Publicity image by Buildner

Following the success of the Sansusi food court architectural competition and the implementation of the winning design, Buildner is launching a new architectural competition for a wooden stage in line with the festival’s values of sustainability, creativity, and community involvement. The stage is planned as a venue for the Sansusī Musician Standoffs, which would also function as a sound sculpture. The competition is open until July 2 for anyone interested to submit proposals that offer an easy-to-build solution and reflect the creative spirit of the festival.

Stories Editorial March 19, 2024

Every year, on the second weekend of August, in the territory of the artist residency centre Susēja in Aknīste, Latvia, the alternative chamber music festival Sansusī takes place. The festival — from its programme to the scenography of the festival territory — is designed as an artistic adventure where, along with classical and contemporary chamber music, visitors can also enjoy other contemporary art performances in open air and a free atmosphere.


The Musician Standoff at Sansusī is a captivating part of the festival, where musicians engage in dynamic duels that showcase their spontaneity, wit, and skill in an unconventional performance format. These standoffs, less about technical prowess and more about engaging the audience, bring an electrifying and interactive element to the festival, celebrating the art of live musical improvisation.

Buildner invites architects, designers, and other creatives, individually or in teams of up to four, to submit Musician Standoff stage design proposals that reflect the innovative spirit of this performance format. The task of the participants is to create a sculptural wooden stage that also doubles as a musical instrument, enriching the auditory experience of the festival and becoming a new landmark. The design should include two stage platforms of approximately 5×5 metres, an 8×3-metre bar with storage, and seating for 400–600 spectators. The stage should be able to generate sound either passively through its architectural form or actively by interacting with visitors. Given that additional sounds are not desirable during performances, the proposals should include the possibility of sounds being silenced.


It is important that the proposed solution for the stage, bar, and seating be as environmentally friendly as possible, does not involve cutting down trees, and takes into account Latvia’s climatic conditions. The project is to be constructed mainly of wood, but additional sustainable materials are also acceptable. The proposal must be both environmentally and financially sustainable, with implementation costs of around 20–30 thousand euros. It is essential that the project could be carried out in a short time, 3-5 days, by volunteers — a team of up to 10 people with no prior knowledge of construction.

The competition is open to everyone. The deadline for submission of proposals is July 2 and the deadline for registration is June 25. Participants are required to pay a registration fee to enter the competition. The first prize winner will receive a cash prize of 5000 euros, the second prize winner will get 2500 euros and the third prize winner will be awarded 1000 euros. The entries will be judged by Sansusī’s Uldis Trapencieris and Armands Siliņš-Bergmanis, architects Vents Vīnbergs (NRJA), Oskars Kotello (Meru Architects) and Marija Katrīna Dambe (Nomad Architects), as well as the editor of FOLD, Paula Gāgane


By taking part in this competition, participants have the chance to not only win monetary prizes but also to see their project come to life. The authors of the project, who won last year’s Buildner competition for the design of the Sansusī food court, brought their proposal to life with their own hands. It should be noted that the winners of the competition are not required to physically build the project. If it is selected for realisation, their participation in the construction phase is optional. Authors may choose to join the construction process as volunteers, but this is not obligatory.

More information about the competition, its regulations, and other competition materials are available on the Buildner website.