Call for Submissions: Convergence Center For Engineering and Applied Science International Design Competition

The EU TUMO Convergence Center for Engineering and Applied Science will be a mixed-use campus bringing together academia and industry, linking local students, researchers and technologists to each other and with their global peers, and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. The Convergence Center program includes a set of mutually reinforcing facilities totaling 25,000 sqm of built-up area. The project site is a 15,000 sqm plot perched on top of the Hrazdan river gorge in Yerevan, Armenia. With an initial budget of over 25 million euros, it will create an open platform and a vibrant community combining academic and training facilities, businesses and a conference venue with retail units such as cafes, restaurants, a gym and a daycare center.

The project is an extension of the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies, an innovative after-school learning center attended by close to 15,000 teenagers every week. It is located next to the TUMO building which houses, in addition to the TUMO Center, leading technology companies, both multinationals and startups.


Hashim Sarkis is Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT, curator of the 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale, and director of Hashim Sarkis Studios. He holds Architecture degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design and Harvard University and has authored and edited several books on architectural theory.

Marie Lou Papazian is the founding CEO of the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies and previously led the Education for Development Foundation. She holds a degree in Computing in Education from Columbia University. She is trained as an engineer and has been lead construction manager on major building projects in New York City.

Raffi Krikorian is a former VP at Twitter, Engineering Director at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center in charge of self-driving cars, and Chief Technology Officer of the National Democratic Committee. He is currently Managing Director at the Emmerson Collective and a member of the board of TUMO Center for Creative Technologies.

Jean-Marc Lavest is the Rector of the French University in Armenia. He has initiated the expansion of the university into a new campus and has led the creation of its new computer science and mathematics department. He has held leadership positions in various academic institutions and holds graduate degrees in engineering, machine vision and robotics.

Soh Yeong Roh is the founder and director of the Art Center Nabi, an institution in Seoul which pioneered the new media art scene in Korea and is specialized in media arts in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence and conceptual art. She holds graduate degrees from Stanford University in education and from Yonsei University in media communication.


A two stage open international competition.
Stage I: Expressions of interest.
Stage II: Three firms selected for a two-day workshop with the organizers


An honorarium of 20,000 EUR will be paid to each of the three shortlisted teams participating in the 2-day workshop during Stage II of the competition. The winning team will be commissioned to develop the design of the project from concept through schematic design and to supervise the work of TUMO Engineering from design development through construction (conditions and fees to be determined under the contract formalized between the winning team and the TUMO). Travel and Accommodation costs incurred for the 2 Day Workshop, for two people will be covered by TUMO. There will be no compensation for participation in Stage I.


In addition to the prerogatives of extensibility, common space, and accessibility to the general public, the project’s design requirements include density, vegetation and a future-oriented architectural expression.


In addition to the prerogatives of extensibility, common space, and accessibility to the general public, the project’s design requirements include density, vegetation and a future-oriented architectural expression.


Yerevan has a dry climate with very hot summers. At the same time, much of the city’s former tree cover has been lost over time due to various reasons. Even TUMO’s own plaza, linking the TUMO building and the Convergence Center site to Tumanyan Park is a hard landscape with little vegetation. It is therefore very important to incorporate abundant vegetation and particularly trees, in the Convergence Center project, as an integral aspect of the design.


We expect the Convergence Center’s physical expression to convey more than just a modern educational and professional environment. We want it to make an extraordinary architectural statement about the future of comfortable and livable built environments for learning and working. Whether that vision manifests in a bold or delicate architectural expression, it needs to send a clear signal about the innovative and high-concept ambitions of the Convergence Center project.

The Convergence Center is a project jointly funded by the European Union and TUMO, with the participation of the French University in Armenia. It is designed as an open platform promoting project-based learning and entrepreneurship, but also as a self-sustaining financial ecosystem that will generate sufficient revenues by renting offices, conference and convention venues and retail facilities to cover its operating costs and offer free or highly subsidized education services to local students and young professionals.

The project pursues two key objectives:

1. It strives to provide cutting-edge education to students and young professionals in engineering and applied science in order to prepare them for the labor market and make them competitive at a global level.
2. It seeks to offer a platform for existing initiatives, including startups, incubators,
accelerators, universities, and industry, in order to build productive linkages and foster resource sharing and collaboration.

It will use the following strategy to achieve these objectives.

1. Prioritize applied, project-based education in leading-edge technology fields
2. Create a vibrant neighborhood with all essential ecosystem components
3. Complement and empower local institutions by providing shared resources
The following are the main program elements of the Convergence Center campus.


TUMO Labs will provide non-formal educational services inside of the EU TUMO Convergence Center, building on the know-how acquired by TUMO Center for Creative Technologies. It will act as an incubator for real-world educational projects that have the potential of spawning viable startups. Students and young professionals aspiring to take part in TUMO Labs projects will participate in online courses (MOOCs) that prepare them with essential prerequisites and act as a filter for identifying the most motivated and capable participants.


The Convergence Center will host a shared hub which will make lab equipment and facilities available to all Convergence Center participants and the wider community. Member institutions are expected to allocate resources to the shared hub by collocating in it any equipment they procure through grants or research programmes. In exchange, they will be allowed to use the equipment and facilities already available there. It will be a multi-purpose facility, which will expand in size over time and will have spaces that are interchangeable with TUMO Labs and the 42 Coding Bootcamp (see below).


School 42 is an innovative coding school based in Paris that is now building an international network of locations offering its program. Similar to TUMO, 42 is based on project-based learning. Peer-to-peer evaluation and gamification are used to support a highly efficient model of hands-on learning. A maximum of 150 students are expected to enter the 42 programs at the Convergence Center on an annual basis.


As a university offering diplomas which are recognized internationally, the French University in Armenia has been a leading educational institution in Yerevan since its opening in 2000. To further help it develop its educational activities in Armenia, UFAR will relocate its entire campus inside the Convergence Center and will expand it to include a new department of mathematics and computer science.


The Convergence Center will also include a space for conferences and conventions – a key resource that it is needed to meet the growing demand for such facilities in Armenia. It will be used for educational and business events.


Office space will be made available for rent to companies in sectors and areas of activity relevant to the mission of the Convergence Center. Office space will also be allocated to start-ups that originate from the Convergence Center or are affiliated with its partner organizations.


In light of the fact that the Convergence Center will host a large number of entities, it can also stimulate demand for services such as cafes, gyms, print shops, day-care centers and restaurants. The existence of such retail facilities in the Convergence Center will play a key role in creating a neighborhood effect that is important for any vibrant ecosystem, and conducive to unstructured interactions among its participants.


The competition will follow a two-stage approach.

Stage One: Submission of prequalification information.
Stage Two: Site visit and 2day workshop

The prequalification phase (Stage I) will allow the organizer to select three firms based on their cover letter, portfolio, CVs and financial health. These three firms will then compete in a finals stage (Stage II): They will be invited to visit the site and to take part in a 2-day workshop with the client team and the jury. One of the three firms participating in Stage II will be announced the competition winner and will be awarded the architectural design contract for the Convergence Center. The winning firm will be contracted to (1) develop the project through schematic design, to then (2) work with the TUMO Engineering team who will provide design development, production of construction documents, and engineering services including structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing under the supervision of the winning firm, and to (3) supervise the design and construction process through completion.


The competition is the initiative of the Simonian Educational Foundation (the Organizer), a non-profit foundation based in Yerevan, Armenia and operating under the brand of TUMO Center for Creative Technologies.


The competition is open to all architecture firms that are:

1. In good financial standing
2. A private legal entity
3. Licensed in their country of practice
4. Not be targeted by the EU’s sanctions list
5. Be eligible according to the EU’s Rules on participation in procurement procedures and grants (Annex 1 for list of eligible countries)
6. Not involved in criminal proceedings or tax evasion

TUMO is looking for firms that can propose project solutions combining exceptional design quality with a pragmatic and cost-effective approach, and that has experience in developing complex projects from initial design through construction.


Applicants are requested to register for the competition by June 23, 2019, by following the “Register” link/button on the project website at and to submit by June 30, 2019, the documents required for Stage I as listed below.


Firms are invited to submit information about their experience and the assigned team members, along with a financial statement and fee structure as specified below. Please note that design concepts will not be accepted at this stage but firms are encouraged to present in a brief cover letter their vision for the project as well as why they are a good fit for it. Three firms from among the Stage One candidates will be shortlisted to participate in Stage Two.

Submission requirements:

1. Cover letter
Introducing the firm and the design team and outlining the firm’s vision and fit for the project. This document must contain the Team’s contact details and be signed by a legally authorized representative.

2. Registration form and copy of trade register
In addition to filling out Annex 2 applicants should submit a copy of their trade register in order to prove their nationality. In the case of consortia, all members should provide both documents.

3. Team composition and qualification
Describe the composition of the team that will be assigned to the project and that will participate in Stage II if selected and list the team members and their roles. Provide team member CVs.

4. Company presentation
Provide any information or material that can present the firm, its experience, expertise and reputation. Please provide a list of project experience the format provided in Annex 3.

5. Financial capacity statement
Please provide in the format provided in Annex 4.

6. Availability for 2-day workshop
Confirm the availability of the team to participate in a 2-day workshop if selected for Stage II. Please fill out Annex 5.

7. Human resource capacity
Please fill out form on human resource capacity in Annex 6 indicating your available human resources in general.

8. Estimated costs of architectural fees in the form of a financial proposal
Participants should provide information about their fee structure in addition to other costs. When calculating the financial proposal the following should be taken into account:
• Cost for design work from concept preparation to schematic design.
• Follow-up fees for a duration of up to 3 years starting from the winning publication until end of construction. As described above, design development and production of construction documents as well as all engineering (Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, etc.) design will be executed in Armenia by the TUMO Engineering team under the supervision of the winning firm. The winner will have access to construction and planning documents and will be able to follow the construction through regular photo/video uploads and periodic site visits.
• Please also provide daily fees for site visit for different levels of personnel, as the winner will be expected to schedule site visits throughout the development and construction phases. Please fill out Annex 7 - Financial Proposal, providing the above-mentioned information.

9. Further declarations
Please fill out the annex on No Conflict of Interest (Annex 8), Joint Ventures (if applicable) (Annex 9) and the Declaration of Undertaking (Annex 10).

All of the above documents must be submitted digitally in A4 (portrait) PDF format and uploaded into the relevant folder on the competition website.


Three shortlisted firms will be invited to visit the site and to take part in a 2-day workshop with the client team and Jury members during the second half of July. During this time, workshop participants will explore project requirements and ideas, and develop sketches for an architectural concept and expression, as well as massing and layout studies. One of the three shortlisted firms will be commissioned to execute the architectural design project.


• Competition launched: 10 June, 2019
• Registration closes: 23 June, 2019
• Deadline for submission : 30 June, 2019
• Announcement firms shortlisted for Stage II:
12 July, 2019

• Workshops period: July 15-31
• Jury deliberation: August 15-31
• Winner announced : September 1-15


The Jury will evaluate all submissions of expressions of interest to ensure that the selected firms meet the pre-qualification requirements and will assess qualifying firms on the following:
• Evidence of the firm’s understanding of the project vision
• Fit of the firm’s portfolio and experience with the project requirements
• Qualifications and seniority of assigned team members
• Correspondence of the firm’s free structure to reasonable industry standards
• Availability of the assigned team for the site visit and 2 day workshop
• Reference checks to be conducted by the Organizer as needed

After the evaluation and potential clarification discussions, the three shortlisted firms will be announced on the competition website and through other channels. The Jury’s decision will be final and not subject to appeal.

The Jury will evaluate each firm after their participation in the 2-day workshop based on the following criteria.
• Quality of the design ideas and concepts generated during the workshop in terms of originality and feasibility
• Responsiveness to the project’s architectural characteristics, program requirements and urban context
• Effectiveness of the collaboration between the design team and the client team based on the workshop dynamics
• The fee structure and timeframe proposed by the firm for the design deliverables and supervision in case of award

After the evaluation and potential clarification discussions, the winning firm will be announced on the competition website and through other channels. The Jury’s decision will be final and not subject to appeal.


English is the official language of the competition. Proposals submitted in any other language will not be admitted.

Bidders will be disqualified if they fail to provide the required legal, technical and financial documentation.

Firms participating in the competition automatically grant the Organizer the right to disseminate the list of participating, shortlisted and winning firms and to document the competition process, including photos and videos of workshops, for promotional purposes.

The competition jury, their associates, employees and direct family members, are not eligible to enter the competition. Direct family members, associates and employees of the Organizer are also ineligible to participate in this open call. Participants are requested to declare any conflict of interest that may compromise the competition procedure and the overall completion of the

The Organizers reserve the right to dismiss proposals from participating teams where actual or potential conflicts of interest do indeed exist. All competitors are expected to notify the Organizers of any change of circumstance during the competition process. The Organizers holds no liability for any costs incurred by the competitors during their participation in the competition. Likewise, the Organizers accepts no liability for additional costs that may be caused due to modification or
cancellation of the competition.


Competitors may address inquiries relating to the competition process and brief to the Organizer prior to the deadline, as defined in the competition schedule. The organizer may post such questions and the corresponding responses to the competition website. Questions should be e-mailed to

  • Title

    Call for Submissions: Convergence Center For Engineering and Applied Science International Design Competition
  • Type

    Call for Submissions
  • Website

  • Organizers

  • Registration Deadline

    June 23, 2019 11:59 PM
  • Submission Deadline

    June 30, 2019 11:59 PM
  • Venue

    Yerevan, Armenia
  • Price


Participants should also bear in mind that telephone inquiries will not be accepted. All issues related to this project must be addressed directly to the Organizer. Under no circumstances should competitors contact any member of the jury to discuss aspects of this competition. Contacting members of the jury will result in an automatic disqualification. The Organizer may introduce changes to the competition schedule. Modifications will be published on the competition website. Participants are responsible for checking updates on the competition website on a regular basis. on the competition website on a regular basis.

Download the information related to this competition here.

This call for submissions was submitted by an ArchDaily user. If you'd like to submit a competition, call for submissions or other architectural 'opportunity' please use our "Submit a Call for Submissions" form. The views expressed in announcements submitted by ArchDaily users do not necessarily reflect the views of ArchDaily.

Cite: "Call for Submissions: Convergence Center For Engineering and Applied Science International Design Competition" 10 Jun 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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