On 13 May 2008, the Faculty of Architecture of the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) was unexpectedly reduced to ashes by a devastating fire. It was shocking to see how this sturdy building, which was full of valuable collections and always bustling with activity, turned out to be so vulnerable. Both in a material and an emotional sense, the fire was undoubtedly a major loss. The fire shook the foundations of the Dutch architectural community. Nevertheless, this community soon joined forces to set to work again. The Faculty of Architecture in Delft was already renowned the world over for its decisive, innovative and pragmatic approach. And it is precisely thanks to this characteristic attitude that the Faculty’s sorrow regarding the loss was coupled with an enthusiastic and unflagging energy to enter a new phase. Indeed, the loss of the faculty building also offers new opportunities. Opportunities to take a fresh and critical look at the education of the future, opportunities to realise a modern, innovative and refreshing design for the university building, which can hold its own in terms of power and presence with the well-known Bouwkunde building from the years of Van den Broek and Bakema. Precisely because it intends to realise this specific ambition, the Faculty of Architecture has decided to organise an international open ideas competition, in preparation of a project competition for the new faculty building in 2009. This competition creates firstly an opportunity to stimulate research by design. After all, combining design and research makes it possible to use a design to test a conceptual vision, and consequently strike a good balance between abstraction and reality. Secondly, the ideas competition makes it possible to also encourage creativity among the important younger generation of designers. The Faculty sees it as its task to explicitly offer this group a chance to enthusiastically think along regarding the scope of the educational building of the future. Finally, the competition is aimed to stimulate scientific development in the field by means of critical reflection and debate. Sustainability, as an integral aspect of both the future educational programme and the faculty premises, forms a theme of considerable urgency in this context.