Competition introduction

Competition organisers

Columbarium - 
The Chamber of Memories


Columbarium - 
The Chamber of Memories

Death is a fundamental part of the human existence, and its impact on us has inspired some of the most important architectural achievements in human history. Marking the lives and deaths of important figures, rulers, and heroes has been the driving force behind many wonderful and influential structures, from memorials and mausoleums all the way back to the ancient pyramids in Egypt.

One such important site is the Forest Cemetery in Latvia’s capital city of Riga. Consisting of 85 hectares (210 acres) of land, the Forest Cemetery has been in use for over a century, and became a memorial cemetery for those that died fighting during World War I. The site contains many sculptural memorials and tombstones dedicated to the important and influential figures that are entombed there, including many notable Latvian politicians, military, and public figures.

Brothers’ Cemetery statues at the burial site (, 11723954235/in/photostream/ - Dainis Matisons)

The ‘Columbarium – The Chamber of Memories’ competition is a collaboration with Riga City Council in Latvia. Participants are invited to submit designs for a columbarium planned for the Forest Cemetery. They will need to design a columbarium that can house 500 niches, each of which can hold one to four urns.

In addition to this, participants are asked to create a comprehensive landscape design solution for the entire cemetery. This competition is a chance for architecture and design enthusiasts to reflect on life and death, and communicate their relationship to the concept through architecture. How can architectural design help in the grieving process? What would make it a respectable place of solace where loved ones can visit those that have passed on?

As the Riga City Council has expressed an interest in constructing the columbarium, designs should reflect the best of green architectural practices as well as considering durable and long-lasting solutions.

Download full competition brief for more information!

Competition is open to all. No professional qualification is required. Design proposals can be developed individually or by teams (4 team members maximum). Correspondence with organizers must be conducted in English; All information submitted by participants must be in English

Full competition brief

All information can be downloaded as often as required; no additional information or material will be provided after registration.

    • Reglas de la competencia
    • Regras do concurso
    • Regolamento del concorso


Total Prize Fund
5,000 €
Certificate of Achievement
2,000 €
Certificate of Achievement
1,000 €
Certificate of Achievement
Riga City Council Housing and Environment Department Favourite Award
1,000 €
Certificate of Achievement
500 €
+ 50 € ARCHHIVE BOOKS Gift Card 
+ 50 Points BEE BREEDERS Architecture University Rankings

Certificate of Achievement
BB GREEN AWARD (more details)
500 €
Certificate of Achievement


The winners will get international art and design media coverage and will be featured on the Bee Breeders website and social pages


Bee Breeders will also acknowledge the outstanding performance of all winners and honourable mentions with Certificates of Achievement.

Jury panel

Lydia Kallipoliti

Co-Curator Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2022

Filipe Rodrigues

partner, Atelier Data, Portugal

Inês Vicente

partner, Atelier Data, Portugal

Marta Frazão

partner, Atelier Data, Portugal

Ricardo Gomes

partner,, Portugal

Mikhail Krymov

co-founder and CEO, Sleepbox, USA

James Biber

architect and partner, Biber Architects, USA

Katie MacDonald

cofounder, After Architecture and assistant professor, University of Virginia, USA

Angelo Renna

architect, Netherlands

Jury members shall under no circumstances be contacted by competition participants or their representatives. Participants who attempt to contact jury members, shall be disqualified. All jury members are involved in the evaluation based on their availability at that time.

All communication regarding the competition should only be carried out with Bee Breeders staff. For any questions please contact us on [email protected] 

Find the extended list of jury panel biographies here!

Key dates

Closing date for registration

03 November, 2021

Closing date for project submission

08 December, 2021 (11:59pm GMT+0)

Announcement of the winners

16 February, 2022

Competition Q&A deadline: 10 November, 2021

In order to guarantee equal opportunities to all competition participants,
no new questions will be answered after this deadline!

Registration fees

  • Registration Deadline
    09 September - 03 November
  • Architects / Enthusiasts / Companies
    130 €
  • Students
    110 €
  • Registration Deadline
    09 September - 03 November
  • Architects / Enthusiasts / Companies
    130 €
  • Students
    110 €


Contact us to receive special student rates for group registrations (discount applies for 3+ registrations from one university/school) and to receive further information and support for getting your students involved in architecture competitions. Send us request from your university email address along with basic information about yourself and your university/school. Please note that only recognized university staff can apply for the reduced student rate.

Competition results in media

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Competition related questions

Multi-storey structures can be suggested, however, participants are recommended to propose single-storey structures.
Participants may propose entrance to the site from any direction that would fit their design proposal.
There is electricity available on the site.
You may propose vending machines.
No parking is required. There is no visitor vehicle access to the site. People would park outside the cemetery and then walk to the site.
You may propose additional security measures (except on-site guards).
Project budget is not defined.
500 niches is a suggestion only. Participants may propose higher capacity.
There is no heating or plumbing available.
The sizes of the urns vary. The niches for the urns should be 50x50x50 cm large.
At this moment, there are no plans to introduce priced tiered sections.
No separation based on religion is required.
Indoor plants are not recommended as they would require additional maintenance.
North of the site is reccommended to be the main access point to the site.
The site is slightly sloped from the east (highest point) to the west. Participants are asked to assume the site to be flat.
Columbarium must be located within the defined site boundaries.
One 50x50x50cm niche would need to fit 1-4 urns.
Participants are not asked to redesign the whole cemetery. It is enough to propose just a few landscape elements that could be replicated throughout the cemetery.
Underground construction is allowed.
Water can be incorporated in your design, as long as it does not require a connection to an external water source.
Boxes indicate the location of the graves.
All facilities required for the building's functionality must be located within the site boundaries. Service spaces should be part of the design proposal.
Participants may propose any one of the two options.
The site boundary was defined by the client. Participants may suggest improvements outside the site boundary, as long as they are not essential to their columbarium design.
As it is mentioned in the brief, around 500 niches should be provided for burial urns. Each columbarium niche should provide permanent storage for 1–4 urns, forming a version of a family burial place.
You may propose landscape design elements outside the site boundary, as long as they are not essential to the columbarium design.
Staff facilities may be proposed, however, it is not a requirement.
Electrical heating is not recommended.

General questions

Click on "register now", fill in all the required fields, choose your payment method and submit your information. You will be forwarded to Paypal or CPS secure payment gateway, to cover the competition fee. Once we receive your payment, we'll send you an email with your username and password to upload your submission directly to the website.
You can add/remove/edit team member information as often as you want in the upload panel, up until the submission deadline.
Only one proposal per registration is permitted. Participants are entitled to register multiple times if they wish to participate in the competition with several proposals.
Yes we are in the process of negotiating with multiple international industry-related media representatives. The list of media partners is constantly updated on our website, please check it regularly to find latest updates.
Yes. If the jury panel selects a Student award's submission for the top 3, it will automatically be awarded both prizes.
Yes. If the jury panel selects a Green award's submission for the top 3, it will automatically be awarded both prizes.
No. Competition entries are evaluated anonymously. The participant registration type is only revealed upon the announcement of the results.
Please contact us – [email protected] and we will address the problem directly.
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