Call for entries to YAC's Green Academy competition 2016

Dezeen promotion: architects and designers are invited to submit concepts to transform an abandoned paper factory in Bologna, Italy, into a high school and a business incubator for start-ups (+ slideshow).

The Green Academy competition, organised by Young Architects Competitions (YAC), asks entrants to address the effects of population growth on the environment by reusing the building to develop a centre dedicated to environmental and sustainable practices.

Located in Marzabotto, a small Italian town and commune, the former paper factory is owned by Dismeco – a European company that disposes and recycles electrical equipment.

Green Academy competition

Proposals for the building's transformation must accommodate both teaching spaces for a high school as well as areas for start-ups.

"Dismeco aims at designing its own didactic centre to become the most acknowledged international reference in research, training and development of sustainable disciplines," said YAC.

The international jury panel includes architects Ippolito Pestellini from OMA, Agostino Ghirardelli from Libeskind Studio, and Valerie Mulvin from McCullough Mulvin Studio.

Green Academy competition

A total of €20,000 (approximately £15,500) in prize money will be awarded. The winner will receive €10,000 (approximately £7,730), the runner-up gets €4,000 (approximately £2,800) and the third prize is €2,000 (approximately £1,400). Four gold honourable mentions will also receive €1,000 (approximately £775).

Four other finalists will receive an honourable mention, and will also be featured in various architectural publications. All 30 finalists will be published on the Young Architects Competitions website, and all receive a one-year subscription to Casabella magazine.

All material for the competition can be downloaded from the YAC website. Entrants must then register and upload their project.

Green Academy competition

Registration opens 16 May 2016 and submissions are being accepted until 1 August 2016.

For more details about the competition, visit the YAC website or contact the organisers.

Read on for more information from YAC:

Green Academy competition 2016

While the planet is quickening its pace towards seven billion inhabitants and the effects of the anthropic action on the terrestrial ecosystem are becoming clear, a different environmental awareness is not an optional attitude anymore but an urgent need that cannot be postponed.

Green Academy competition

In a society that consumes and pollutes at a quicker pace than the earth can stand, we need new ideas to face pointless alarmism and misguided skepticism.

Dismeco – a leading company in Europe in the disposal and recycling of electrical equipment – has been pledging for years in creating a more sustainable future through a more widespread action in reusing and treating complex waste.

Dismeco knows well that a better world is only possible with an increasingly widespread environmental awareness. That is why Dismeco, thinking about new generations, aims at creating the first and most excellent school in the world that is dedicated to the culture of ecology and sustainability.

Green Academy competition

Dismeco owns an abandoned building, which consists of 5,000 square metres belonging to the area of the former paper factory of Marzabotto. In this facility Dismeco aims at designing its own didactic centre to become the most acknowledged international reference in research, training and development of sustainable disciplines.This will be possible thanks to the cooperation of numerous and valuable partners.

How to transform an old paper factory into a facility to become the symbol and cornerstone of ecology and environmental compatibility?

YAC lays the foundations for Green Academy, the Unindustria competition which aims at transforming an industrial architecture into the best training centre inspired by the principles of green economy and sustainable development.

Green Academy competition

The proposal will host a high school and a business incubator for environmentally-friendly start-ups. The renovation of the industrial building will enable the creation of the first and most important school of ecology and sustainability.

The aim is to transform the building into a global epicentre for a more responsible society and a more sustainable future.


Mario Cucinella (Mc Architects)
Valerie Mulvin (McCullough Mulvin Studio)
Ippolito Pestellini (OMA)
Agostino Ghirardelli (Libeskind Studio)
Nicola Pizzoli (Unindustrai)
Claudio Tedeschi (Dismeco)
Alessandro Marata (C N A P P C)
Riccardo Gulli (UNIBO – University of Bologna)
Alessandra Bonoli (Dicam)


First prize: €10,000
Second prize: €4,000
Third prize: €2,000
Four honourable mentions "Gold": €1,000

In addition, there will be 10 honourable mentions and 30 finalists awarded, like the winners listed above, with a one-year subscription to Casabella magazine and with the publication of their projects on YAC’s website and main architectural magazines and websites.


16 May - 12 June 2016 early bird registration
13 June 2016 - 10 July 2016 standard registration
11 July 2016 - 1 August 2016 late registration
1 August 2016 material submission deadline