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Professional Area / Calls

arquia / thesis

  • Aim of the competition
  • The aim of Arquia Foundation is to promote and encourage cultural activities in the field of Architecture. Among these activities is the arquia/thesis collection, aimed at publishing doctoral theses on Architecture that contribute to architectural knowledge, once they have been reviewed and adapted by their respective authors. The arquia/thesis collection thus aims to make valuable material available to the public interested in studying architecture, which would otherwise be difficult to access.

    Arquia Foundation organises a biennial contest aimed at selecting unpublished doctoral theses with the intention of increasing the number of works part of this collection.

  • Participants and doctoral theses
  • Since the 2019 edition, the Arquia Foundation, based on its gradual process of internationalisation, opens the call to Portugal, thus establishing the Iberian Call, to promote the research activity of Portuguese architects and schools of architecture.

    Therefore, the contest is open to Spanish and Portuguese doctors of architecture who have read their doctoral thesis in any school of architecture in the world, as well as to foreign architects whose doctoral thesis has been defended in any Spanish or Portuguese school of architecture.

    Doctoral theses must have obtained the highest grade (i.e. cum laude, in Portuguese aprovado com distinção e louvor) and must be unpublished, i.e. theses that have been awarded, mentioned or selected in other thesis contests or published partially or in their entirety in any language, format or physical or digital media will not be accepted. Scientific articles in indexed academic journals, requested by some schools for subsequent certifications, are excluded.

    The participation of a doctoral thesis in the arquia/thesis biennial contest is limited to a maximum of TWO calls, which may be consecutive or alternate. Therefore, theses that have already been used to apply in two or more previous editions will not be accepted. Likewise, doctoral theses that, when participating in previous arquia/thesis calls, have received a mention or have been selected, finalists or recommended for publication by the jury are not eligible to participate.

    Doctoral theses that have urban planning, spatial planning, landscape, large-scale, etc. as the object of research, must be submitted to the 2023 Manuel de Solà-Morales European Prize, whose reward is also the publication of the winning thesis in our collection arquia/thesis. Therefore, theses in this field or architectural discipline will not be eligible to participate in this call.

  • Documentation and submission
  • Once the registration has been completed, the candidate must access the private area by entering the username (e-mail) and password, and complete the registration by providing a PDF file in DIN A4 format (maximum 2 Mb) with the following information:

    • Abstract of the doctoral thesis of 600 words maximum, in Spanish.
    • Table of contents of the doctoral thesis.
    • Biographical note of 100 words maximum and author photo.
    • 300-word report on the process of review, shorting and adaptation of the thesis to the editorial line of the arquia/thesis collection (informative nature, maximum length of 250,000 characters and 250 high-quality royalty-free or copyrighted images).
    • Official document (minutes of the examining board, doctoral degree, etc.) showing and accrediting the maximum grade has been obtained in the thesis (cum laude).
    • Certificate or report issued or generated by a plagiarism checking agent or platform: URKUND or similar, confirming that the thesis does not commit any type of plagiarism, and therefore does not exceed 20% in citation or paraphrasing. A statement of compliance may be attached, but the report will be requested if the thesis is selected.

    and complete the following required fields:

    • Thesis title, abstract in Spanish, Portuguese and English (maximum 600 words), thesis topic, doctoral advisor, department, date of reading, examining board and reading centre, thesis grade, etc. The link to the university library where the thesis can be found in digital format shall also be provided.
    • Cover image (jpg 760 x 524 pixels).
    • 3 to 5 images of the thesis (jpg file).

    Information can be edited until the deadline for entries (see calendar).
    In a second phase of the contest, the selected candidates will be asked to provide a copy of their original theses, in digital format (PDF) and in print, for assessment by the jury. As well as the document justifying the grade and other supporting documents.

  • Language
  • The documentation requested for registration and participation in the call will be provided in Spanish. The complete theses, in the language in which they were originally written, may be submitted in the second phase of the contest for those theses that are selected.

  • General assessment criteria
  • A series of criteria on the quality of research in the field of architecture are established for the doctoral theses registered:

    • Doctoral theses shall be original and unpublished, regarding their registration in the contest (not previously published), their topic, structure and/or proposed approach.
    • Doctoral theses shall include material from original sources, such as archives of architects, libraries, research centres, etc., whether national or international, as well as contrasted bibliographic references. Therefore, the researcher shall have stays at these centres.
    • They shall be adapted to Arquia Foundation's editorial line and its informative and social nature (dissemination of tangible and intangible architectural heritage, universal topics, of social demand or commitment, etc.); as well as its interest and international projection.
  • Calendar
  • Registration and acceptance of the requested documentation begin on Monday 1 February 2021 and end on Friday 26 March 2021 at 12:00h (noon, Spanish time).

    Registration extended until 9 April 2021

    1st Phase: 6 April - 23 July 2021. Each member of the jury will select a maximum of four research papers from among the dossiers presented to enter the second phase of the contest. At the end of July 2021, the list of selected theses will be made public and their authors will be asked for a complete copy of the doctoral thesis in print and digital format (PDF).

    2nd Phase: (August)-September-October and November 2021. . The members of the jury will read, review and assess a maximum of 16 selected doctoral theses.

    Jury meeting and contest results: December 2021. At the end of the year, the jury will meet and decide on the results of the contest, as well as publish and notify the winning theses.

  • Jury Composition
  • President


    Doctor of Architecture, Professor (CU), Department of Architectural Projects, Madrid Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, ETSAM, UPM
    (Casting vote in case of a tie)

    Jesús Aparicio Guisado (Madrid, 1960) is a Doctor of Architecture and Professor of Architectural Projects at the Madrid Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, ETSAM. Architect by ETSAM, Master's degree in Architecture at Columbia University. He approaches architecture through research, teaching and professional practice, that is, joining thinking-teaching-building. He received his PhD cum laude from the ETSAM and has been a Professor of Architectural Projects at the same school since 2009.



    Doctor of Architecture, associate professor (senior professor), Department of Architectural Projects, Vallés Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, ETSAB-ETSAV, UPC

    Magda Mària Serrano (Barcelona, 1961) is an architect (1987) and PhD arquitect (1995) from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Associate Professor in the Department of Architectural Projects at the UPC (2009-today) where she has been teaching since 1999. She coordinates undergraduate and master's degree courses at the Vallès and Barcelona Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura. Head of the Doctoral Commission of Architectural Projects of the UPC (2018-today), she has been deputy director of the Curriculum of the ETSAV (2008-2011).



    Doctor of Architecture, as trustee and on behalf of the Arquia Foundation

    Daniel Rincón de la Vega (Madrid, 1977) is an architect (2003) by the Seville Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura; Doctor of Architecture (2010) by the University of Seville and Master in Business Administration MBA (2019) by ESADE. He combines his professional work with research and cultural dissemination. He collaborates with international studios and has participated in several housing projects.



    Doctor of Architecture, Professor (CU), Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, President of Docomomo International

    Ana Tostões (Lisbon, 1959), is an architect (1982) from the Department of Architecture of the School of Fine Arts of Lisbon (ESBAL), PhD arquitect (1994) in History of Art from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL) and in Culture and Technology in Modern Architecture (IST-UL, 2003). She is a professor at the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Universidade de Lisboa, and Director of the Scientific Council of Architecture; where she teaches History and Theory of Architecture. Since 2010, she is the president of docomomo International and docomomo Journal Editor.

    Secretary (speaker / no voting powers)


    Architect, Director of the Arquia Foundation.

    Sol Candela Alcover (Valencia, 1961), is an architect (1986) by the Valencia Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura. Founding Partner of the architecture studio emece2. She is the director of the Arquia Foundation since 2019, after having held different positions previously in the Official College of architects of the Community of Valencia, the governing council of Arquia Banca and the board of trustees of the Arquia Foundation. This consolidates a career dedicated to the architectural culture and to bringing architecture closer to society.

  • awards
  • The jury will award a single FIRST PRIZE and TWO MENTIONS. The prize consists of a commitment by Arquia Foundation to edit and publish the winning thesis in the arquia/thesis collection.

    One of the mentions may have an honorary mention to the figure of Carles Martí Arís (1948-2020, in memoriam), secretary of the contest and director of the arquia/thesis and la cimbra collections. This special mention will be granted to the thesis that contributes to architectural thought and criticism, as well as to architectural design theory.

    The publishing commitment linked to the prize will be subject to the publishing calendar and budget of Arquia Foundation, as well as the necessary rewriting to be carried out by the author of the thesis in accordance with Arquia Foundation's publishing criteria and the arquia/thesis collection design manual.

    Arquia Foundation shall accept no obligation to publish the theses that have obtained a 'mention' or have been recommended for publication by the jury.

    The contest could be declared null or void. The result of the contest will be communicated to the participants by e-mail and will be unappealable.

    The thirteenth edition of the Arquia Foundation Biennial Contest for Architecture Doctoral Theses has been sponsored by Arquia Bank.

    Arquia Foundation
    January 2021