Abbey – A contemporary chapel to re-appeal to the masses

Submission: December 28, 2021
Registration: December 27, 2021
Language: English
Location: North Yorkshire, UK
Prizes: $6000
Type: Open


The challenge of the competition is to design a chapel on the grounds of the Whitby Abbey inspired by the church on-site, but suited to the 21st-century context. In the past, replication of the forms and beliefs of religion was widely practiced. But the present is enamored with technology and advancement, the way of representation can be more cerebral and convoluted. How do we embed religion in buildings of today?

Religion is an expression of social cohesion, it helps maintain solidarity through shared beliefs and rituals. Religious morals and norms have shaped the lives of people for times immemorial. The effect of religion on architecture is visibly imminent throughout history.

In the past, faith was interpreted in a straightforward sense, through concrete representations of the aspects of a religion. In today’s context, it is possible to exhibit our faith and beliefs in a symbolic capacity.

As art is capable of creating visible images of stories, myths, and dreams, architecture is capable of reflecting the ideologies of people’s culture. Intangible aspects of religion are manifest in the architecture of religious structures in some form.

Design Objectives

Condensing: The aspects of religion must be embedded in a modern way.

Linking: The new construction must not diminish the old ruins and neighboring heritage sites. The ruins of Whitby Abbey church are the source of inspiration, but mimicry is to be avoided.

Eco – Sensitivity: The site area is popular for eco-tourism and hence the chapel design must be reflective of this.

Aging: Religious sites are intended to last for expansive durations and their eventual aging must be addressed.


  • The minimum eligible age for participation is 18 years.
  • The competitions are open worldwide for designers from any discipline.
  • You can participate as an individual or as a team of a maximum of 4 members.
  • All students and professionals can participate in the competitions.

>>> Go to the competition’s website <<<