Arena – Open air theatre design challenge

Submission: November 23, 2021
Registration: November 22, 2021
Language: English
Location: Panaji, India
Prizes: $24000
Type: Open


The challenge of the competition is to design an open-air theater on a cliff side, for an occupancy of 500 people that can serve various activities like drama, cinema, or even concerts. How can architects provide safer alternatives for people to spend time in public spaces?

The pandemic has brought the world to a standstill and people are taking a hard look at their surroundings. With priorities shifting along with the situation, ways to pass time in a safer environment have become a need. Prioritization of physical health is key, but mental health is taking a hit as an after-effect of being isolated at home.

Not having a balanced lifestyle has been hitting people late into the lockdown. With everything going online and people getting used to these new lifestyles, the balance has now become a luxury. Inexpensive activities like going for a walk in the park, or hitting the theatres or restaurants in town, have all been deemed unsafe, leaving online books and movies on demand as the only choice.

These remedies are effective for a while, but over time, the frustration pushes people to get out of their prisons, abandoning all safety concerns to catch a quick breath outside. But such unsafe impulses of people to get back into the public with the pandemic still at large needs to be addressed.

Competition Objectives

Concept – creativity must be used to design the ambiance of the theatre, blending it in the surrounding landscape

Responsive – the design must respond to the sensitive location features without causing harm to the environment or the existing importance of the location

Safety – the safety standards must ensure that the design helps to provide enough space to accommodate all visitors with social distancing guidelines

Layout – comfortable seating and circulation around the theatre, with good visual access and soundscape

Balance – the functional and visual aspects are equally important. Balance in design to avoid overwhelming the activity on-site while maintaining the engaging design in its absence.


  • 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 <<<