Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Photos | Art of Building finalists revealed

7 December 2020
City in the Desert, by Joebel Garcisto

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has revealed the 15 finalists in its Art of Building Photographer of the Year competition.

The 15 images made it past the judging panel out of the thousands submitted from more than 100 countries around the world.  In the final are photographs from Australia, China, Indonesia, Russia, the USA and the UK.

Now the CIOB is asking the public to help choose this year’s winner, as the competition now enters its final stage.

The competition, now in its 11th year, celebrates the creativity of the construction industry and the built world around us.

Caroline Gumble, CIOB chief executive, said: “We applaud everyone who entered our competition – so much of the photography we’ve seen for this year’s Art of Building is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s also truly inspiring to see how these photographers can tell the story of the built world around us with new and unusual perspectives. This competition is a universal conversation between those who build and those who wonder at the buildings around us.”

There are two awards to be won: the £1,500 Judges’ Prize, chosen by the judges, and the £1,500 Public Choice Award chosen by the public through an online vote.

Vote for the winner on the competition website. Winners will be announced on 26 January 2021.

The finalists

1) Museo Guggenheim Bilbao
Javier Arcenillas took this photo of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. He said: “A young woman sits down to wait by one of the flowerpots that decorate the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. During the summer of covid 19, the lack of tourism in the city has transformed the way people understand the building itself.”
2) City in the Desert
Joebel Garcisto, who captured this image in Al Ain City, UAE, said: “This housing project is built at the bottom of the mountain and surrounded by the warm colour of desert.”  
3) Jamkaran Mosque
by Hadi Dehghanpour, Iran
4) Creating the Future
Shyjith Onden Cheriyath, from Dubai, said: “The Museum of Future is the latest edition to Dubai’s architecture wonders. It is a museum that not only houses innovation and design but is innovative and creative itself.”
5) Passing Through
Robert Debski from the USA took this image in Porto, Portugal. He said: “Casa da Musica in Porto, Portugal provides the photographer with many striking viewpoints. However, fortunate timing not only brought movement to this image but also a level of intrigue as one tries to reconcile the perspective.”
6) Maastricht 01
Photographer Philippe van Gelooven from Belgium took this image in Maastricht, Netherlands
7) Inle Lake Houses
Aung Chan Thar, from Myanmar, said: “I have been to Inle Lake many times. It is inhabited by the Shan people, one of the Burmese ethnic groups. They build floating houses on Inle Lake as they search for their livelihood. They trade on the water on a floating market.”
8) The Church and the Skyscrapers
Anna Kaunis, from Russia, said of this image: “A cosy church, sandwiched between a family of skyscrapers in Moscow”
9) Colourful Doors
Gerdie Hutomo Nurhadi took this photo in Jakarta, Indonesia
10) Snake Under the Moonlight
Jinjing Lyu took this photo in Heilongjiang, China. Jinjing said: “Taken on the last day of 2019. Harbin Theatre in Heilongjiang.”
11) City on Fire, Reflected
Daniel Jenney from the USA, took this image in New York. He said: “Modern, minimalist architecture can really be a great canvas to let light play and change throughout the day, this structure located on New York’s lower west side reflects the sunset behind the city and provides great hard and sharp contrast to the pastel sky.”
12) There is no bad weather for building
Kirill Kolosova took this image of the construction of the 87-storey Lakhta Tsentr in St Petersburg, Russia. He said: “Not even the weather can stop the tallest skyscraper in Europe from being built.”
13) The Land of Buddha
Bob Chia took this image in Fuzhou, China
14) The Value of Time
James Retief, from the UK, said of this photo of Big Ben: “With the ongoing renovations to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, this iconic monument has been shrouded in a layer of scaffolding. I found beauty in the filigree matrix of scaffolding poles, stairs, and netting, that temporarily obscures the monument abstracting it into a low fidelity approximation of the overly familiar form.”
15) Arg of Karim Khan
Borna Mirahmadien from Australia took this photo in Shiraz, Iran. Mirahmadien said: “Sun shines through colourful stained-glass window of Karim Khan Arg, located in Shiraz, Iran. This masterpiece is all about the Art of Building.”


Fabulous innovations and photography, it is a pity that the only U.K. image is of an old building cloaked in scaffold. Is there a moral in that?

Victor Cooper, 7 December 2020