AAI Awards Entry Rules


It is the aim of the AAI to hold the judging of the awards in a format as close to the traditional format as possible. It is desirable that the judging by the jury members will take place in-person. If it is deemed by the AAI to be unsuitable to do as the day of judging approaches, the judging will be moved to a secure online format.


  • To encourage higher standards of architecture throughout the country.
  • To recognise projects which make a contribution to Irish architecture.
  • To inform the public of emerging directions in contemporary architecture.


  • A panel of five distinguished assessors is invited to make a broad selection of schemes which they believe make a contribution to Irish architecture.
  • Schemes are selected on the basis that they aspire to “excellence in architectural design”, and the selection is irrespective of building type, location, scale, or whether built/unbuilt.
  • The panel of assessors is comprised of an architectural critic, an international architect (if possible and at the discretion of the AAI), two Irish architects and a distinguished non-architect.
  • The final assessors are subject to amendment by the AAI committee depending on availability.
  • The assessors’ decision is final.
  • The Awards Registrar and the President of the AAI will attend the assessment as observers. 


  • The AAI Awards are for built and unbuilt projects by all practitioners in Ireland and Irish practitioners abroad.
  • Current buildings – including landscape/infrastructure works and competition-winning projects, which are under development, under construction, or completed within 24 months prior to the submission deadline are eligible.
  • Current projects, counter projects, and theoretical works are also eligible.
    1. student projects,
    2. projects carried out in offices of the Assessors or the AAI President where the President is the entrant or a principal or director of the practice,
    3. previous AAI Award-winning projects or Special Mention-winning projects (both built and unbuilt),
    4. unsuccessful competition entries.
  • The following projects are not eligible:
  • Where a project is ineligible for entry due to the service of an Assessor or the AAI President the period of eligibility will be extended accordingly.
  • Unsuccessful awards entries may be submitted a maximum of two times. This applies to both built and unbuilt projects.
  • The Registrar’s decision is final on the eligibility of projects.
  • Queries on eligibility should be addressed to the Registrar c/o the AAI, via awards@architecturalassociation.ie at least seven days prior to the final registration deadline. 


  • All entrants must be current AAI members (Become a Member)
  • Registration forms with appropriate fees must be submitted by the deadline on the invitation to enter
  • Applicants who wish to submit more than one entry must return an additional fee for each entry.
  • Upon receipt of full payment, entry forms and digital submission forms will be sent by email to all registered entrants.


  • Early Registration: €125. Additional entries: €125/project.
  • Late Registration: €195. Additional entries: €195/project.
  • Some membership categories are entitled to free entries.
    Check https://www.joinit.org/o/aai for members benefits.


  • Entrants are invited to communicate their design to the public by drawings, photographs or other graphic representation, and to explain the project by the use of appropriate images and text.
  • The following drawings are encouraged to be submitted, if applicable for the project:
    1. A Site plan with a north point and scale bar
    2. Typical plan(s) with legend describing key accommodation
    3. Section(s)/ elevation(s) showing context
  • Buildings should be illustrated/photographed in context.
  • Each entry is to comprise 1 or 2 panels at A1 in digital PDF format
  • It is the entrant’s responsibility to ensure that submitted files are not corrupt
  • A descriptive text (400 words max.) should be incorporated into the panel, describing the project. This may include, as appropriate:
    1. Architectural ambition and idea
    2. A description of relevant contextual information
    3. A summary of sustainability measures
    4. The social and cultural value of the project

       Entrants are encouraged to declare:

    1. The size of the project in m2
    2. The stage the project is at – design/planning/under construction/completed (date)
    3. The contract value/building cost
    4. Predicted and/or actual operation energy use (kWh/m²/y) if available 
    5. Embodied carbon (KgCO₂eq/m²) if available
  • Entries are to be anonymous, with the official entry form submitted digitally in PDF format with the panels
  • Entry codes are to be self-generated by the applicant consisting of two letters and three numbers (e.g. AA123) Entry codes should be incorporated into the bottom left-hand corner of the panel.
  • Late Entries will not be accepted. 
  • Entrants will receive digital submission guidelines after registration.


  • In addition to digital panel and entry form submissions, all entries must be accompanied by the list of additional documents, or will be deemed invalid. 
  • Except in the event of file corruption, all files submitted in digital format will be considered final for the purposes of publication.
  • Images must be 300dpi+ resolution.
  • Image submission form must be filled out with full image description and individual image copyright outlined. Image title corresponds to image number on submission form (eg. 1.jpg, 2.tiff, etc.).
  • Image name must include the file extension (.jpg etc). A minimum of three images of the project must be included in the digital submission. There is no limit to the number of images submitted
  • Please write the entrant’s name and entry code on the subject line of the email. 


  • Final A1 board(s) submission (PDF)
  • General entry form
  • Image submission form
  • Project description form
  • Office/entrant description form
  • Project images submission (PDF/high-resolution .jpg)
  • Office/entrant profile image


  • The Downes Bronze Medal was donated to the AAI by Harry Allberry, a founder member, in 1905-06, to be awarded to the member who produces the best measured drawings and sketches of any building erected before 1820. The award was discontinued in the early 1950s. The medal is now the Association’s premier award for excellence in architectural design.
  • There will be a maximum of seven awards, including the Downes Medal, which may be awarded at the discretion of the assessors. Any entry is eligible for the Medal or an Award. Any number of entries may be selected for Special Mention.
  • All entrants will be notified of the Jury’s decision within 2 working days of the adjudication.
  • The AAI is not in a position to return entries to applicants. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make a copy of their submission for their own records.


  • Before or after adjudication, the AAI may choose to host an exhibition with all submitted projects on display. This event is yet to be confirmed. All entrants will be duly notified should the exhibition go ahead. 
  • Award-winners will be invited to submit additional material for exhibition. The exhibited drawings and models will be returned only after completion of the exhibition.
  • A catalogue will be published featuring the selected projects, with the assessors’ considered comments on each project.
  • All photographs and text contained within the digital submission will be considered final for use in the panels for the catalogue.
  • The AAI reserves the right to the exhibition, publication and promotional use of all material supplied by the architects of the selected projects.


  • After you have read the rules, you can download and complete the Digital Entry Form (link below)
  • After completing the entry form with your digital signature, you can complete Digital File Submission
  • Digital File Submission is by Google Drive (link below)
  • Alternatively email awards@architecturalassociation.ie

Digital File Submission Checklist

  1. Awards entry form as .doc (not scanned – digital signature is fine)
  2. Compressed PDF of board/s (not to exceed 200mb for each board)
  3. Awards entry code/s to be included as the file name on the PDFs
  4. Descriptive text, as outlined above, to be included on the board/s and in the entry form
  5. High-res images as JPG (not to exceed 50mb per image, 1gb overall)
  6. Drawings in PDF format (including scale and north symbol)
  7. Please upload the entire folder containing the files as a .zip (max 1gb)



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