Open competition for self-sufficient housing

This competition in Catalonia, Spain, is open to all professionals, designers, and students of architecture, urban design and landscape design. The awards include fellowships and prizes in two categories of 3,000 and Master in Advanced Architecture ( 9000) at the Institute for Advanced Architecture and a second and third prize in both categories.

Architecture does not offer the responses to current environmental issues that might be expected from it. Instead, the enormous influence of its historical legacy shapes thinking around today’s design solutions, limiting innovation. In fact, contemporary buildings might be artificial natures. We believe that housing – where human inhabitation takes place – should take its cues from the trees: it should be tied harmoniously to the surrounding environment, taking only the indispensable resources (energy, water, etc.) and generating recyclable waste that follows natural cycles.

The main goal of this competition is the development of self-sufficient dwellings in which technological elements are essential components of a new architectural concept and not only a reflection of an attachment to conventional ideas about houses. The building location is open to thedesigner’s choice, so the project can be proposed to accommodate local conditions in any region of the world.

There are two categories:
1. Self-Sufficient Collective Housing
2. Self-Sufficient Single Housing

The competition results and further investigation will be published by ACTAR. In addition, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia seeks to develop an international research group, oriented toward the investigation and diffusion of advanced architecture. In order to fulfill this goal, the jury will select a delegate for each country who will receive mention as an Investigator of the Institute. The design will comprise a freestanding, collective or single dwelling unit that creates an ecosystem condition in which biodiversity, renewability, and resource productivity are maintained over time. The project may include the proposed size of the dwelling unit.

The jury includes: Vicente Guallart, Willy Muller, Manuel Gausa, Luis Falcon, Sheila Kennedy, Greg Lynn, Duncan Lewis, Francois Roche, Jacob van Rijs, Marta Male-Alemany, Jose Luis Echevarria, Aaron Betsky, Dietmar Steiner, Manolo Borja, Jos Miguel Iribas, Ramon Prat, Artur Serra, Salvador Rueda, Ignacio Jimenez de la Iglesia.

Submissions must arrive no later than Tuesday, September 20, 2005. E-mail submissions are due one day earlier on Monday, September 19, 2005. There is no fee to enter. For more information, please visit or e-mail