Waiting for Revival - Open call for young designers, architects, visual artists and craftsmen

11 march 2016

‘I think constraints are very important. They’re positive, because they allow you to work off something.’
Charles Gwathmey

Waiting for Revival

Open call for young designers, architects, visual artists and craftsmen

There is a six century old history at Bánffy Castle from Bontida, near Cluj, Romania. But the most inspiring personality living amongst its walls was definitely the last owner, Count Miklós Bánffy, an avant-garde personality: politician, writer, cartoonist, opera director and prop designer.
The main building of the Castle is waiting for its revival. It is ruined, but still keeps the charm of its former grandeur: the blue and the yellow rooms, the Maria Teresa salon, (named as such after the Austrian Empress for expressing loyalty) are there, and waiting to be brought back to life.
The current open call refers to the main building of the Castle – the location for a proposed Arts and Crafts Centre, that will reconnect craftsmen and artist in a common work of the Castle’s envisaged revival. Accordingly two components will be differentiated within this process: (1) a sample restoration-conservation work of building fragments within the restoration camp led by professional craftsmen and (2) an ephemeral refurbishment of the interior and belonging outdoor spaces by artists through a contest aimed to highlight forgotten and almost lost values of the Castle. Once brought together artists and craftsmen, these two components would work as one complex process of joint work and interdisciplinary learning of traditional and contemporary ways for revitalizing a historical monument.

The contest
We invite young architects, designers, visual artists and craftsmen, to participate in an international contest, to work jointly to reinterpret the following spaces:
• the main lobby, and the adjacent 3 rooms and hallway of the main building of the castle.
• outdoor spaces (identified on the attached map).
The aim of the contest is the adaptive reuse of these spaces – while preserving the integrity of the architectural space – as an Arts and Crafts Centre, which shall comprise exhibition spaces, one multifunctional space, and also workshop areas, both indoor and outdoor.
We would like you, during the contest, to reframe these spaces, interlinking the arts and crafts, to lay the foundations of the Arts and Crafts centre.
The awarded project will be implemented at Bánffy Castle, Bontida, during the Arts and Crafts-workshops due to be organised in August 2016. The implementation process will be a joint exercise between the winner, professional craftsmen and the participants of the workshop, who jointly will reinterpret and readapt the spaces.  The results of his project will be exhibited and hosted by the Castle during the following 5 years.

Contextual relationships, architectural compatibility, internal function and organization, modular construction, choice of new materials and preservation of old fabric, historic integrity, crafts, arts

Technical data
Please prepare your application using the 3D model and the photographs sent by previous request. The result should not interfere with the historic fabric of the Castle in any way, and should be autonomous, reversible and removable. Only traditional building tools will be available for the implementation of the concept.

Financial data
The implementation of the project is up to 10.000 euros.

The prize
The total amount available for the awarded concept is 2000 euros. In case of multiple awarded solutions, the prize shall be distributed accordingly.

Please send your application in digital format by the 15th of May to the address, using
The jury will evaluate the proposals between 16th and 28th of May. The participants will be informed about the decision on the jury on 31st of May 2016.

CV in .pdf format.
Portfolio in .pdf format or link to personal webpage.
Artist statement of maximum 2.000 characters, in .pdf format.
A project concept adapted to the topic - 3D

Useful links

For supporting documents or any additional questions please do not hesitate to contact us at

We look forward to receiving your application!

More information:

The contest is organised in the framework of the Arts, Rediscovery, Traditions, Eclectic, Contemporary project, by the Transylvania Trust and its partners ACCR, Museum of Campulung, AUHEL, Diputación Provincial de Teruel.


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