Call For Entry: Portable Reading Room Edition #2

January 27, 2023

The second annual Portable Reading Rooms architecture competition is seeking designs for a small structure that could be embedded within existing public spaces in multiple locations around the world. The reading rooms’ layout and functionality are completely up to the participants’ imaginations; in fact, they aren’t even required to be physical spaces. As long as they offer a warm and nurturing environment that promotes reading, reading rooms can be as open or closed as you wish.

The reading rooms would have to function as an intimate, meditative space in which people can read and exchange books. The structure itself would need to be highly versatile so that it could be located in various locations and function in any climate and any season. Though their functionality could change throughout the year, operating as a simple book exchange box during the colder months and a more immersive and interactive reading experience during the milder months, the reading rooms should have the potential to enrich the community in which they are placed.


Project Proposal Requirements

Construction Process

  • Cost-effective, environmentally responsible construction
  • Minimal/No excavation


Logo, font, sign system, coherent colour scheme and other identity elements to allow travellers to recognise the Reading Rooms.

Space Efficient

Maximum allowed building footprint – 20m2. Landscape elements, outdoor bike racks and information signs are not considered to be buildings.

Finished Structure – Adaptable

As the availability of local maintenance services and the impact of different climates will vary greatly between locations, the Reading Rooms would need to be arranged in modules, allowing each site to include as many functions as they can maintain.

The project qualities listed above are minimum requirements; the competition brief is open to adaption and improved development strategies.



  • Monetary Awards

3 winning proposals, 2 special award recipients and 6 honourable mentions will be selected. Buildner will award a total of EUR7,000 in prize money to competition winners.

  • Special Awards

MArch Valencia discount to course EUR2,000

The prize would consist of a discount of €2000 for the realization of any of the following programs:

  • MArch Advanced Masterʼs in Architecture, Design and Business Administration
  • MArch Masterʼs in Architecture, Design and Innovation
  • MArch Postgraduate in Applied Architecture
  • MArch Postgraduate in Design and Digital Innovation
  • Publicity campaign

“Seen by” one million, “Seen by” 800 000 more, Interview, Movie, Media partners


Important Dates

Preliminary Registration Deadlines

Early Bird Registration: January 10 – February 13

Advance Registration: February 14 – March 23

Last Minute Registration: March 24 – May 15

It is still possible to participate in this competition after the preliminary deadlines, however, a higher late registration fee will be charged.

Closing date for submission: June 15, 2023 (11:59 p.m. London Time)

Announcement of the winners: July 26, 2023



The competition is open to all. No professional qualifications are required. Design proposals can be developed individually or by teams (4 team members maximum).

People who have direct personal or professional relationships with jury panel members or organisers may not participate in this competition.


Recommended Submission Content

  • Proposed plans, sections and multiple internal and external perspectives demonstrating the spatial quality of the Reading Rooms as well as operational needs and accessibility requirements.
  • Demonstration of project construction, materiality, functions, management and maintenance; approach to environment, sustainability, indoor environment and logistics.
  • Visualizations; artist impression to illustrate how their proposal fits in with the quality, value, and significance of their proposed site.


Presentation Deliverables Set

  • Urban plan
  • Elevations
  • Primary sections
  • Floor plans
  • Enlarged sections and elevations highlighting key spaces or relationships
  • Axonometrics providing information on building systems or illustrating key architectural concepts
  • Diagrams:
    • Circulation
    • Public versus private space
  • Details:
    • Envelope
    • Key materials
    • Site or landscape
    • Perspectives

Please note the Presentation Deliverables Set listed above is a suggestion only. Participants can choose to use the entire list, a selection from it, or propose a completely different set that would explain their design in the most efficient manner.


Visit the official website for full competition terms & conditions.


Posted under: Competitions

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