An international award that promotes architecture in the service of both people and the planet.

The OBEL AWARD, sponsored by the Henrik F. Obel Foundation, with a purse of 100,000 €, recognises talent, creativity, and responsibility and offers an incentive to architects and other professionals to consider their obligations toward the common good. An award ceremony is held annually in Aalborg, Denmark, or an architecturally significant international site.

The vision

The award also aims to increase awareness in the general public of architecture’s transformative and social value. The selected works are of eminent importance to the present and offer new ideas and concepts for the future of our environments that serve both people and the planet.

Some works of architecture exhibit a promise of transformation. These works test the boundaries of architecture and transcend the age in which they were created. In other words, the winning project is not limited by its borders but should be able to be adapted and extended to many different places to improve our built environment in meaningful ways. The OBEL AWARD has been founded to identify and reward these seminal works for their ability to inspire current and future generations to be stewards of our environments and contribute to the common good.

Annual focus

Each year, the OBEL AWARD jury establishes a particular focus for the prize for the year, always keeping in mind the constant overall goals of the award.

In this way, the award seeks to identify exemplary projects that respond to significant challenges facing our societies and the built environment.

Winning projects

The award is given to physical works or projects inaugurated within the past five years, which have been developed by an architect, or group of architects, or other professionals working within the built environment.

The award-winning projects can range from a building to a landscape project, a process, a manifesto, or a master plan.

see the winners


The OBEL AWARD is an international prize and never limits the consideration of eligible projects due to nationality, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, ideology, or age. A select group of professionals worldwide is invited to submit suggestions that comply with the annual focus and the overarching goals of the award.

Therefore, unlike other awards, there is no formal application process, and self-nominations are not solicited. The jury of professionals, who are leaders in their respective fields and can understand and appreciate the larger context, select the winning work. The jury comprises five to seven members with strong architectural profiles or distinguished professionals from other related backgrounds. Members serve for a term of three years, while the jury chair serves for a six-year period. The specific focus of the year and the winning project are the exclusive responsibilities of the jury.

See Jury

Previous Ceremonies