Building as Ornament book cover

Competition: five copies of Building as Ornament to be won

Competition: Dezeen has teamed up with Michiel van Raaij, editor-in-chief of Dutch architecture platform Architectenweb, to give away five copies of his new book Building as Ornament.

Congratulations to the winners! Seamus Moran in the US, Sander van Hooydonk in the Netherlands, Vassia Diamanti in the UK, Deniz Balik in Turkey and Kevin Driscoll in Germany.

In Building as Ornament, Van Raaij examines iconography in contemporary architecture over the course of ten interviews with historians and architects.

The interviews explore the trend of upscaling ornaments, its emergence since the 1990s and the motivations of those behind it.

Shipping and Transport College
Shipping and Transport College by Neutelings Riedijk Architects in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Photo: Jeroen Musch Above: Building as Ornament by Michiel van Raaij is out now

"Ornament begins when you take a step beyond the strictly functional; when the eye is drawn to something, that's ornament," suggests landscape architect Adriaan Geuze in one of the ten conversations published.

Palm Jebel Ali
Palm Jebel Ali by Waterstudio in Dubai spells out part of an Arabic poem

Van Raaij argues that the diversity of new forms in architecture seems infinite — taking inspiration from anything from pebbles to letters of the alphabet —  and includes 120 projects alongside the interviews as examples.

Comic and Animation Museum
Comic and Animation Museum by MVRDV in Hangzhou, China

"Ninety-five percent of iconic buildings are failures, because we lack an iconography and an iconology, and the artistic conviction to carry metaphors through," says architectural theorist Charles Jencks in another of the interviews.

Water Play Island by Mariske Pemmelaar Groot in Utrecht, Netherlands. Photo by De Jong Luchtfotografie
Water Play Island by Mariske Pemmelaar Groot in Utrecht, Netherlands. Photo by De Jong Luchtfotografie

Building as Ornament was launched on Tuesday 13 May at the Netherlands Architecture Institute, accompanied by panel debate between Winy Maas of MVRDV and Michiel Riedijk of Neutelings Riedijk Architects.

King Abdulaziz Center of Knowledge and Culture
King Abdulaziz Center of Knowledge and Culture by Snøhetta, Saudi Arabia

The book is available to purchase from publishers Nai010 and selected retailers.

This competition is now closed. Five winners will be selected at random and notified by email. Winners' names will be published in a future edition of our Dezeen Mail newsletter and at the top of this page. Dezeen competitions are international and entries are accepted from readers in any country.