AIAS/Kawneer Frozen Music Design Competition


Goethe once said, “Architecture is frozen music…” and for many years the relationship between architecture and music has inspired and confounded many philosophers and artists. The beauty in these words is that music is never static, but in constant change within the confines of time and technology. Kawneer and the AIAS challenge you to explore this relationship, by designing an innovative concert hall that enriches and enlivens its community while responding to the ever-changing demands of music itself.

Like music, this competition dares you to write your own symphony of components. Participants are challenged to select a coastal city that is musically inclined and bring architecture alive through your design. Be sure to tie into the fabric of the city and explore retail aspects such as a connecting art gallery or restaurant. Participants will be challenged to meet programmatic needs as well as the use of Kawneer products while creating inspiring designs that could become the definition of what music means to architecture today.


Participants will…

  • Utilize Kawneer products with a strong emphasis on exterior use focusing on blast mitigation
  • Integrate sustainability in the design, making it a model for energy and environmental design
  • Create a music hall that will represent and can adapt to different cultures, art, history, and performance types
  • Satisfy ADA and minimum egress requirements by code
  • Explore multi-use integration of music, art galleries, and commercial space like retail or restaurants



First Place: $3,000 (AIAS Chapter $500)
Second Place: $1,500 (AIAS Chapter $275)
Third Place: $750 (AIAS Chapter $200)
Three Honorable Mentions: $500 each

In January 2014, the award winners and honorable mentions will be announced via the AIAS website. In addition, all award winning entries will be displayed at the 2014 AIA Convention and Design Exposition, AIAS FORUM 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee, from December 29, 2014 – January 1, 2015, and AIAS Grassroots Leadership Conference in July 2014. A press release listing the winning projects will be sent to the schools of all participating students as well as posted on the AIAS website and the Kawneer website.


Submissions can be the work of an individual or a group of up to 4 members. While the design competition focuses on issues more suitable for advanced students, all architecture and design students worldwide may enter. Additionally, young designers that have graduated within 18 months of the registration deadline may enter. Submissions should be principally the product of work in a design studio, planning class, AIAS Freedom by Design team, design charrette or a person’s spare time.

All information and materials needed to successfully participate in the competition are contained in this program document.There is no entry or submission fee required to participate in the competition for AIAS members. There is a $10.00 USD submission fee for non-members in North America and in other international countries. Competition entries may be the work of an individual or team.