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SOAR Call for Best Practice Examples: Architecture for Security by Design of Places of Worship


As part of its endeavour to promote security by design principles, the Architects’ Council of Europe collaborates with Enhancing Faith Institutions (EFI) and Network of Religious and traditional peacemakers in the SOAR programme. The project is supported by the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations. The call for best practice architectural examples is meant as a vehicle to promote and advance the expertise of European architects in Security by Design of public spaces and in particular religious buildings in their urban context. It is also a way to enhance the ACE policy positions on for instance the quality of architecture and urban spaces for cultural and social use.

The call for best practice examples of religious architecture as part of public space in Europe invites entries of new buildings and ensembles, as well as conservation, restoration, and interventions on existing structures. Works must have been completed under the oversight of a qualified architectural team. The submitted projects will be assessed by the professional jury appointed within the SOAR programme. The selected projects will be exhibited and featured in a booklet of ‘Best Practice Examples’ and on the SOAR project website. Additionally, they will assist in developing design guidelines to improve security of religious sites.


Architectural practices of any size are welcome to join and submit their best built project (one project per firm maximum). The projects can be places of worship of any faith (synagogue, church, mosque, temple etc.), which demonstrate the application of SBD concepts and can be either new constructions or renovations. The buildings must be completed and should be located in Europe, in any country which is eligible for participation within the EU funding scheme for the SOAR programme. (1)

(1) Countries eligible: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden + Norway, Switzerland and UK.



The jury will select up to 20 projects, based on the following general criteria:

● Quality of the architectural design based on the Davos Declaration: functionality, environment, economy, diversity, context, sense of place and beauty (2)

● Governance, illustrated by the religious community in charge of the project; (2)

● Effective (visible and invisible) security design elements for the benefit of users, worshipers and the general public;

● Whenever possible, the architects considering a submission should reflect current advice and guidelines available or published through EC sources. (3)

(2) For further information please check this website:

(3) For further information please check the following EC sources:





● Short presentation of the project explaining the security needs and how your concept responds to it, including geographical context, architectural concept, selection of relevant plans, sections, and photos. Format accepted: PDF. Maximum 10 A4 pages.

● One A1 vertical will be requested in case your project is selected for the exhibition.

● Please do not include any security-sensitive information in your submission.

● A consent form by the community person in charge of the religious is highly recommended.

● Submitted material should be in English or French.



● Dr. Szabó Csaba – University lecturer - Doctoral School of Police Sciences and Law Enforcement (Hungary)

● Daria Grouhi - Director at Kuehn Malvezzi Architects (Germany)

● Dr Selma Harrington – Architect and Member of the Executive Board, Architects’ Council of Europe (Ireland)

● Norman Lamisse - Managing architect of the Civil Society of Architecture LAMISSE, Senior architect at ENTR'AXES ARCHITECTES (Belgium)

● Wolfgang Lorch – Architect and Professor of Design and Building Design at TU Darmstadt (Germany)

● Dr. Ferenc Makovényi - Managing Director at Pannon Termál Projekt Kft (Hungary)

● Bénédicte Selfslagh – World Heritage & Cultural Heritage Expert (Belgium)

● Hans Scheving – Architect and Partner at bertelsen & scheving architects (Denmark)

● More jury components TBA



● January 2022 Launch of the call

● 31 March 2022, 12:00 CET: Submission Deadline

● May 2022: Winners to be announced at a SOAR event

● End 2022: Publication and exhibition

Please send your project material (including the presentation and the A1 file) to info@ace-cae

More information about the call here.

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