private plots & public spots  



Competition brief for the international garden architecture award

best private plots – Die besten Gärten 2012

>> Download competition brief [PDF]
>> Applicant letter and declaration of consent 2012 [PDF]
>> Competition - FAQ

I. Awarding Authority
As part of its program “Natur im Garten”, the Province of Lower Austria is presenting the international garden design award best private plots – Die besten Gärten 2012 in recognition of excellence in the design of sustainable private outdoor spaces and gardens. The international competition best private plots – Die besten Gärten 2012 is the fifth in the series.

Competition Management
Team private plots
Dr. DI Karin Standler, landscape architect

II. Subject of the Competition
The subject of the competition is the design of sustainable gardens as private outdoor spaces blending architecture, ecology and landscape. Competition entries must be completed gardens that are clearly identifiable as intended for private residence and use.
The focus is on gardens as places of design, inspiration and creation, as habitats that tell stories. The competition seeks to make an important contribution to the scientific discourse on contemporary garden design. Gardens completed after January 1, 2002 can be entered in the competition. Projects that can be submitted include roof gardens and terraces, extended living spaces, courtyard gardens, gardens, community gardens, landscape gardens, water gardens and projects for the extension or redesign of existing gardens

The competition entries will be judged on criteria including artistic and conceptual qualities, ecological use of plants and materials, combination of indoor and outdoor spaces, delimitation of spaces and organization of outdoor spaces. Special attention will be paid to variety of uses and sustainability.
The award is presented both for new gardens and for garden interventions (extension or redesign of existing gardens).

III. Eligibility
The competition is open and international. Landscape architects, architects, designers, artists, gardeners, garden owners, or teams consisting of a combination thereof are eligible for the competition.

IV. Language of the Competition
Official language of the competition: English
In addition, a project description in German may be included.

V. Entry Requirements
Each entrant may submit only one project. Multiple entries will be disqualified.
Each project can be submitted only once for best private plots. Projects that have been submitted for best private plots in 2006, 2007, 2008 or 2010 will be disqualified.

Documents must be sent by mail and uploaded to the server in digital form:

V.1. Submission by mail
The following documents must be submitted by mail:

1. Poster
Entrants are required to submit a poster to be used for presentation (rolled), A0 vertical, featuring plans, photos, a project description, with optional supplementary sketches, sections, detail drawings, elevations, plant lists and a project description and presentation of the underlying ideas of the garden etc.
Please ensure that the name(s) of the entrant(s) and the location of the garden or private outdoor space are clearly visible on the poster.
The posters depicting the approx. thirty projects nominated will be shown in the exhibition best private plots – Die besten Gärten 2012.

2. Poster as handout A3
A handout (one sheet) with the same content as the poster serves as the basis for assessment by the jury, A3 format is required.

3. Project description
This should be a portrait of the garden and its unique aspects, as well as information on the location, on one page A4 (500 words). If the project is nominated for the award, this text will be the basis for the description of the project in the catalog, which will be written by Peter Zöch (Topos International Review of Landscape Architecture).

4. Statement of Authorship and Declaration of Consent
Download: >> download:
V.2. Digital Submission
In addition to submission by mail, all materials must be digitalized and uploaded to our server.

  1. Poster: A0 vertical as PDF
  2. Handout: A3 (one sheet), with the same content as the poster, as PDF
  3. Project description: portrait of the garden, unique aspects of the garden as Word, PDF or RTF file, one page A4
  4. Images: 6 to 12 photographs (A4) as TIF, JPG or Photoshop EPS, resolution 300 dpi, stating the rights to the photographs and giving the name(s) of the photographer(s)
  5. Statement of Authorship and Declaration of Consent:
    download >>


VI.     Submission of Entries 
Please submit all competition documents using the keyword
best private plots – Die besten Gärten 2012
Technisches Büro für Landschaftsplanung
DI Dr. Karin Standler
Seidengasse 13/3
A-1070 Vienna

The competition documents listed under V.2. must be uploaded to the server:
Server address
Username: privateplots
Password: plots12
Create a file folder with the name of the submitter (zip file if possible, containing all the files listed under V.2.), drag and drop to the elephants or select in the file browser.

The deadline for submitting documents is June 4, 2012. The documents must be uploaded to the server and received by the competition management office by 12.00 (noon) CET. Entries must be sent postage paid and at no cost to the recipient.

VII. Judging Process and Competition Jury
Five expert judges have been nominated as the competition jury. These individuals have demonstrated their competence in judging garden design and landscape architecture. In case a jury member is unable to fulfill his or her obligations, a substitute will be nominated, if possible; otherwise the chair of the jury will have two votes.

Stig L. Andersson (DK), SLA Urbanity I Strategy I Landscape
Franziska Bark Hagen (CH), cultural scientist
Teresa Moller (CL), Estudio del Paisaje Teresa Moller & Asociados
Vladimir Sitta (CZ/AU), Terragram
Tom Stuart-Smith (GB), Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd Landscape Design

The jury’s decisions are made by simple majority vote. All decisions by the jury are final and not subject to appeal. Any recourse to courts of law is excluded. Staff of and persons related to the awarding authority and the competition management are not eligible to enter the competition.

VIII. Publication
The public announcement of the winners will be made on September 29, 2012 at 7.00 pm at Essl Museum, An der Donau-Au 1, 3400 Klosterneuburg near Vienna, Austria.

The projects nominated by the jury will be published in the catalog Internationale Beispiele zu Gartenarchitektur: best private plots – Die besten Gärten 2012. The catalog will be presented at the award ceremony. The best outdoor spaces and gardens will also be shown in an exhibition.

IX. Awards
Prize money totaling € 15,000 will be awarded for the top three projects.

First prize

Euro 7,000

Second prize

Euro 5,000

Third prize

Euro 3,000


Questions regarding the competition may be addressed to the organizer until May 3, 2012 at The responses will be posted on the website starting on May 10, 2012.

XI. Timeline

April 2, 2012

Kick-off of international call for entries for best private plots – Die besten Gärten 2012

May 3, 2012

Period for submitting questions to ends

May 10, 2012

Responses to questions at

June 04, 2012

Deadline for submitting entries

July 10, 2012

Announcement of projects nominated at

September 28, 2012

Final judging of the projects submitted

September 28, 2012, 7.00 pm

Meet & Greet at a wine tavern for all entrants attending

September 29, 2012, 7.00 pm

Award ceremony and announcement of the winners, presentation of the catalog best private plots – Die besten Gärten 2012, and opening of the exhibition featuring the nominated projects


The entrants’ presence at the award ceremony is encouraged. Please book your accommodation in a timely manner by email to

XII. Catalog
At the award ceremony, each nominee will receive a free copy of the catalog. Catalogs can also be ordered at: