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JAN - JUN 2023


Border crossing involves a change of state; the crossing of a barrier between two nations. The nature and meaning of this barrier are very specific to its location and the different characters of the nations involved. Borders can mark dramatic transitions between different cultures, political systems, economies, and levels of freedom. They range from open and undefended to closed and heavily militarized.

In many places around the world, borders are under stress and evolving to respond to war, migration pressures, the ebb and flow of political alliances, the creation and removal of trade barriers, the threat of terrorism, the movement of illegal drugs and weapons, and the spread of disease.

Border crossing architecture is the physical manifestation of the balance between evolving security concerns and the desire to welcome visitors and newcomers while symbolically marking the entry into a new country.

The Canadian Academy of Architecture for Justice (CAAJ) invites architecture students to speculate on these issues in a design competition for a new border crossing. Submissions are welcomed from either studio groups or individuals. The design will be evaluated by a jury of experts, architects and industry professionals. Participants are highly encouraged to explore a wide spectrum of architectural responses from functional and practical at one end to philosophical and social at the other, including ways in which this building or complex could be integrated into the surrounding context and community, act as a catalyst for building a positive relationship between two nations, and address what a border entry means in today’s context.

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  1. This is an international competition - we welcome students worldwide to enter

  2. Individual competitors or teams are welcome to participate
  3. Participants must be currently enrolled in a school of architecture - winners will be expected to provide proof either consisting of a recent transcript or letter from the school explaining your status

    • Students who are taking time off from their studies to seek work experience but remain in the process of becoming an architect are also eligible to apply. 

    • Students in their final year who might have completed their studies after January 2021 but before the submission date are still eligible. 

  4. Participants must register for the competition - please click the button below to register:


Competition Launch:
 January, 31 2023

Registration Deadline: 
 June 30, 2023 (by 11:59pm)

Submission Deadline: 
June 30, 2023 (by 11:59pm)

Results announced: 
August 31, 2023


1ST PRIZE: $3,000 CDN

2ND & 3RD PRIZES: $1,000 CDN

  • Winning entries will be featured on the CAAJ website

  • Winning individual / team members will be provided with electronic certificates

  • Prize awards are generously provided by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Foundation and will be issued to winners via electronic bank transfer



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Architect & Creative Director, Number TEN Architectural Group

Columnist, Winnipeg Free Press

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Vice President of Design,  NORR Architects & Engineers

CAAJ Chair

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Founding Principal, Snow Kreilich Architects

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General Manager, Buffalo & Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority

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Associate Design Director, UNStudio

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Architect, NORR Architects & Engineers

CAAJ Competition Co-Chair & Secretary



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The Canadian Academy of Architecture for Justice reserves the right to publish entries on the CAAJ website, or to distribute to other architecture or justice-related publication media (websites, magazines or exhibitions). Credit for authorship will remain with the individual (or named individuals in the case of a team submission). By submitting material individual competitors and teams acknowledge this right.

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