Screening of the "The Competition"
7 October 2013, 16:00 - 18:00
Hall: Fener Hall

Type: Speacial Event
Organizers: Arkitera Architecture Center

Architect Angel Borrego Cubero, founder and director of Office for Strategic Spaces (OSS), wonders and analyzes the process of how stararchitects prepare for architectural competitions with a documentary movie, The Competition. The movie is considered as being the first of its kind and The Competition will be screened in ARKIMEET 2013 as a première in Turkey and afterwards Angel Borrego Cubero, the director and the producer of the movie, will answer the questions of the audience in Haliç Congress Center.

In 2008, stararchitects Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Dominique Perrault, Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster was invited for an architectural competition for National Museum of Art of Andorra. The documentary movie, The Competition, entreating the preperation and design process of these architects and also revealing the undisclosed power struggle between the architects and their clients.

The Competition
Angel Borrego Cubero
October 7, 2013
100 min.

"Angel Borrego Cubero's wonderfully gossipy film The Competition (...) offers a revealing glimpse of life at a big - name practice." ICON, Owen Pritchard

"[The Competition] offers a rare and comical look at the inner workings of some of the most prestigious firms in the business and sheds light on the ways stararchitects carefully curate their public images." Architectural Record, Laura Mirviss

"A real ethnographic piece that reveals the intricacies and processes behind the international architectural competitions"


A documentary movie constructed as an almost uncomfortable but intensely fascinating account of how some of the best architects in the world, design giants like Jean Nouvel or Frank Gehry, toil, struggle and strategize to beat the competition. While nearly as old as the profession itself, architectural competitions became a social, political and cultural phenomenon of the post-Guggenheim Bilbao museums and real estate bubbles of the recent past. Taking place at the dramatic moment in which the bubble became a crisis, this is the first competition to be documented in excruciatingly raw detail.
Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Dominique Perrault, Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster are selected to participate in the design of the future National Museum of Art of Andorra, a first in the Pyrenees small country. Norman Foster drops out of the competition after a change in the rules that allow the documentary to happen. Three months of design work go into the making of the different proposals, while, behind doors, a power struggle between the different architects and the client has a profound impact on the level of transparency granted by each office to the resident documentary crew, and which has a definite influence in the material shown in the film.
The presentations to the jury happen in one intense day close to election time in Andorra, becoming a hot event in the tiny country, with media all around the international stars that may help shape its future. Of the four remaining architects three show up to make personal presentations, every one of which becomes a fascinating study in personality, strategy, character, showmanship... and a dramatic moment in which any detail becomes both important and irrelevant, the line between failure and success perfectly imperceptible. But does the jury have the last word?

Angel Borrego Cubero

Angel Borrego Cubero (Spain, 1967) was trained in architecture, with a PhD from ETSA Madrid and a MArch from Princeton University, where he was a Fulbright scholar but he has been developing an interdisciplinary body of works that deal with issues such as the contemporary urban condition, the negotiations between private and public space, violence, surveillance and fictions in architecture. Using mainly site specific installations, new media and video installations, his work has been exhibited in internationally acclaimed venues such as the Art Fair ARCO, the National Museum of Art Reina Sofia, LABoral etc. In 1999, he founds Office for Strategic Spaces, an art and architecture office that leads research projects (Mutant Bridges, Pump Up Housing, Post Tsunami Housing, Urban Space Station), designs projects for exhibition spaces (Casa Asia - Filipiniana, 01SJ - San Jose Biennial California, LABoral Gijón- Feed Forward, National Museum of Art Reina Sofia - Arte e Imagen en Movimiento), housing and social housing projects (House Space Invader, House Murakami, Social Housing in Zaragoza, Orcasitas, Carabanchel) as well as urban planning strategies (Solar Decathlon Madrid, AZCA). After succeeding in a big international competition, in a process which was akin to a thriller, Angel Borrego Cubero decides to make a documentary of this recurring architectural procedure. During four years, intense work was dedicated to find, document and edit one competition into film format. The Competition is the first movie of this Spanish director and is also the first film documenting the tense developments that characterize architectural contests.

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This exhibition pursuant to Law No. 5174 Turkey Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) is held with permission.