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Competition: Lamborghini road monuments, Italy

Sports car manufacturer Lamborghini has launched an open international design competition for a pair of £38,000 monuments outside its headquarters in Italy (Deadline: 31 October)

The contest seeks proposals for two stand-alone structures for the centre of two roundabouts outside the firm’s Automobili Lamborghini plant near Bologna in northern Italy.

The landmarks coincide with the launch of Lamborghini’s new Urus sports utility vehicle and the enlargement of its historic Sant’Agata Bolognese base.



Contest site in Sant’Agata Bolognese

According to the brief: ‘Designers will have to materialise and show, through an astonishing and roaring design, the genuine DNA of Automobili Lamborghini, creating an architecture aimed at becoming internationally renowned.

‘Through these architectural landmarks, visitors will have to feel as if they are approaching a “sacred” land. The installations will not be simple accesses but contemporary Pillars of Hercules, a boundary between the known world and the world of the dreams, an irreversible sign of the shift from ordinary life to legend.’

The company, founded by Italian manufacturing magnate Ferruccio Lamborghini in 1963 though now owned by Volkswagen through its Audi subsidiary, is renowned for its high-performance motorcycles and sports cars such as the Diablo and Countach. The Urus, named after an extinct type of wild cattle, will feature a top speed of 329kph and will go on sale in 2018.

The sculptures will be erected at the north-west access to the Lamborghini plant – at the junction of SP255 and Via Malmenago – and at the south-east access to the plant at the junction of SP255 and Via Pettarella (pictured).

Sant’Agata Bolognese

Sant’Agata Bolognese

Contest site

Proposals must draw their inspiration from the car-maker’s brand and be suitable for a 6x6m foundation plinth which is 1m deep. Schemes must not be hanging or connected to any structure outside the plinth; they should be environmentally friendly, easy to maintain and not include any water features.

The proposed structures, including any lighting scheme, must also be safe for drivers and not distracting. Participating teams must furthermore feature at least one member aged between 18 and 35.

Judges include Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects, Yama Karim from Studio Libeskind, Nicola Scaranaro of Foster + Partners and Automobili Lamborghini chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

The winning team – set to be announced on 21 November – will receive around £10,000 and see its designs constructed. There will also be a second prize of £3,350, third prize of £1,600 and two gold mentions worth £840 each.

The contest has been organised by Young Architects Competitions and the competition language is English. 

How to apply


The deadline for registration is 31 October

Contact details


Visit the competition website for more information

The Kelpies case study: Q&A with Andy Scott

The sculptor discusses lessons learned designing a new canal-side monument for Falkirk in Scotland

How did your Kelpies project create a new landmark for Scotland focussing on myth and imagination?

The title has mythological roots, but the sculptures’ more contemporary and realistically equine forms combine with ancient symbolism to fire the imagination of the viewer. I started with the myth of water spirits, but investigated themes more appropriate to the Forth & Clyde canal and the central Scotland area (where they are sited). This drew me to heavy horses, which would have been the beasts of burden of the canals, the fields and the towns when Falkirk was in its industrial heyday. The subject matter makes them instantly recognisable to all people, their material and fabrication process reflects their location. The interpretation of those themes is up to the viewer. They are very photogenic and respond incredibly well to lighting and different weather conditions (essential in Scotland). This combines to make them very successful landmarks.

Falkirk, Scotland

Falkirk, Scotland

The Kelpies by Andy Scott

What issues are important when designing an iconic and highly-visual structure intended to survive the elements?

Durability of materials: The Kelpies are stainless steel and are guaranteed for 130 years, longer with proper maintenance. Also rigorous testing of the structure and fixings, to withstand once in a lifetime weather events. The Kelpies also stand in moats, which deters would-be climbers, though to the best of my knowledge no-one has tried.

How would you set about designing a new monument to symbolise the Lamborghini brand?

I’d look at the ethos of the company, their existing brand symbol, location, and think carefully about the demographic of Lamborghini’s client base, their management and employees and try to create something which would imbue a sense of pride and belonging.

Falkirk, Scotland

Falkirk, Scotland

The Kelpies by Andy Scott