The EU-funded project SOAR stands for ‘Strengthening the security and resilience of at-risk religious sites and communities’. It aims at increasing the awareness of, and capacity to prevent and mitigate physical and human security threats to places of worship through Security by Design (SBD). The concept of ‘Security by Design’ incorporates security features into the design and fabric of the building and its urban context.

The project partners Enhancing Faith Institutions (EFI), the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, and the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) cooperate in this endeavour with an extensive network of professionals, including representatives from all majority and minority faiths practicing within the EU. The project is supported by the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations. SOAR provides a unique knowledge base on security by design to its our audiences. This includes training, guidance, and online resources, with the opportunity for engagement and the evolution of virtual networks and communities of practice. Security training is delivered across the full spectrum of the project at EU, national, regional and local settings. The project team works first in seven pilot EU member states: France, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark. Experts in the fields of SBD such as public authority planners, architects, and designers, as well as faith leaders provide support, training and risk assessments in the seven pilot countries.


As part of its endeavour to promote security by design principles, the Architects’ Council of Europe collaborates with Enhancing Faith Institutions (EFI) and Network of Religious and traditional peacemakers in the SOAR programme. The project is supported by the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations. The call for best practice architectural examples is meant as a vehicle to promote and advance the expertise of European architects in Security by Design of public spaces and in particular religious buildings in their urban context. It is also a way to enhance the ACE policy positions on for instance the quality of architecture and urban spaces for cultural and social use.

The call for best practice examples of religious architecture as part of public space in Europe invites entries of new buildings and ensembles, as well as conservation, restoration, and interventions on existing structures. Works must have been completed under the oversight of a qualified architectural team. The submitted projects will be assessed by the professional jury appointed within the SOAR programme. The selected projects will be exhibited and featured in a booklet of ‘Best Practice Examples’ and on the SOAR project website. Additionally, they will assist in developing design guidelines to improve security of religious sites.


Architectural practices of any size are welcome to join and submit their best built project (one project per firm maximum). The projects can be places of worship of any faith (synagogue, church, mosque, temple etc.), which demonstrate the application of SBD concepts and can be either new constructions or renovations. The buildings must be completed and should be located in Europe, in any country which is eligible for participation within the EU funding scheme for the SOAR programme. (1)

(1) Countries eligible: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden + Norway, Switzerland and UK.


The jury will select up to 20 projects, based on the following general criteria:

● Quality of the architectural design based on the Davos Declaration: functionality, environment, economy, diversity, context, sense of place and beauty (2)

● Governance, illustrated by the religious community in charge of the project; (2)

● Effective (visible and invisible) security design elements for the benefit of users, worshipers and the general public;

● Whenever possible, the architects considering a submission should reflect current advice and guidelines available or published through EC sources. (3)

(2) For further information please check this website: davosdeclaration2018.ch/davos-declaration-2018/

(3) For further information please check the following EC sources:

a) ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/protection-public-spaces-from-terrorist-attacks

b) op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/998aeb09-4be6-11e9-a8ed-01aa75ed71a1/language-en


● Short presentation of the project explaining the security needs and how your concept responds to it, including geographical context, architectural concept, selection of relevant plans, sections, and photos. Format accepted: PDF. Maximum 10 A4 pages.

● One A1 vertical will be requested in case your project is selected for the exhibition.

● Please do not include any security-sensitive information in your submission.

● A consent form by the community person in charge of the religious is highly recommended.

● Submitted material should be in English or French.


● Dr. Szabó Csaba – University lecturer – Doctoral School of Police Sciences and Law Enforcement (Hungary)

● Daria Grouhi – Director at Kuehn Malvezzi Architects (Germany)

● Dr Selma Harrington – Architect and Member of the Executive Board, Architects’ Council of Europe (Ireland)

● Norman Lamisse – Managing architect of the Civil Society of Architecture LAMISSE, Senior architect at ENTR’AXES ARCHITECTS (Belgium)

● Wolfgang Lorch – Architect and Professor of Design and Building Design at TU Darmstadt (Germany)

● Dr. Ferenc Makovényi – Managing Director at Pannon Termál Projekt Kft (Hungary)

● Bénédicte Selfslagh – World Heritage & Cultural Heritage Expert (Belgium)

● Hans Scheving – Architect and Partner at bertelsen & scheving architects (Denmark)

● More jury components TBA


  • January 2022: Launch of the call
  • 30 April 2022, 12:00 CET: Submission Deadline
  • June 2022: Winners to be announced at a SOAR Event
  • End 2022: Publication and Exhibition

Please submit your project on the form below.

Or alternatively, please send your project material (including the presentation and the A1 file) to info@ace-cae


Dr. Selma Harington MRIAI HonRIAI – Chair of the Jury

I combine professional curiosity, academic rigour and people skills applied in my portfolio of international projects, practical expertise and advocacy in architectural design, built heritage, conservation and education. I hold a PhD Architecture (University of Strathclyde), an MPhil in European Studies (Trinity College Dublin) and an MSc in Architectural Design (University of Sarajevo). I have published in academic and professional volumes (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2936-6482), and am a member of the International Review Board at Archnet-IJAR Journal/Open House International. I have lived, worked and lectured in Ireland, the UK, the EU, Zimbabwe and Bosnia and Herzegovina and have served at the Architects Council of Europe as President (2010-11 and 2012-13) and Vice-President (2020-21). I have chaired and worked as a jury member for architectural and design competitions and professional awards in Malta, Luxembourg, Romania, Ireland, Belgium and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Dr. Csaba Szabó

Csaba Szabó started his professional career at the National Border Guard Command of the Ministry of the Interior in 1999. Between 2004 and 2008 he was the district commissioner of the Sopron Police Headquarters, then between 2008 and 2015 he was a key lecturer in the Administrative Police Department of the headquarters. From 2015 to 2019, he taught at the University of Public Service as a teaching assistant. Between 2016 and 2018, in the framework of the priority postdoctoral fellowship international project of KÖFOP named “Development of Public Services Establishing Good Governance”, he made international scientific research with the title „ 21st century challenges of the states with regards to Armed Forces”, and examined new types of security challenges for Christian sacred sites identified as critical infrastructure in the framework of the “Extremes, Religious Extremes” research group. He conducted further scientific and professional research on the role of the private security sector in developing a security model for Christian holy sites and analysed the security structure for the protection of Israeli holy sites in relation to the law enforcement concept of establishing contact between religious communities and the police. He is currently the managing editor of the scientific journal Belügyi Szemle and a lecturer at the Doctoral School of Law Enforcement at the University of Public Service.

Daria Grouhi

Daria Grouhi studied architecture in Berlin and London and is director at Kuehn Malvezzi architects in Berlin. As a project leader she oversaw medium and large scale building projects ranging from housing over commercial to cultural typologies. She is currently responsible for the planning of the House of One, an inter-religious place of worship and learning with a synagogue, a church and a mosque under one and the same roof to be built in the center of Berlin.

Norman Lamisse

Norman Lamisse graduated in Architecture at the University of Liege (Belgium) in 2009. He is Managing architect of the Civil Society of Architecture LAMISSE, FLEMALLE (since January 2016) and Senior architect, Internship supervisor, Expert in real estate and construction matters at ENTR’AXES ARCHITECTES (since April 2017). He is also member of the Liege Royal Association of Architects of Liege.

Dr. Ferenc Makovényi

Born in Budapest. Studied architecture at the Technical University of Budapest and graduated as MSc Architect in 1977. In the first 10 years, he was an assistant and senior lecturer at the TU. From 1987 he worked in a bank, worked as a developer, and from 1996 he was a manager at Skanska Hungaria. Since 2001 Ph.D. in Architecture. In 2003 he turned back to the education and was a college professor, and later dean for eight years at the Ybl Miklós Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering. Now he runs his own planning office since retired and designed in the last four years nursery, school, factories, residential buildings. Five architectural competitions awarded or bought, he wrote more than sixty articles in different newspapers. Ha was vice president of the Chamber of Hungarian Architects , from 2013 continually Board Member. In ACE active since 2002, where he was a Board Member in 2020 and 2021.

Bénédicte Selfslagh

Bénédicte Selfslagh is an expert in cultural heritage policy and world heritage. She works as a consultant and is a member of several boards and heritage committees in Europe and abroad. She is a member of the Cultural Heritage Experts Group of the European Commission, represents Belgium in the International Coordination Committee for the Preah Vihear Temple (Cambodia), and chaired the Panel of the European Heritage Label during the first seven years following its establishment. She was also a member of the drafting committee that prepared the Davos Declaration ‘Towards a high-quality Baukultur for Europe’ and the ICOMOS expert group that produced the ‘European Quality Principles for EU-funded interventions with potential impact upon cultural heritage’ at the request of the European Commission.

Hans Scheving

Born 1958 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Architect MAA (Master of Arch.), graduated 1984, Royal Danish Academy of Art. Works in the professional fields of conservation, transformation, new built, urban design and security by design/physical security. Present role with Bertelsen & Scheving Architects: Head of Security, senior project manager etc. Typical projects: Security-by-design projects for religious minorities, public buildings, castles, the Danish Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office and commercial clients. Client advisor on physical security for hotels, crisis centres for molested women etc. Conservation and transformation projects regarding cultural heritage sites, castles and other buildings.