2021 - her place
design challenge

The winners of the "HER PLACE" design challenge have been announced. Dikshya Poudyal & Dibyaswor Lamichhane. Their design will provide a safe, secure and inviting new environment for empowering Nepalese women and girls. The design was selected out of proposals from more than 20 countries. The local jury members praised the winning design for its careful sensitivity to local culture, uniqueness and inclusive approach to design. .

Statement from THE winning team

“It is a great deal for us designers to see our design realized. When we heard about the competition on our turf, we wanted to contribute to this social cause. Our concept was to design an iconic building to represent women’s strength, while also providing a safe and supportive environment. We were meticulous about the building materials and wanted to implement economic sustainability through architecture. We hope our design serves the purpose and empowers women in the society.”.

A wide range of submissions made use of sustainable materials and highlighted the need for passive cooling, ventilation and natural lighting. The short listed designs showed a creative range of well thought out ideas. The honourable mentions included teams from Russia, China, France and New Zealand


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The new centre will improve access to healthcare, education and recreation that unfortunately many young women lack from an early age through to womanhood. The creation of the centre will strengthen an existing outreach and mentor program being provided by Kanallan and the local charity Jagriti Child and Youth Concern Nepal. These services will support gender equality in the region as well as offering workshops, classes and critically a safe haven for individuals or families in abusive situations. The winning design was selected for being welcoming, open and inclusive but also providing a strong, safe, solid looking building which can withstand the local climate and extreme weather conditions. The successful proposal showed a real understanding of the importance in creating spaces informed by the local culture. A water well at the front for example creates an informal meeting place and a wall to show inspirational stories of local women provides an engaging positive area. These are just a few of the elements which went beyond the original design brief.

“Myself and the team were absolutely blown away with the work and talent that went into the designs for this competition. The girls and young women that this building will serve feel truly a part of something special with a wonderful feeling that there is an international community out there that really cares for them and this new centre. Although only one design could be chosen, the inspiration that myself and the team have drawn from each and every design will influence our work for many years to come. Aspects of all the submissions will be entwined in our work helping underprivileged women and children around the world. The designs have enriched our future plans and broadened our perspective of what is possible, the flair and intricacies in all the work submitted has really demonstrated how much more we could be doing with our construction projects.”
Quintin Clover - Founding Director of Kanallan,
“The challenge was a very difficult one for the jury with such a high level of design quality from so many entries. We are thrilled that we were able to engage the local team and end users with the selection and there is genuine excitement to see this project realised later this year. it has the potential to change lives in a positive way for generations to come”
David Cole Founding Partner of Building Trust international,

Building Trust international will be working closely with Kanallan and local partners to help deliver the winning design during 2021. Once realised this government approved proposal will deliver much needed services and has the chance to be a pilot for more centres of its kind, helping establish a more equitable community at a local and national level.

Honourable mentions

Please take a look at some of the amazing entries that received special mentions from the Jury
CLICK on the images to see the PDF proposals


- Valentin Kogan, Daria Bril, Evgenia Ermoshko, Ilia Ermolayev
- RTA Studio
- Sonja Walzik, Hanna Bederke, Clara Kühn
- CAW Architects based in Palo Alto, California, USA and M.L.Kayastha and Associates based in Kathmandu, Nepal.


- Form4 Architecture
-Studio C+C+ Studio 4215
-Xinghong Wang
- Victoria MOURELLE, Lucie DUBERT, Ana Jayone YARZA PEREZ, Marion CHAPEY, Laure LEPIGEON

past challenges

Take a look at some of our past winners from the last 10 years!

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Past winners:

MOVING SCHOOLS: Amadeo Bennetta / Daniel LaRossa, USA. UNDP HOUSING CHALLENGE: Neha Rane and Avneesh Tiwari, India. CAMBOO: Roberto Bologna, Fernando Barth, Chiara Moretti and Denny Pagliai from Firenze, Italy. PLAYSCAPES: Gerrit Strydom & Lwandile Gcume, South Africa. COOL SCHOOL: Kyle Wylde, Nathan Woodward, Stephen Hawkins and Charley Burrough, UK. SUSTAINABLE HOME: Mary Ann Jackson, Ralph Green, Muhammad Kamil, Nick Shearman, Australia. - Keith Greenwald, Lisa Ekle, USA. - Jess Lumley, Alexander Koller, UK, HOME: levitt bernstein, UK. - MOVED2CARE: Patrick Morgan, Simon Morgan, Jhanéa Williams, USA

Past student prize winners

HOME: Elena Ardighieri, Denmark MOVED2CARE: Christopher Knitt, University of Wisconsin, USA. PLAYSCAPES:Ricardo Alves Morais, Ivo Castro Nascimento, João Maria Bebiano Peixe, Diogo Baeta Neves dos Anjos, Rúben de Sousa Teodoro & Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa, MOVINGSCHOOLS: Gauri Satam, Tejesh Patil, Sir J.J. College of Architecture, India .


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