Dewan Award for Architecture 2021: A Girls Sanctuary

Registration date:


Submission date:




Iraqi children raising their hands in a classroom

A quarter of Iraq’s children live in poverty, and a third of all children in Iraq are unable to access their basic human rights. There are many organizations dedicated to such matters; however, only a few of them are devoted to girls only. Girls are particularly at risk and suffer specifically from personal and societal stigmatization in ways that boys do not. In the past it has been more difficult to find official support for girls shelters. For this reason, the idea of a girls sanctuary emerged. 

Participants are asked to design a sanctuary for homeless underage girls, as well as older female teens (4-18 yrs old). The sanctuary should provide security and a sense of community for the young girls, while presenting opportunities for them to stand out and contribute positively towards their community. The environment of the sanctuary should not only be a shelter, but it should reflect the possibilities of the built environment for supporting health, psychological, educational and cultural needs while harnessing the power of art and creativity to encourage young girls to express themselves, and be brought back into the culture of the country in a way that is open, progressive and nourishing for them. The ancient river site might play a major role.


Architects, students, engineers and designers are invited to participate in this competition. Participation can be on an individual or team basis (maximum of 6 members per team). Participation of multidisciplinary teams is encouraged.

Submission Requirements

Participants required to submit the following:

  1. A0 board in JPEG format. Every team is encouraged to submit all the information they consider necessary to explain their proposal. Content may include but is not limited to plans, sections, elevations, visualizations and diagrams. The resolution of the boards must be 300dpi with the unique registration number placed in the upper left corner of the board in 18 pt font.
  2. A word document file containing the project statement (250 Words max) explaining the design proposal.