. It has to combine the most diverse functions and coordinate a wide range of processes – and all that in a relatively small space and with maximum efficiency. Railway stations and airports link cities with each other and – with respect to their diversity and complexity, and even sometimes their dimension – are themselves comparable to cities. It is not enough to include aspects of security, safety, logistics, leisure, consumption, gastronomy, administration and technology in the design, to mention but a few.
Modern architecture or modernist architecture is a term applied to a group of styles of architecture which emerged in the first half of the 20th century and became dominant after World War II. It was based upon new technologies of construction.
Modern architecture emerged from revolutions in technology, engineering and building materials, and from a desire to break away from historical architectural styles and to invent something that was purely functional and new.
2A magazine and its vision for Europe Architecture Award is that a great European architectural project should take into consideration its roots and identity while at the same time use modern technologies, materials and designs in order to meet the dynamic needs of the contemporary era.

2A Africa Architecture Award:

The history of Africa, the oldest landmass of earth and the birthplace of the first humans, tells us the story of the ups and downs of human civilization, the story of triumphs and disasters, which has resulted in the modern day Africa. There might be some politics in showing Africa as an underprivileged continent, which is always in need of international aid. But the truth is that like a water flow, Africa cuts through the hard rocks, struggles and fights against all the odds but in the end, it survives bravely. It overcomes all the ill usages of the outsiders and remains faithful to its own origins.

It can be said that the architecture is the physical resemblance of history in every era, and Africa is no exception. The diversity and the use of nature shown in African architecture is also the acknowledgement of this claim. Many architecture theorists believe that Africa is the leading continent in Contextual and Eco-Design, both in the past and the contemporary era. It may have been some times that the architecture of other continents have been imported to these countries as well as the other goods but now their issue is to go back to their roots and emerge a kind of architecture that is both in harmony with todays lifestyle and also the African identity and nature. The emphasis on “Home-grown” materials is a solution, which is considered by many African architects in order to gain sustainability. Beside these qualities, African architecture also has another feature, which is diversity; it goes from being the junction of eastern and western cultures in the north to being grounded to nature in the south. From the rich legacy of ancient Egypt and Ethiopia that leaves everyone in awe to the emerging architecture of the countries in the southern region.

The following points are the more important challenges that African architecture is facing today:

Recovery from Colonialism

Despite the protracted struggle of African nations caused by colonialism and on a larger scale, imperialism, their victories to gain the power over their own countries have generated an atmosphere of hope and development. To design in an African country, all the cause and effects of colonialism should be researched and considered in order to rejuvenate the African spirit.

Collective Way of Living

In African view, it is a society that forms individuals, but in western view, it is the individuals that form a society. This fundamental difference in viewpoints is the key to a positive contextual design.


Since long ago, Africans have taken nature as an important factor of design into account and used it excellently as a solution to climatic difficulties.

Public Acceptance

No matter where in the world, a positive architecture is the one that connects with people. If the target audience sees a work of architecture as one of them, figuratively, they will feel free to adopt and accept it. When African architects study in America and Europe and then go back to their homeland to put their knowledge into function, they have to keep in mind that for example, merely designing a building in Bauhaus Style can not connect with people and it should become vernacular.

2A South & Central America Architecture Award:

By the 1920s the influence of modern architecture reached Latin America when many specialized magazines, national and international, invaded the region. Brazil and Mexico were the main drivers of modern architecture in the region. This situation came together with cultural questioning European and Central & South American supremacy as the unique source of development, which led to an anti- imperialist feeling which has characterized the region up to the present.
The Mexican Revolution ( 1910-1917), marked the first step by stating the need for modernization. The muralist first created a modern expression with a national accent, which was the first Latin American expression influenced by European pictoric elements, but at the same time totally independent, since it was rooted on local ideas.
Afterwards, architecture played its role, trying to awake in people an innate knowledge based on their historical and cultural richness.
As a result, architecture in that time, intended to search in its past in order to create a proper style fulfilling the needs of modern society.
However, the influence of European pictorial trends and incorporation of modern trends such as Cubism and Surrealism, gave to this architectural expression an avant – garde sense adapted to the site, its landscape and climate.
The idea of regionalism has gained strength in architecture aimed at recovering marginal and even lost local differences. Critical Regionalism appears as a strategy to counteract the lack of significance of today’s architecture. Therefore, it calls on globalization to become the resource for exploration of the latent creative potential that exists in every one of the regions, and to integrate this potential within a new global context.
The issue of architecture in the age of globalization is that, given the increase of foreign influences in a culture, these influences end up being adopted, but not adapted to the context of each region, this creates , in effects, a destruction of what is considered authentic and traditional.
Since every culture has always depended on its intrinsic development of certain cross fertilization through contact with other cultures, this fertilization creates the essence of Latin American modern architecture, which in response to Europe’s cultural domination, became a way of resistance and encouraged the whole region to take the initiative.
Latin American architecture 60 years ago became famous due to its rooting and identity, despite being faithful expression of modernity, the rules of which were against all legacy of the past and autochthonous values. Unfortunately, its sudden success vanished as a result of the political, social and economic circumstances of an unstable period for the region.
However, the sense of postmodernity today leads the region to a more pluralist view which values these lost local connotations aiming at the same time to recover its essence by reinterpreting it. The internationalization of Brazilian architect Roberto Burle Marx’s works is a proof, which has been mimicked in other countries. Likewise, the influence of Mexican architect Luis Barragan is evident on foreign architects such as Japanese Tadao Ando. This is how the new concept of Critic Regionalism appears by calling today’s architects to take the same approach before used in this region : to obtain a better relationship with topography, climate and culture, to develop a sense of a place through being aware, to respect local conditions, and to appropriate modern technology and its practices. This is the reach of Latin American modern architecture: it has the bases for a true regionalism or an intelligent Latin Americanism, creative and without racism which took the best the world imposed up until then, but then proceeded to assimilate and reinterpret it to produce a style in its own right in order to recreate a local identity rooted in tradition.

2A North America Architecture Award:

Historically, North America’s architecture has largely originated from, and identified with, the architectural traditions of European neoclassicism, and modernism. Successive waves of non-European immigration, a growing appreciation of the qualities of indigenous traditions of the built environment, technological development, population growth, and the realities of global interconnectedness (culturally, economically, and environmentally) all challenge the hegemony of these European traditions of land-use, urban design, and architecture in North America. Consequently, new approaches need to be developed to address these new challenges and circumstances.
Architects, and Urban/Regional Designers have begun to address the above new challenges and circumstances in adaptive and interesting ways.

2ACAA brings up and discusses the following aspects of the contemporary practice of architecture:

• Theoretical visions of culture, customs, politics, economics, history, and other social elements
• Ideas regarding various origins
• Conceptualizations
• Artistic and aesthetic criteria
• Sustainability
• Modern life and technology

Criteria Based on the 2ACAA Characteristics & Viewpoints

The following criteria will be considered to recognize and honor a built project/ future project in Asia-Oceania, Europe, Africa, South & Central America and North America that has produced significant contributions to humanity and the built environment.

• Design Achievement including Concept, Strategy and Proceedings.
• Contextual analysis and studies based on the Ideas regarding various origins.
• Technical advancement includes engineering achievements (structural, mechanical, etc.) and innovative use of materials.
• Reflection of sense of place and of cultural identity and ecology; environmental sustainability (including ecological, sociology-cultural and sustainability).
• Social responsibility and community and urban connectivity.
• The effects of economical condition on the project.
• Transcendent Dimensions of Architecture.

2A Continental Architectural Awards [2ACAA 2023]

2A Magazine is pleased to announce the 9th 2ACAA, with the theme “Innovative Contextual Architecture in the Continents”.
Accordingly, the Award is for the recognition of an individual’s or group’s substantial contribution to today’s architecture in terms of contemporary challenges of the field and region and the projects that can have a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.

This gathering is a profile of the diversity of cultures, identities, themes, ideas, and experiences in architecture and a platform to share, explore and discuss in a professional environment.

Categories for Completed Projects & Future Projects

For completed projects, the award will be presented in the following categories. All categories are open to practices of all sizes and there is no limit to the amount of categories you can enter, however one project cannot be entered in two different categories. Please see How to Enter for more details on entries.

  • Commercial (Retail & Wholesale, Office & Business, Production)
  • Public (Sport & Leisure, Education, Health, Mixed-use, Hospitability)
  • Residential
  • Rural Projects, Public Spaces (including squares and streets) and Landscapes, Urban Projects
  • Old and New (Regeneration, Restoration, Renovation, Reuse, and Adaptation)
  • Religion, Civic Transportation, and Community Based Projects
  • Interior Architecture

And Future Projects/Innovative Designs

This category is a celebration of excellence design-only, future or uncompleted projects including entries of regional/ international competitions, that meet the following conditions. We will be looking to champion creation and concept that has pushed its specific typology forward and proven a holistic and effective approach. Also:
• The site of the project is located in the continents, having rich ecological, cultural, historical or physical characteristics and features.
• Has Focused on responsive design, having addressed, challenged or responded to an architectural-related issue (physical, ecological, sociocultural, contextual, technical and..).
• It is based on local or regional studies.
• Introduces or represents an innovative design vision / approach.

Please note that:

• Future project category covers all eligible entries, regardless of the project program and subject.

• Except for the date of completion, this category covers and follows the same regulations and procedure for submission as built project categories.



Rules, Conditions and the procedure of the 2ACAA 2023

– 2A Continental Architectural Awards [2ACAA 2023] is one-stage entry and the two stage judgement award. First stage consists of qualifying as Candidate’s Project.
– The Entry is open to all professional entrants, i.e., Individual architects, urban designers, urban planners, landscape architects, multi-professional teams and Architectural firms and offices.
– Other associated bodies, e.g., clients, developers and contractors, may also enter on behalf of the architect, with their consent.
– Join projects between universities and industry are eligible to participate in the award.
– The first stage entries include two sheets introducing the project, (Maximum 10 MB Each File of the Panel).
Note: Two PDF panels A2 size for the presentation of the project which shows the project pictures in the various dimensions, the plans, diagram etc.
– The candidate projects of The First Stage Entry will be notified by email as well as will be announced in the 2A magazine website.
– All projects should have been completed on or after 01 January 2012. For Future Projects/Innovative Design category entries, the design dates should not be older than 2012.
– The Future project category covers all eligible entries, regardless of the project program and subject.
– All Projects should have been built /located in countries of Asia in the 2A Asia Architecture Award and also the same rule for other continents.
– Participants can submit multiple projects under one website account, and there is no limit on the number of submitted projects.
– Each project can be applied only to a single category of the Award. In other words, one project cannot be submitted under two different categories.
First-phase(round) of Submission is free, However, on successful selection of the submission as Candidate’s Project participant has to pay.
Fee for the Candidate projects (second round)
One Project €229
Two Projects €400
Three Projects €590

Note 1: If you have any problem submitting your project to our website please contact us at: [email protected]


Organizer’s Services:

– Printing the Panels of all the candidates projects for the jury meeting

– Displaying the panel of all the winners’ projects at the 2ACAA’s exhibition

– Complimentary passes for participating team/individual for the 2A Award Ceremony and lecture’s event as the 2A Interaction Forum/ ArchTalk.

– Chance to participate in the 2A ArchTalk as a speaker (depending upon selection) after being shortlisted as Candidate’s Project.

– Making the interview with the winners to show in the award website and the application of “2A Voice of Architecture & Art” with the source of www.2AVOAA.com

Jury Members:


Open registration & Judgment Process:

1) Online registration in now opened- July 1st to August 10th
2) The qualification’s message of the candidate projects will be sent to participants [via email] Maximum by 48 hours.
3) The list of candidate projects of 2ACAA 2023 will be declared on the website by August 20th.
4) All the candidate projects will be shown in an independent video clip on the online announcement day in November 2023.
5) Architects of the candidates projects will be supported for getting the Visa.
6) Free pass for 2ACAA 2023’s participants to attand the Event at the event, November 24th, 2023



• The top two winners in each Award category will receive Gold and Silver medals and the award certificate, respectively.
• The award trophy will be given to the first places in all the categories.
• Upon Jury’s scores, there might also be some special mentions in each category.
• The special mentions will receive certificates of recognition.
• The winner projects will be published in a special edition of 2A Magazine.
• Clients, developers and investors of the winner projects will receive a Letter of Appreciation. If winners send us the request for providing this letter which will be given in the ceremony.

Note: Two persons from each candidate’s firm would be free, and it needs a ticket for further person please contact us via [email protected].


Award Calendar

Free Online Registration & SubmissionFrom July 1st, 2023 to Augest 10th
Announcement of Candidate Projects : August 20th, 2023

Note: First round is free of Cost, However, on successful selection of the submission as Candidate’s Project, the participant has to pay the fee.

Award Ceremony

The award ceremony will be held in Suzhou / Xi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool University and a clip of presentation of all the projects will be shown and winners will be also introduced, and based on the plan their professional comments will be shared in the ceremony Winner Announcement in November 2023

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  • Dedicated to sustainability, the Design School houses some of the leading research institutes, centres and laboratories focused on sustainable and digital design with significant collaborations and projects with industrial partners. The Design School plays a leading role in producing high-quality research in a number of areas such as Sustainable regeneration and revitalization, Digital design for enhanced human environments, Sustainable and advanced materials.



Copyright Policy

By submitting your projects to the award website [www.2aincorp.com] you will give us (2A Magazine) the permission to publish and share your project in our website and display in the award ceremony, on the other hand, All the information at the projects submitted to 2ACAA have been provided by the competitors (Designer and Director) and they are the copyright holder in this regard.If there is any miscount, mistake or lack of credits regarding the project team and designers, 2A Magazine has NO obligation and the issue concerns the participants directly.

Note: All the information submitted to the magazine has been provided by the competitors- participants or architect [designer], hence, the responsibility of the third party liability lies with the competitors.