Architectural competitions have a history of producing outstanding buildings and pushing the limits of design. In 1889, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel—with engineers Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier as well as architect Stephen Sauvestre—won a competition to design an iron tower in the Champ-de-Mars for the Exposition Universelle. Architectural newcomer Jørn Utzon was a surprise victor of the 1956-7 competition to design the Sydney Opera House. The Guggenheim Bilbao opened in 1997 following an invited competition in which Arata Isozaki, Hon. FAIA, Coop Himmel(b)lau, and Frank Gehry, FAIA, were asked to conceive of a Sydney Opera House for Bilbao. And architects have been chasing the Bilbao Effect ever since. 

But, as a recent study by the Van Alen Institute points out, high costs are seen as a barrier of entry and oftentimes designs not chosen as the winning project are wasted. In this week's edition of #ArchitectChats, we asked how architectural competitions advance the discipline and how architects decide whether to enter their designs.

Join in the conversation by following (and using) the hashtag #ArchitectChats on Twitter every Tuesday. You can read last week's chat on advice for recent architecture grads here.

Read our recap of the Twitter #ArchitectChats discussion on Architectural Competitions below: