The Arquia Foundation, as a collaborator in the organisation of the Spanish Architecture Biennale and Town Planning, urged the creation of a prize for the best work done by architects under forty. The prize, endowed with €15,000 by the Arquia Foundation, was named the Enric Miralles Prize and was included in the 6th, 7th and 8th editions of said biennale, being awarded to Federico Soriano and Dolores Palacio for the Palacio Euskalduna (Bilbao) in 2001, to Farshid Moussavi and Alejandro Zaera-Polo for the International passenger terminal of Yokohama Port (Japan) in 2003 and to Eduardo Arroyo (No.Mad Arquitectos) for the Lasesarre football stadium in Barakaldo (Bizkaia) in 2005.
Through this experience, it came to light that there is a lack of knowledge regarding the production of those that begin in the profession of architecture, possibly because they are far removed from the usual channels of dissemination. The Arquia Foundation saw the need to mitigate this by creating a specific programme of documentation and dissemination of the activity of these new professionals. Thus the Arquia/upcoming programme was born in 2007, which seeks the dissemination of the accomplishments of "very young architects", who graduated less than ten years ago. With this definition, the reality of the different forms of professional practice becomes apparent.
arquia/upcoming is the cultural programme of the Arquia Foundation, designed to offer support to Spanish architects in the first ten years of professional practice and based on the dissemination, promotion and enhancement of their accomplishments and principles as professionals.
The programme is structured in biennial editions, which through successive curatorial teams, catalogue and select the registered accomplishments, for publication in a catalogue and to present them in the 'arquia/upcoming forums', where the realities of the Spanish architectural panorama are discussed by the voices and according to the principles of its most restless actors: those starting out.
The core of the programme is an open registration on the website www.arquia.es/upcoming, which in the first edition, accommodated a maximum of three accomplishments from each author, and as of the second, an unlimited number of them.
The initial design of the operating system was entrusted to the architect and editor Felix Arranz San Vicente, curator of the first edition. The curatorship was initially formed by the curator and the scientific committee, consisting of a representative from the Board of Trustees of the Foundation and a variable number of architects representing the different regions of Spain. The programme was subsequently adapted in the following editions to the changing context in which it found itself compared to its origins, with the aim of providing arquia/upcoming with the necessary relevance, content and debates to become a benchmark for connecting with young architects and in turn, , to raise awareness of the current context and concerns of young Spanish architecture.
The jury has gone from taking on a representative role to a closer and more participative driver/moderator role. To achieve this, as of the 5th edition, the jury has published articles and interacted with participants on the arquia/upcoming section of the Arquia Foundation blog.
It currently consists of a curator, a representative from the Board of Trustees of the Foundation and four curators representing different geographical areas.
The programme has a network of ambassadors, the name that the AF assigns to area representatives and whose role it is to identify teams of young architects who have completed accomplishments that, in their opinion, should be included in the registration.
Finally, as a culmination of the arquia/upcoming programme, the biennial forum was proposed, which in an open debate format analyses the architectural and sociological conclusions drawn from the accomplishments presented in each biennial. Within this framework, the arquia/upcoming prize worth €15,000 is awarded for the best accomplishment of the biennial, whereby the 24 accomplishments selected by the jury are also explained by their authors.
arquia/upcoming shows the accomplishments of the next generations of Spanish architects, published and explained by their authors. It is open for those who wish to find out about and locate new emerging Spanish architecture.
The consultation of this registration interests other architects (who are looking for young collaborators or who are interested in what is brewing among young people), promoters (interested in finding architects available according to geographical areas or typologies) and the publishing world (to see theoretical approaches and opinions of young people or discovering trends of the sector).
Within this open registration, you can find information about architects, typologies, geographical areas, works. The categories in which architects can include their accomplishments are: projects, works, social action, cultural and educational action, as well as research.
The arquia/upcoming registration is a platform for the dissemination of very young architects and highlights three key areas:
The way of presenting their work. The reference is to accomplishments, with the aim of going beyond projects and works, and which can incorporate any action by the architect (proposals, works for tenders, research, urban proposals, design, set design, restoration, etc.).
The concept of young architect. The programme is intended for very young Spanish architects in the first ten years of professional experience. This is not a limitation in terms of age, as space is given to architects who have graduated at any age, but rather it refers to the first ten years of professional experience.
Management of the registration. The architect decides what and how they want to show their accomplishments in the space (through their personal management area).