Top architecture and engineering firm Dewan has invited architects and engineers from across the globe to submit building design proposals for a shelter home for girls on a site along the Tigris River in Iraq. The winner will walk away with the annual Dewan Award for Architecture.

The award challenges submission teams to design a project addressing Iraq’s homeless crisis among young girls.  Winning proposals will provide shelter but also showcase how art and creativity can enrich residents’ physical and mental health, education, and potential to rise as leaders in their communities.

Now in its fourth year, the Dewan Award for Architecture is part of a global competition focused on tackling pressing societal issues facing Iraq and reinforces its mission to empower emerging architects and promote design as a tool for social good. It encourages submissions to engage with the surrounding environment, including the Tigris River, one of the world’s most important natural resources dating back to Mesopotamiuan civilisations.

“Year after year, the Dewan Award for Architecture has demonstrated how fresh perspectives across the industry can comprehensively tackle some of Iraq’s most pressing challenges,” remarks its Founder and Chairman Mohamed Al Assam.

The first place winners will walk away with a $6,000 or a six-month externship at Dewan, renewable for one year; the second place winners will be awarded with $3,000 and a trip to the 2021 Award Ceremony; and third place submissions will receive $1,000 and a trip to the 2021 Award Ceremony.

“Our 2021 contest encapsulates architecture’s power beyond designing physical structures; it is also an essential discipline for developing more equitable, sustainable, and progressive communities,” he states. “Dewan will continue to hold these values close as we continue to work with partners in the Middle East and across the globe to develop quality and sustainable social infrastructure.”

Al Assam has called upon multidisciplinary teams to submit their proposals in the company’s official site by November 20. The entries will then be shortlisted and the winners announced at the Annual Tamayouz Excellence Award Ceremony by the end of this year.

The award is sponsored by Tamayouz, an organisation that recognises the world’s most innovative architecture and engineering projects through its Excellence Awards –– for which the late  Zaha Hadid once chaired the judging panel, Al Assam states.

This year’s selection jury will be chaired by the University of Cambridge’s Architecture and Urban Studies Professor Wendy Pullan, he adds.