The RIAS has a long and proud record of managing design competitions for a wide range of projects from complex ‘iconic’buildings to more basic and functional structures. The competitions service managed by RIAS Consultancy has extended its remit to include all quality-based consultant selection procedures consistent with achieving Best Value.


A well managed design competition must be carefully planned before any information is released to competitors. It is essential that the brief is as comprehensive as possible.

RIAS Consultancy where recently commissioned by the Helix project in Falkirk to manage an important competition to select an architect-led, multi disciplinary team. The competition, won by Nicoll Russell Studios in Dundee was for the design of the internal space within a giant sculpture of a horse’s head- which will be set within one of two horses head sculptures, ‘The Kelpies’, by world renowned sculptor, Andy Scott. The competition was also seeking the design of a complementary visitor hub on the Helix site where the Kelpies will be located.

Mike King, programme director for the Helix Project, welcomed the outcome of the competition. He said: "This is a great result and demonstrates the quality and strength of architecture and design in Scotland.

If you are considering a design competition and would like any help or advice, please contact Charlene Rankin on crankin@rias.org.uk or 0131 229 7545.