Urban Marker Competition

(pdf download)


This exciting competition is open to all OAA and RAIC Intern and Student members located in Ontario and Quebec. Competition entries are invited from individuals and from teams.


The 2017 OAA / RAIC Festival of Architecture celebrates the theme of Architecture 150. As Canadians mark our country’s 150th anniversary, we will pause to consider the role of architecture in creating our built heritage and expressing our culture. Architecture profoundly affects people; it forms the buildings and communities that Canadians call home, and it reflects the values of society. The work of architects contributes to well-being, quality of life and economic prosperity. As Canadians increasingly appreciate design, we seek to increase public awareness of the role of architects.

In 2017, as we celebrate the cultural legacy of past generations, we will look at how the architects of today and tomorrow will exercise leadership in creating livable and sustainable communities shaped by design excellence.


The Urban Marker Competition was created and established by Storefront Manitoba, along with the Architectural Fringe Festival at the 2014 MAA / RAIC Festival in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Urban Marker created a unique physical marker to signal and to celebrate events and locations of the Architecture Fringe Festival happenings.

At the 2002 RAIC Festival of Architecture, a vertical marker was created that stood 50’. It consisted of a scissor jack platform raised on site, draped with neon mesh, lit at night from within, and inscribed with famous quotations centered around urbanism. It was transported, erected and set alongside a number of Festival venues. This Urban Maker was the first of its kind.

At 2014 MAA / RAIC Festival of Architecture in Winnipeg, the 2014 Urban [marker] Branding was the proposition of a way-finding system and the transformation of mundane, temporary city signage systems, repurposing them to direct the attention of the casual observer, the passerby, the motorist, and the pedestrian to important and significant events occurring within the city and within the design community. Simply a magnetic signage application, the use of reflective material, and bright color, the strategic placement and the accumulation of these of the markers around design venues enhanced the sense anticipation and awareness of the event. The Urban Marker had simple text, a venue name, a date or a QR code directed to the events website.

The 2015 winning entry “Public Speaker” was created as a vessel for dialogue in the public realm and an amplifier for citizens to share their thoughts. The Speaker was comprised of an alcove for sitting and listening and during Festival events, the Speaker projected live audio from the various lectures, allowing individuals on the street the opportunity to listen and learn about architecture.


We now are seeking new and innovative proposals for a 2017 Urban Marker to be displayed at 2017 OAA / RAIC Festival of Architecture.

The design criteria for the Urban Marker are as follows;

It should be:

  •  striking and inspiring in its formal and material constitution
  •  visible, both by day or by night
  •  able to incorporate a limited amount of text, logos, and color(s)
  •  easy to transport
  •  easy to assemble and to take down
  •  able to withstand spring/summer/fall weather (sunshine, rain, wind, snow, etc.)
  • have a shelf life (ie. easy to store, transport, assemble again) to exceed the OAA / RAIC Festival. (It is expected that the marker will live on in Ottawa for future events, ie. 4 year minimum).


The marker(s) should be flexible to fit in a number of locations as the final site has not yet been determined. It is the sole responsibility of winning entrants to ensure the safe transportation and installation of their submission. Below is a preliminary listing of potential sites:

  •                OAA / RAIC Festival venues:
  •                The Westin
  •                Shaw Centre
  •                Elgin and Wellington at Rideau Canal
  •                Rideau Centre
  •                others to be determined


The competition jury consists of members from the architectural community across Canada. The jury will choose a winning entry based on the criteria noted and be subject to a technical review to ensure that it meets sound construction practices and budgetary constraints. Information on individuals and team members will be withheld from the jury until the final selections have been made. The winning entrants will be required to prepare construction / production drawings consistent with the technical review.


  1. Omar Gandhi – NSAA Architect, MRAIC, Principal, Omar Gandhi Architect
  2. Emmanuelle van Rutten – OAA Architect, MRAIC, Director, Moriyama & Teshima Architects
  3. Jason Robbins – MAA Architect, MRAIC, Founding Member, StorefrontMB
  4. Heather Dubbeldam – OAA Architect, MRAIC, Principal, DUBBELDAM Architecture + Design
  5. Michael Moxam – OAA Architect, MRAIC, Vice President Architecture, Stantec Architecture


This call for entries is open to all OAA or RAIC Intern/Student members (individual or team), located in Ontario and Quebec. Any teams not including OAA or RAIC Intern/Student members will be disqualified.


The entries should be prepared as two separate PDF files (up to 5MB) and emailed to competitions@raicep.ca no later than 11:59pm ET – Sunday, March 19th, 2017. Submissions shall include the following:

Team Information

Page 1 (8.5” x 11”)

  •                name of the project
  •                individual or team member names and contact information

Design Proposal

Page 2 and 3 (11” x 17”)              

  •                name of the project (on both pages)
  •                maximum 150 word description of the design concept
  •                plan, elevations, section and/or detail (these drawings shall be to scale and dimensioned with notations to explain materiality and related technical requirements)
  •                rendering of marker in context (day, night)


The submissions will be presented anonymously to the jury for review according to the criteria noted and with particular emphasis on:

  •                creative interpretation of the urban marker idea
  •                conceptual clarity and coherence of the design
  •                material integrity and resilience of the marker
  •                technical feasibility in relation to stipulated budget

All submissions will be kept by the organizers for display purposes during the OAA / RAIC Festival of Architecture.


The winning team shall coordinate and oversee the construction of the marker in consultation with the RAIC, and shall be responsible for managing the costs, schedule and set up and take down of the urban marker at possible venues listed above.


The budget for the creation and construction of the winning marker is $7,500.  It is recommended that this budget be divided in the following fashion:

  •                up to $1,000.00 for the designers’ honorarium.
  •                up to $4,000.00 (including taxes) for the purchase of materials and/or the employment of consultants necessary for the realization of the project.
  •                up to $2,500.00 for labour costs for the construction.  

The winning team shall be responsible for funding all costs associated to travel and accommodations while in Ottawa for the Festival.


February 13, 2017                            Announcement of Competition

March 19, 2017 (11:59pm ET)      Deadline for Submissions

March 25, 2017                                Submission Review / Jury

March 27, 2017                                Technical Review­

April 10, 2017                                   Winner Announcement

April 28, 2017                                   Construction Documents Submitted for Review

May 6, 2017                                      Construction Commences

May 21, 2017                                    Total Completion

May 24, 2017                                    Marker Installation at the OAA / RAIC Festival of Architecture


The 2017 Urban Marker Competition is organized and presented by RAIC EP, Stantec Architecture, RAIC and the OAA.