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Competition: Rosciano Castle ‘Wedding Oasis’, Italy

An international contest has been launched for a 1,000m² series of temporary wedding pavilions at Rosciano Castle in Perugia, central Italy (Deadline: 24 May)

The competition invites young architects, designers and students to draw up ‘charming and modern’ proposals for new modular and demountable structures for hosting weddings in the grounds of the 13th-century citadel.

The brief calls for both a restaurant pavilion for outdoor banquets and a ‘wedding pavilion’ to provide guests with seating between various stages in ceremonies. Proposals should integrate technology such as lighting, audio and Wi-Fi systems, be permeable, comfortable and transparent to the elements, while also being economic, ecological and sustainable, with solar power and water collection components.

Perugia, Italy

Perugia, Italy

Rosciano Castle

According to the brief: ‘Projects will have to propose repeatable solutions suited for completely different contexts: a series of architectonic plug-ins to be added to the area of the fortress, in order to enhance its potential with a charming and modern intervention.

‘It is the ideal location for new architectural solutions with a deep relation with nature: extensions, pavilions and new architectural elements able to enhance such a sublime location as the perfect context for the most exclusive and splendid weddings.’

The castle is located on a natural promontory overlooking the medieval city of Perugia and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Assisi, the birthplace of St Francis.

The competition, sponsored by Italian conservatory and awnings company Corradi, aims to enhance the historic site and surrounding landscape by recognising high-quality proposals for the 1,000m² suite of new structures. A pavilion inspired by the four elements – fire, earth, air and water – was presented by the company at this year’s Milan MADE Expo.

Perugia, Italy

Perugia, Italy

Rosciano Castle

Teams may feature any number of members, but at least one participant must be aged between 18 and 35. Submissions should include one A1-sized board featuring 3D views and graphical plans of the conceptual design, one A3-sized board with scale plan drawings and a 1080p-resolution cover image.

The jury features Raf Segers of Corradi, Rik Nys of London-based David Chipperfield Architects and Will Alsop of aLL Design.

The overall winner – set to be announced on 3 July – will receive €8,000, and there will also be a second prize of €4,000, third prize of €2,000, and six gold honourable mentions worth €1,000 each.

How to apply


The registration deadline is 11.59pm GMT on 24 May and submissions must be completed by 12 noon GMT on 31 May


Early registration from 20 February to 28 March: €50
Standard registration from 29 March to 26 April: €75
Late registration from 27 April to 24 May: €100

Contact details


Visit the competition website for more information

Tower of Love case study: Q&A with Alex de Rijke

Alex de Rijke, a founding director of dRMM discusses lessons learned designing a landmark wedding venue for Blackpool, England

How did your Tower of Love project create a wedding venue for Blackpool waterfront?

Our main focus was to capitalise on the building’s surrounding views. We designed a ‘telescopic’ wedding tower where a vertical view of Blackpool Tower frames where couples exchange vows, and created horizontal views of the Irish Sea in the Registry, reception, roof terrace and restaurant.

Blackpool, England

Blackpool, England

Tower of Love by dRMM

Which architectural, material and other methods did you harness to enhance people’s wedding celebrations?

Standing on a stepped concrete plinth containing recycled and phosphorescent glass, the engineered timber building is a deliberate eye-catcher and lookout point, clad in golden stainless steel shingles. The expressive form and detailing, executed with great skill and care by the local contractor, is a celebration of Blackpool’s renowned exuberance, combining the bracing coastal weather with super-sustainable construction and a sensual, wooden interior.

What advice would you have ton designing an intervention for weddings at Rosciano castle?

The power of space, light and acoustics are all important. So too is circulation choreography; onwards, never back! The event is about spectacle; sightlines imply column free structures. Controlled views of foreground, background and the role of photography at key moments in the ritual are important. Likewise framing, composition, colour, no clutter, evocative daylight etc. Eating and dancing venues need decent ancillary spaces for staff and food preparation. WCs should include clothes-changing facilities, and parties need romantic west-facing balconies for the spontaneous liaison of inspired guests.

Q&A with Will Alsop

The competition judge and director of aLL Design discusses possible responses to the brief

Will Alsop

Will Alsop

Will Alsop

Why is the Rosciano castle an ideal site for a contest such as this?

The Rosciano Castle is romantic, set within a landscape with views. These are some of the ingredients that contribute to a good experience.

How would you set about designing an intervention to enhance people’s wedding celebrations?

Wedding days are always stressful, particularly for the bride and groom, but also for some of the guests as they are thrust together into an odd grouping of people. Families are complicated entities and seating plans lead to grief, puzzlement and arguments. The key to thinking of a pavilion, or similar, is not so much the ceremony itself but the build-up to it and the celebration afterwards. The ceremony itself should be bathed in ethereal light which is spiritual in nature, like walking into a Rothko painting. The light should be kind to the complexion. You must remember that not all brides, or grooms, are beautiful.

What advice would you have to contest participants on responding to this unique contest brief?

The pre-nuptual has to build up expectation and surprise. The bride exposing her dress and radiance is essential to the guests who have never seen her this way before (including the groom). It is the first day of a new life. Post-celebration should contain some spaces to sit quietly with a friend or long-forgotten relative to chat, or simply to get away from any false bonhomie. The entries should be beautiful.