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OBSERVATORY HOUSES

Deadline 26th July 2017

CASH PRIZE 20.000 €

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Brief

The nocturnal sky is eternal, sublime and inaccessible. When looking at it, the human being experiences the most ancient sensation and feels overwhelmed by an ancient and inviolable mystery. A mystery that not even the most modern and refined minds can understand, despite efforts and technological progress.

Dazzled by the brightness of our metropolis, we often forget the extraordinary vision the vault of heaven can offer us. However, there are still places that are far from lights and cities where the beauty of the infinite appears in its entire splendor.

Surrounded by forests and crags, Roccascalegna is one of the places where this magic continues to occur and where the sky keeps on telling its eternal and beautiful story. It is a unique and far place that is both incredibly beautiful and clearly fragile. In fact, the fortress deeply depends on the constant care of the human being to preserve its characteristics and remarkable appearance.

 

For these reasons, Italian Exhibition Group and the Italian government launched the Observatory Houses project aiming to find a new use for Roccascalegna taking advantage of the potential of an oneiric setting with remarkable skies. The project aims at creating in Italy the first and most suggestive observatory houses. They will be a sustainable and exclusive house model aimed to ensure the protection and improvement of such inestimable heritage. 

How to build a complex of modern observatory houses in a picturesque medieval fortress? How to create the most refined national reference for the astronomical observation tourism through architecture?

On the bases of these issues, designers will have to create a story composed by stars, silences and landscapes. This story will have to include architectural elements designed to create a place beyond compare. It will not be a place of mere observation or accommodation; it will be a place of spirituality and meditation. Observatory Houses wishes to promote an architectural intervention that aims at becoming a symbol destination for those who wish to move away from their everyday routine and live an archaic, almost mystic experience thanks to the most ancient and beautiful sight.  

Under everlasting skies, the new observatory houses in the ancient fortress will provide an unforgettable stay for those who wish to experience the feral excitement to fall asleep under the stars rocked by the slow movement of planets and fascinated by a sudden shooting star.

 

YAC thanks all the designers who will take part in this challenge. 

Prizes

1° PRIZE

10.000 €

All the awarded proposals will be transmitted to architectural magazines and websites + international exhibitions  

2° PRIZE

4.000 €

All the awarded proposals will be transmitted to architectural magazines and websites + international exhibitions  

3° PRIZE

2.000 €

All the awarded proposals will be transmitted to architectural magazines and websites + international exhibitions  

n. 4 GOLD MENTIONS

1.000 €

All the awarded proposals will be transmitted to architectural magazines and websites + international exhibitions  

10 HONORABLE MENTIONS

All the awarded proposals will be transmitted to architectural magazines and websites + international exhibitions  

30 FINALIST MENTIONS

All the awarded proposals will be transmitted to architectural magazines and websites + international exhibitions  

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Jury

faq

Should we design houses for a high spending capacity target?

No, it is possible to diversify the offer with different sizes of houses.  However, any designer can feel free to focus a particular target he/she prefers.

As far as an eco-sustainability approach is concerned, which features should we take into consideration?

It is possible to think about energy self-sufficient buildings, eco-compatible materials, rainwater recovery systems or measures to limit light pollution (according with the functions of the houses).

Should we design a car parking area?

No, a car parking area is neither required nor admitted in the intervention area because it is not accessible by car.

Is there any height limit for new structures?

No, there is no height limit for new structures.

How should we consider the maximum area allowed for each function mentioned in the “program”?

The maximum area allowed of each function mentioned should be considered for new covered and enclosed structures only. Balconies, terraces, pathways etc.. should not be included in the  maximum area allowed for each function required in the program.  

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