World Architecture Day commemorates the development of cities since 1985. It is celebrated in October when other important international days such as World Habitat Day and World Cities Day occur.
World Architecture Day is an international day celebrated annually on the first Monday of October. In 2023, the date will be 2nd October.
This celebration was instituted by the International Union of Architects (UIA) to highlight the importance of architecture in developing cities and human settlements. Many countries organise special events such as exhibitions, conferences, guided tours and architectural competitions on this day.
Each year, the theme of the day changes to give visibility to and commemorate different facets of architecture. In 2023, the theme of World Architecture Day is “Architecture for Resilient Communities”. In doing so, the UIA seeks to emphasise architecture's capacity and responsibility to create viable community life and to open an international debate on the relationship between urban and rural areas in all countries.
In 1985, the UIA established 1 July as the official date of World Architecture Day in homage to the institution's founding in Switzerland in 1949. However, during the UIA Congress in Barcelona in 1996, it was decided to change the date so that World Architecture Day would coincide with the United Nations (UN) World Habitat Day.
As stated by the UN, World Habitat Day is an event that “reflects on the state of our habitats and on the basic right of everyone to adequate shelter”.
Like most international days, each year, it focuses on a specific theme, such as transport, clean water or the environment. This 2023, the central theme of World Habitat Day will be “Resilient Urban Economies. Cities as engines of growth and recovery”.
In addition to these two international celebrations held in October and related to architecture, World Cities Day is another one to close the month. Since 2014, the UN has celebrated this day every 31 October in a different city.
The host city for 2023 will be Üsküdar in Istanbul (Turkey) under the slogan “Financing a sustainable urban future for all”.
In addition to the official date set by the UIA, some countries celebrate World Architecture Day on other dates.
Argentina retains the original date of World Architecture Day. It, therefore, celebrates it on 1 July in memory of the founding of the International Union of Architects (UIA) in 1949.
Bolivia celebrates Architecture Day on 13 November, during the promulgation of Law 1373 on the Professional Practice of Architects in 1992.
Brazil celebrates Architecture Day on 15 December, commemorating Oscar Niemeyer's birthday.
Chile celebrates Architecture Day on 4 August, commemorating the founding of the Colegio de Arquitectos de Chile (CAC) in 1942. The organisation also awards the CA Awards on the same day.
Colombia celebrates Architecture Day on 27 October.
Paraguay celebrates Architecture Day on 16 May in homage to the founding of the Paraguayan Association of Architects (APAR) in 1946.
Peru celebrates Architecture Day on 8 June in commemoration of the law that enabled the founding of the College of Architects of Peru (CAP) in 1962.
Uruguay celebrates Architecture Day on 27 November as a tribute to the founding of the first School of Architecture in Uruguay in 1915.
Venezuela celebrates Architecture Day on 4 July in homage to the founding of the Venezuelan Society of Architects (SVA). In 1966, the SVA changed its name to Colegio de Arquitectos de Venezuela and established 4 July as the official day of celebration.