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Open Competitions


Performing Oasis

YAC in collaboration with EQI and the Italian Embassy in Cairo launch a call for ideas aiming to imagine the oasis of Siwa as a global capital for performing and site-specific arts.

Performing Oasis


Fragile ecosystems that have acquired a higher meaning than their mere environmental connotation.  

Oases are a liminal place with liminal contrasts, atavistic contrasts between vegetation and desert, life and death. There is something mystical about oases. There is something unreal and illogical, something that makes them places of imagination and dream, archetype and myth.  

The Siwa Oasis is situated between Libya and Egypt, clustered around the oily waters of vast salt lakes. It is indeed one of the most renowned and suggestive oases of the planet.  

Formerly home to the mighty oracle of Amon, Siwa is mentioned by Herodotus and numerous historians of ancient times. It is the place that stole the heart of Alexander the Great. Here is where he was proclaimed the son of the Egyptian god and where -according to the legend- he wished to be interred.

Not just desert and palm groves. Clung to sculpture-like massifs, the ruins of the ancient Shali are a chaotic mosaic of mud dwellings and salt rocks creating a breathtaking and diverse image. In Siwa numerous beauties chase and caress one another: the oasis, the desert, the temples and the ghost town.   

However magnificent and perfect it may be, in order to survive Siwa has to find its own role in the contemporary world. Life in the oasis is threatened by the swelling of salt lakes. Day after day, the ancient Berber ruins are turning into dust due to neglect and atmospheric agents.   

This is why Performing Oasis was established. This is the competition by EQI and the Italian Embassy in Cairo to protect and preserve Siwa by reinterpreting it as a modern theatrical machine. By making the most of its scenic magnificence, Siwa can become the perfect setting to host the performances of the most prestigious musicians, dancers, artists and creatives of the international scenario.      

This is the vision of the competition: Siwa as a global capital for performing and site-specific arts.  

Amid the ruins of the ancient Shali, against the backdrop of brackish lakes and the skyline of the Sahara dunes, the world's greatest performers will be able to rendezvous and be enraptured by the same spirits that inspired predictions and prophecies centuries ago. Here, they will find the ideal backdrop for their performances and secure Siwa's future as a powerful place of experimentation and creativity: by definition and finally election, an oasis of culture, innovation and wonder. 

YAC thanks all the architects who will take up this challenge.



Each jury is nominated with utmost care and is composed by professionals of the highest repute whose activity is consistent with the theme of the competition.

  • Francesca Singer
  • Giuseppe Zampieri
    David Chipperfield Architects Milano
  • Raul Pantaleo
  • Mounir Neamatalla
  • Michele Quaroni
    Ambasciata d'Italia in Egitto
  • Matteo Thun
    Matteo Thun & Partners
  • Emanuele Montibeller
    Founder Arte Sella
  • India Mahdavi
    Studio India Mahdavi


All awarded projects will be sent to websites, magazines and architectural platforms. Furthermore, they can be displayed in national and international architectural events.

1st Prize

€ 8.000

2nd Prize

€ 4.000

3rd Prize

€ 2.000

Gold Mention

€ 500

Gold Mention

€ 500

Honorable Mention


Finalist Mention



Complying with deadlines is a fundamental requirement to take part in the competition. All architects are encouraged to pay the utmost attention to the timeline and to complete each phase in advance.

* +22% VAT. Fulfilling an “Early bird”, “Standard” or “Late” registration does not affect submission deadline.

Early Bird Registration

€ 65 / team*

Standard Registration

€ 85 / team*

Late Registration

€ 115 / team*

Material Submission Deadline

Jury Summoning

Results Announcement


YAC provides architects with content-rich competition material so that they can best express their ideas and thoughts wherever they live.

Rules Ita En Es Fr Pt Zh Ru Ar

Rules of the competition


Images useful to the competition



3D model and textures for Performing Oasis Competition


Is it possible to take part in the competition as an individual?

Is there an age limit to take part in the competition?

Can a team submit more than one proposal?

Is it possible to modify the team’s information after the payment has been made?

Where can I find the materials about the competition site? Is it possible to use material other than the given one?

Shall all the areas listed in the program be designed or is it up to the designer’s decision?

What should be the dimensions of each function mentioned in the program?

Where will the Performing Oasis functions be located?

Are there specific constraints regarding the design proposals?

Are there specific requirements regarding the construction techniques to take in consideration?

The 3D model provided appears to be without textures, where can we find them?


YAC thanks all the people who have been engaged in organizing the competition by sharing time, materials and resources to make the experience of architects unique.

SANAADavid Chipperfield ArchitectsTamassociatiEQIAmbasciata d'Italia Il CairoMatteo Thun & PartnersStudio India Mahdavi


Performing Oasis

Po Cover 1

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