10th 2A Annual Continental Architectural Awards (2ACAA 2024)

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 global achievements in architecture and urban design, featuring awards, exhibitions, and debates by the participants on 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 originating from their specific cultural and geographical localities and possessing qualities 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 Architecture & Art Club





2A Asia Architecture Award:

Historically, Asia’s architecture has been heterogeneous; each civilization – from the Persians to the Chinese, the Indians to the Ottomans – has contributed to 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 in 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, featuring awards, exhibitions, and debates by the participants on influences and methods. The 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 possessing qualities 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 elements such as form, method of construction, building materials, and regional cultural character. Most architecture can be classified as a chronology of styles that change over time, reflecting changing fashions, lifestyles, beliefs, and religions, or the emergence of new ideas, innovative technologies, or materials that 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 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 and industrialization, led to massive migration from farmlands to big cities where factories were centralized, increasing the population in urban centers. Furthermore, foreign immigration and the emergence of modern technologies have fundamentally affected the course of the evolution of European architecture. This challenge, among others, has caused 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 that should also be functional and suitable for their contemporary realities and needs. Some of these challenges include considering the following dichotomies:


– DIVERSITY AND UNITY: Create unity in diversity, and also maintain the diversity and unique features and identities in the unified continent.


– SOCIETY AND RESPONSIVENESS: The euro banknotes reveal a lot about architecture. Their depiction of typical buildings on one side and bridges, exemplary of engineering feats, on the other is a testament to its importance. The bills also prove that this importance stems from architecture’s power 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 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 behaviour, 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 is crucial. Moving forward and progress are necessities 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 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 acknowledgment 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 sometimes that the architecture of other continents has 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 today’s 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. Besides 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 the 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 cannot connect with people and it should become vernacular.

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2A South & Central America Architecture Award: 

By the 1920s, the influence of modern architecture reached Latin America when many specialized magazines, both national and international, entered the region. Brazil and Mexico were the main drivers of modern architecture in the region. This situation coincided with cultural questioning of European and Central & South American supremacy as the sole source of development, leading to an anti-imperialist sentiment that has characterized the region up to the present.


The Mexican Revolution (1910-1917) marked the first step by asserting the need for modernization. The muralists first created a modern expression with a national accent, which was the first Latin American expression influenced by European pictorial elements but was also entirely independent, rooted in local ideas. Subsequently, architecture played its role, attempting to awaken an innate knowledge based on its historical and cultural richness.


As a result, architecture at that time aimed to look to the past in order to create a distinct style that met the needs of modern society. However, the influence of European pictorial trends and the incorporation of modern movements such as Cubism and Surrealism gave this architectural expression an avant-garde sense adapted to the site, landscape, and climate.


The idea of regionalism gained strength in architecture, aiming to recover marginal and even lost local differences. Critical Regionalism emerged as a strategy to counteract the lack of significance in contemporary architecture. It calls on globalization to become a resource for exploring the latent creative potential that exists in each region and integrating this potential within a new global context.


The issue in the age of globalization is that, due to the increase in foreign influences in a culture, these influences are adopted but not adapted to the context of each region. This can lead to the destruction of what is considered authentic and traditional. While every culture has always depended on its intrinsic development and cross-fertilization through contact with other cultures, this cross-fertilization is the essence of Latin American modern architecture. In response to Europe’s cultural dominance, Latin American architecture became a form of resistance and encouraged the entire region to take initiative.


Latin American architecture became famous 60 years ago for its rootedness and identity, despite being a faithful expression of modernity, which was against all legacies of the past and indigenous values. Unfortunately, its sudden success disappeared due to political, social, and economic circumstances during an unstable period for the region.


However, today’s sense of postmodernity is leading the region toward a more pluralistic view that values these lost local connotations while aiming to recover its essence by reinterpreting it. The internationalization of Brazilian architect Roberto Burle Marx’s works is proof, which has been mimicked in other countries. Similarly, the influence of Mexican architect Luis Barragan is evident on foreign architects such as Japanese Tadao Ando. This is how the new concept of Critical Regionalism appears, calling on today’s architects to take the same approach as in this region: to develop a better relationship with topography, climate, and culture, to develop a sense of place through awareness, to respect local conditions, and to appropriate modern technology and practices. This is the scope of Latin American modern architecture: it has the foundation for true regionalism or intelligent Latin Americanism, creative and without racism, which took the best of what the world had imposed up to that point, assimilated it, and reinterpreted it to create a style in its own right and 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 for the qualities of indigenous traditions in 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 these 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 honour 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 ideas regarding various origins.
  • Technical advancement, including engineering achievements (structural, mechanical, etc.) and innovative use of materials.
  • Reflection of a sense of place and cultural identity and ecology; environmental sustainability (including ecological, socio-cultural, and sustainability).
  • Social responsibility and community and urban connectivity.
  • The effects of economic conditions on the project.
  • Transcendent dimensions of architecture.



2A Continental Architectural Awards [2ACAA 2024]

2A Magazine is pleased to announce the 10th 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 number 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, Hospitality)

– 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

– Future Projects/Innovative Designs

– Visionary Architects and Studios of 2024 (New Category)


This category is a celebration of excellence in design-only, future, or uncompleted projects, including entries of regional/international competitions, which 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 on the continents, having rich ecological, cultural, historical, or physical characteristics and features.
  • Focused on responsive design, having addressed, challenged, or responded to an architectural-related issue (physical, ecological, socio-cultural, contextual, technical, etc.).
  • Based on local or regional studies.
  • Introduces or represents an innovative design vision/approach.


Please note that:

  • The 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 2024

– 2A Continental Architectural Awards [2ACAA 2024] is a one-stage entry and a two-stage judgment award. The first stage consists of qualifying as a 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.

– Joint 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 various dimensions, the plans, diagrams, etc.

– The candidate projects of The First Stage Entry will be notified by email and will be announced on the 2A magazine website.

– All projects should have been completed on or after 01 January 2014. For the 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 the continents in the 2A Asia-Oceania, Europe, Africa, South & Central America, and North America Architecture Awards.

– 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.

The first phase (round) of submission is free. However, on successful selection of the submission as a Candidate’s Project, participants have to pay.


This year, we’ve added a new category: ‘Visionary Architects and Studios.’ Here, both studios and individual architects can display their work. Their submissions will be judged based on their projects, with careful consideration for recognition.


Anyone can submit their architectural and design projects, regardless of completion status. A jury will assess these submissions and select the most innovative architect or studio of 2024, considering their impact on today’s architecture scene.


Fee for the Candidate Projects (second round):

– One Project €249

– Two Projects €449

– Three Projects €600


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


Organizer’s Services:

– Printing the panels of all the candidate projects for the jury meeting

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

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

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

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


All Women Jury Members for 2024:

Open Registration & Judgment Process:

  1. Online registration is now open – July 1st to August 15th.
  2. The qualification message for the candidate projects will be sent to participants via email within a maximum of 48 hours.
  3. The list of candidate projects for 2ACAA 2024 will be declared on the website by September 25th.
  4. All the candidate projects will be shown in an independent video clip on the online announcement day in November 2024.
  5. Free pass for 2ACAA 2024’s participants to attend the event in November 2024.



  • 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 the jury’s scores, there might also be some special mentions in each category.
  • The special mentions will receive certificates of recognition.
  • The winning projects will be published in a special edition of 2A Magazine.