In pictures | CIOB Art of Building competition shortlist

Fifteen photos have made it to the final shortlist of this year’s CIOB photography competition, the Art of Building.

Members of the public will now be asked to vote for their favourite image by 5 January to decide the winner of the Art of Building Public Choice award. The winner will be announced on 12 January.

CIOB’s panel of judges will also select a winning entry submitted to scoop a separate Judges’ Choice prize. A cash prize of £1,500 is up for grabs for the winners of both the Public Choice and Judges’ Choice awards. 

Below are some of the shortlisted entries.

Kaizhou Window

An aerial view of a big white building and a lake and a landscape in the background.
Kaizhou Window by Hongyi Lou

Photographer: Hongyi Lou
Location of picture: Sichuan Province, China
Location of photographer: China
Picture taken on: Fujifilm

Photographer’s words: “The covered bridge that crosses the entrance encourages people to establish a connection between the lotus pond and the hills, using the building as a window to more fully appreciate the surrounding nature.”

Judges’ comment: “This is a fascinating building, affectionately known as Kaizhou Window, its exciting architecture serves as a gateway to the surrounding scenery and as a signpost to the rest of the world. It is as stunning during the day as it is at night.”

National Mosque of Bangladesh

View of the inside of a mosque from above.
National Mosque of Bangladesh by Azim Khan Ronnie

Photographer: Azim Khan Ronnie
Location of picture: Bangladesh
Location of photographer: Bangladesh
Picture taken on: Huawei P60 Pro

Photographer’s words: “Thousands of people come together to pray over several floors of one of the biggest mosques in the world. Those taking part in group prayers can be seen neatly lined up as they stand, sit, kneel and bow during prayers. The National Mosque of Bangladesh can hold up to 40,000 people, including in the outside open space.”

Judges’ comment: “This is a sacred place that unites hearts and fosters a deep bond between the mosque and its people, celebrating the beauty of cultural diversity and the power of collective prayers. Azim has captured the relationship between people and places of worship beautifully in this image."

F51 – World’s first multi-storey skatepark

A multi-storey skatepark
F51 World’s first multi-storey skatepark by Matt Rowe

Photographer: Matt Rowe
Location of picture: Folkestone, UK
Location of photographer: UK
Picture taken on: Nikon D850

Photographer’s words: “F51 – named so after its Folkestone-based location – wasn’t supposed to be the world’s first multi-storey skatepark. Commissioned by philanthropist Sir Roger De Haan, the original idea was that it should be a multi-storey car park, after which plans morphed into a hybrid of the two, before settling on that which everyone wanted: a skatepark set on multiple floors.”

Judges’ comment: “We think of buildings as serving a practical purpose, but they can also be joyful. Whether that is through their design or end use. Who needs another car park when you can have this!”

The world’s tallest atrium

Art of Building 2023 - World's highest atrium by Jiachen Li
The world’s tallest atrium by Jiachen Li

Photographer: Jiachen Li
Location of picture: Beijing, China
Location of photographer: China
Picture taken on: Sony A7M4

Photographer’s words: “When the visitors stand in the centre of the hall and look up, the hyperbola core tube rising from the ground leads directly to the glass ceiling at the top of the atrium. The stacked gradient of the atrium facade fully demonstrates the enormous tension of the structure, and the magnificent momentum of the world’s tallest atrium. It is like a waterfall, pouring down from a height of 200m.”

Judges’ comment: “This twisting atrium is dizzyingly high. It was designed this way because of an underground train tunnel. The play between light and shadow in this photo makes the whole 45-floor structure seem organic in nature.” 

The Ceiling of Qeysarieh

Art of Building 2023 - The Ceiling of Qeysarieh by Farshid Ahmadpour
The Ceiling of Qeysarieh by Farshid Ahmadpour

Photographer: Farshid Ahmadpour
Location of picture: Isfahan, Iran
Location of photographer: Iran
Picture taken on: Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Photographer’s words: “This is the ceiling of the Qeysarieh Gate, part of the ceremonial site of the Safavid court and a 400-year-old national mansion protected by UNESCO.”

Judges’ comment: “The grand bazaars in Iran often encompass stunning gateways to entice customers on their way to the myriad merchants within. Located to the north of the square, the exquisite Qeysarieh gateway was finished around 1605. This is a fantastic example of Persian architecture.”

Nandgaon Temple

Art of Building 2023 - Nandgaon Temple by Azim Khan Ronnie
Nandgaon Temple by Azim Khan Ronnie

Photographer: Azim Khan Ronnie
Location of picture: Nandgaon, India
Location of photographer: Bangladesh
Picture taken on: DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Photographer’s words: “Nandgaon is a historical town in the Mathura district of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is believed that Krishna in his childhood lived in Nandgaon with his family. It was named after Nand Baba, father of Krishna, and features lots of famous temples related to the times of Krishna.”

Judges’ comment: “There is a sense that everything around this temple sprung up as a result of it being there. This drone photograph captures a ripple-like effect flowing throughout the town, with many of the buildings and roads circling the temple. What is clear is that this temple is an important place for the local community and those who visit Nandgaon for celebration. This wonderful 19th-century temple is a magnet for people and their beliefs.” 

Silk Road Art Gallery

Art of Building 2023 - Silk Road Art Gallery
Silk Road Art Gallery by Sen Wei

Photographer: Sen Wei
Location of picture: China
Location of photographer: China
Picture taken on: Unknown

Photographer’s words: “The Silk Road is an economic development strategy initiated by China to promote the common development of various countries. Unique Silk Road art museums can be found all over China, with their unique shapes and exaggerated artistic curves, perfectly presenting the characteristics of architectural diversity.”

Judges’ comment: “The architecture brings to life the idea of silk; its unusual colour combination is striking. An interior shot that makes you think of dessert.” 

Saul Townsend, head of communications at CIOB, said: “Once again, we have been blown away by this series of stunning images which really showcase the built environment in all its glory. From those who are revealing a little-known building to those showcasing a familiar icon in a new light.

“While myself and a team of panellists get to work on deciding the winner of the Judges’ Choice award, it’s down to you to pick your favourite image for the Public Choice prize and I want to urge as many people to take part as possible.”

Story for CM? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News