The Omrania | CSBE Student Award for Architectural Design

2014 Seventh Cycle Announcement


Omrania and Associates (O&A) and the Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE) are happy to announce the 2014 seventh cycle of The Omrania l CSBE Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Design.
The Award is intended to honor distinguished architectural graduation projects by students from universities throughout the Arab World.

Students who have completed their Bachelor's degree in architecture or architectural engineering during the 2013 – 2014 academic year from universities in countries belonging to the Arab League are eligible to submit their architectural graduation projects for the Award. The Award is open to all design approaches to architecture.

The Award’s total prize money will amount to USD 15,000. It will be at the discretion of the Award jury to decide on the number of winners and on the distribution of the prize money among them. For the 2013 Award cycle, the Award jury awarded equal winning prizes to five projects and distributed the prize money equally among them.

All participants may register online through the Award website ( by creating an account with a user name and password, and filling and completing the online Submission Form. The Submission Form will be made available online for participants on June 25, 2014.

Submissions must consist of the student’s submission for the final year graduation project. No additional work may be done to the project except for re-formatting it to match the following required specifications.

Submissions must consist of:

Abstract of no more than 100 words
All participants must provide a clear and concise statement of no more than 100 words describing their project. The statement must be typed and filled in the assigned box online at the Award website. The statement may be adapted from a text already developed for the graduation project. Abstracts that exceed 100 words in length will not be accepted.

One digital portrait sheet (file format: JPG; sheet Size: A0 (841x 1189 mm); file resolution: 150 dpi; file size: under 10MB)
No additional sheets will be accepted.
The digital sheet must be anonymous and shall not display the name of the participant, the participant’s university, or any other identifying marks.

Since the participants will not be able to present their work in person to the jury members, it is permitted – though not required – to add a few short notes onto the boards to explain significant aspects of the design. Submitting a digital sheet with clear and simple presentation is highly encouraged.

Formal Certificate of Graduation

All participants shall provide a copy of a formal document that certifies their completion of a Bachelor’s degree in architecture or architectural engineering during the 2013 – 2014 academic year. The certificate must be submitted along with the abstract paragraph, the drawing sheet, and the Submission Form. The certificate may be any university-issued formal document that verifies the participant’s graduation. It must be submitted / uploaded in JPG or PDF format.


All submissions must be uploaded to the Award website between June 25, 2014 and August 25, 2014.
Applicants will be receiving a confirmation email within two business days of the successful receipt of the submission material.
The names of the participants, as well as any other identifying details, will remain hidden from the jury members until after the jury has made its final decision.
All the submission items mentioned above may be provided in either Arabic or English.

The Award team fully reserves the right to disqualify participants for any reason it sees fit. For example, if:  i) participants do not meet the eligibility criteria for participation in the competition; ii) participants communicate with the competition organizers or jurors in an attempt to influence the judgment of competition entries; iii) entries do not satisfy any of the above-mentioned requirements for submission.

An independent three-member jury will review the entries and select the winners. The jury consists of the following:


Emre Arolat is is the founding partner of EAA - Emre Arolat Architects in Istanbul. He studied architecture at Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul, where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Before founding EAA in 2004 with Gonca Paşolar, he had worked at Arolat Architects and at Metcalf and Associates in Washington, D.C. Emre Arolat has taught in architectural schools in Turkey and abroad, including Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul Bilgi University, The Berlage Institute for Architecture in Rotterdam, and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft).  His work has been extensively published, most recently in Philip Jodidio and Suha Ozkan, Emre Arolat Architects: Context and Plurality (New York: Rizzoli, 2013). He also was the curator of the First Istanbul Design Biennale in 2012.


The participation of Emre Arolat in the jury of the Omrania | CSBE Student Award is made possible through the kind support of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

Saad El Kabbaj has had his own practice in Casablanca since 2005. He studied architecture at the National School of Architecture in Rabat, where he graduated in 2003. Saad El Kabbaj has been a consultant for the implementation of an urban and architectural development plan for the central area of Medina in Saudi Arabia. Also, his work has been published in numerous international architecture magazines, and has been featured in exhibitions in Paris, New York, and Venice.




Senan Abdelqader is the founder and principal of Senan Abdelqader Architects (SAA), which he established in 1994. The firm’s Jerusalem office was opened in 2006, and the Ramallah office in 2014. He studied architecture at the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany. He has taught at a number of institutions including the Dessau Institution of Architecture (DIA) in Germany, where he led graduate courses on Informal urbanism. In addition, he has been featured in a number of international newspapers including The New York Times and The Guardian.





The jury will evaluate the submissions on their stand-alone merit. In doing so, issues such as clarity of presentation, creativity, design excellence, social responsiveness, function and program, etc. will be taken into account.

The jury’s decision will be final, and the jury has the right to decide on the number of winners and on the distribution of the prize money among them.

Award and Exhibition
The winning projects will be declared at an Award ceremony. The location and date of the ceremony will be announced at a later date. The winning projects and a selection of submissions will be exhibited immediately after the Award ceremony and for a few days following it. The winning projects will also be published on the Award website and on the Award’s dedicated social media channels. The Award will cover travel and accommodation expenses for winners from outside the country where the ceremony will be held. Should any of the winning projects be the product of a group effort, the Award will cover the expenses of one representative from the group. The Award ceremonies so far have been held in Amman, Manama, Beirut, and Sharjah.

The Award will also cover travel and accommodation expenses for the instructors who supervised the winning projects from outside the country where the ceremony will be held. Should any of the winning projects have more than one supervising instructor, the Award will cover the expenses of one instructor.

Inquiries and Updates
For additional inquiries, please call CSBE at (962) (6) 461-5297 or send an email to  All developments regarding the Award will be posted on the Award web site and on the Award’s dedicated social media channels:




If you wish to be informed of any updates on the Award, please provide us with your email address.

Note:  Detailed information on the Award’s previous six cycles (including winning projects, biographies of jury members, and jury reports) are available on the CSBE website ( and on the Award website ( All submitted projects for the 2010 and 2011 cycles of the Award may be viewed on the Award's Facebook page. All projects submitted for the 2012 and 2013 cycles of the Award may be viewed on the Award website.