Sea House

YAC challenges architects to design a villa in Jumeirah Bay. The aim is to offer peace among the hustle and bustle of one of the fastest economies of the world.


    Architecture and nature are intertwined. Despite being different, even opposed, they are deeply connected.

    The connection between nature and architecture gives rise to all kinds of places: anonymous, catastrophic, or sublime, capable of talking to people’s guts and soul. There are many seas in the world, but the Persian Gulf is a very special one, with extremely peculiar attributes.

    One of the most evocative embodiments of the connection between nature and architecture is the one between the house and the beach. Waking up looking at the horizon. Feeling the soft sand a few steps away from the front door, opening the windows and smelling the salty winds, or going to bed listening to the relaxing sound of waves. These are experiences all of us have somehow lived or dreamed of.

    The Gulf seaside is a place of excesses, records, and contradictions, here the world runs at such a speed that its dynamics can be difficult to grasp. However, even in this fast-paced corner of the earth, people still look for the authenticity of simple experiences, like the quiet coziness of a house on the beach.

    A domesticity made of silence, contemplation, and nature is the ultimate frontier of well-being.

    Under the shadow of the skyscrapers of Dubai, with its artificial islands, its unbridled luxury, and unstoppable expansion, a domesticity made of silence, contemplation, and nature is the ultimate frontier of well-being. A domesticity made of silence, contemplation, and nature is the ultimate frontier of well-being

    Dubai Sea House is a competition to design a villa in Jumeirah Bay, its aim is to offer peace among the hustle and bustle of one of the fastest economies of the world.

    Under the shining sun of Dubai, looking at the unique, almost melting, skyline, designers are called to tell a story of peace, of fiery sunsets on the warm waters of the Gulf, on the sound of waves crashing on candid coral beaches.

    YAC thanks all designers who will accept this challenge.


    Each jury is nominated with utmost care and is composed by professionals of the highest repute whose activity is consistent with the theme of the competition.

    • Livia Tani
      Ateliers Jean Nouvel
    • Patrick Lüth
    • Peter Pichler
      Peter Pichler Architecture
    • Andrea D’Antrassi
      MAD Architects
    • Fran Silvestre
      Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
    • Jorge P. Silva
      AIRES MATEUS Architects
    • Jean-Yves Sireau
    • Nicola Scaranaro
      Foster + Partners


    All awarded projects will be sent to websites, magazines and architectural platforms. Furthermore, they can be displayed in national and international architectural events.

    1st Prize


    2nd Prize


    3rd Prize


    4 × Gold Mentions


    Honorable Mentions


    Finalist Mentions



    Complying with deadlines is a fundamental requirement to take part in the competition. All architects are encouraged to pay the utmost attention to the timeline and to complete each phase in advance.

    • Mar 21, 2022 – Apr 24, 2022

      Early Bird Registration

      65€ / team*

    • Apr 25, 2022 – May 22, 2022

      Standard Registration

      85€ / team*

    • May 23, 2022 – Jun 19, 2022

      Late Registration

      115€ / team*

    • Jun 22, 2022

      Material Submission Deadline

    • Jul 11, 2022

      Jury Summoning

    • Jul 25, 2022

      Results Announcement

    * +22% VAT. Fulfilling an “Early bird”, “Standard” or “Late” registration does not affect submission deadline.


    YAC provides architects with content-rich competition material so that they can best express their ideas and thoughts wherever they live.


    Are there any requirements for the side facades facing the other lots?

    Side facades should have minimum openings to avoid overlooking from the neighbouring buildings.

    Dimensional limits/distance from the boundaries (1.a, 1.b): what does “the remaining 50% and 70% must respect further distancing” exactly mean? Are there exact measurements? What is the minimum offset distance from the buildable outline required?

    On the street front and on the front bordering the other lots, the building must respect a minimum 3 meters distance (only for 50% of the prospectus, the other 50% must respect a further distance); instead, on the beach front, the building must respect a minimum 22 meters of distance (only for 30% of the prospectus, the other 70% must respect a further distance).

    Does the competition includes the exterior and interior design?

    Participants have to design exterior and interior design. Additionally, being the villa part of a real estate complex, guidelines have to be respected in order to maintain common standards, protect residents and guarantee the quality of the final master plan of the complex.

    Does the heated swimming pool need to be designed indoors or outdoors? Or both (indoor and outdoor) are required?

    The heated swimming pool can be designed indoors or outdoors or, alternatively, can be partially covered and integrated in the building. The pool must respect a 10 m distance from the lot boundary on the beach front, and it can also function as a control and mitigation system for the temperature inside the house and of the surroundings.

    Is the bedroom for people with disabilities included in the 5 bedrooms, or is it the sixth? What precautions are foreseen for the child with disabilities?

    According to the competition program, it is required to design 5 bedrooms and 1 bedroom with standards suitable for the accommodation of a person with disabilities (total 6 bedrooms). The house must be accessible and inhabitable for people with impaired mobility: therefore, spaces must be suitable for the purpose and large enough for the movement of a wheelchair, doors must be wide, gradients (if applicable) must be accessible through ramps, and a lift must be provided to access the floors.

    Since the reduced height of the basement, which spaces are allowed to be designed for that space? The minimum height required for the basement has to be included in the maximum height of 10 meters of the entire building?

    Since the basement must have a minimum height of 2.4m, the only possible functions are: parking space, pool, gym, children playground/cinema room, staff rooms. As for the maximum height of 10m, you shall consider this measure from the ground level to the upper floors.

    How many floors need to be designed in the building?

    The building shall be made of 3 floors plus the roof.

    Is there an age limit to take part in the competition?

    Each team must include at least one member aged from 18 to 35 years old.

    Can companies take part in the competition?

    There are no restrictions about participants' professions, they can be students, graduates, freelance architects, even an architectural firm, as well as it is not mandatory to be experts of architectural disciplines or members of architectural associations.


    YAC thanks all the people who have been engaged in organizing the competition by sharing time, materials and resources to make the experience of architects unique.


    Sea House