Moon Station

YAC and European Space Agency's Topical Team launch a call for ideas aiming to imagine the first moon research base. 


    Overpopulation, resource depletion, ecosystem collapse: after due consideration, from a planet that is at breaking point, the ultimate unexplored horizon, the only untouched frontier seems outer space. 

    Space is a mysterious and mysteriously violent place. It is a place of abyssal distances and magnitudes such as to go beyond the most refined comprehension. Space is the place where human science still falters getting excited at the slightest step forward in the knowledge of a void as ancient as time full of mysteries and concealed secrets.  

    In that dark and unknown abyss, the safest shelter, the closest haven is inevitably the Moon.

    50 years after the last human moon landing, a renewed interest in space has driven a group of public and private international partners to go back to our silent satellite. Through the Artemis program, in November 2022 the first no-crew mission was launched.

    Humans are expected to walk on the moon again by 2025. After that, the Moon will become the most important scientific base of humankind. In all likelihood, the most significant scientific discoveries of the coming decades will be made there.  

    In this remarkable scenario, YAC is proud to present Moon Station in collaboration with the Topical Team on Planetary Caves of the European Space Agency. This competition aims to design the first moon research base. 

    Moon Station invites architects to take part in a unique and revolutionary challenge. A visionary challenge which is rooted in the reality of future space travels, of a man that is no longer content with Earth’s experiences and that is now able to venture into places that seemed impossible to reach until the last century.   

    Moon Station requires the design of a first-time architecture. It will be an iconic place that is the symbol of the most futuristic exploration of humankind. Here, the most daring people of the planet will enjoy silver deserts and skies that have never been seen before. They will walk amid silent craters to see the light-blue globe of their distant planet in a black horizon day and night.   

    This architecture will go down in history and become a legend as the Pillars of Hercules, Apollo 11 and any other human object aiming to trace the new frontier of human exploration: the new frontier of a renewed humankind, of a humanity which has already become “multiplanetary”.   

    YAC and ESA’s Topical Team thank all architects who will take up 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.

    • Sandra Häuplik-Meusburger
      Vienna University of Technology (TUW)
    • Georgi Petrov
      SOM - Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
    • Francesco Sauro
      ESA Topical Team on Planetary Caves
    • Xavier De Kestelier
    • Melodie Yashar
    • Julian Ocampo Salazar
      BIG Bjarke Ingels Group
    • Daniel Inocente
      Blue Origin
    • Nicola Scaranaro
    • René Waclavicek
      Liquifer System Group


    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


    Gold Mention


    Gold Mention


    Honorable Mention


    Finalist Mention



    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 13, 2023 – Apr 9, 2023

      Early Bird Registration

      65€ / team*

    • Apr 10, 2023 – May 7, 2023

      Standard Registration

      85€ / team*

    • May 8, 2023 – Jun 4, 2023

      Late Registration

      115€ / team*

    • Jun 7, 2023

      Material Submission Deadline

    • Jun 19, 2023

      Jury Summoning

    • Jul 10, 2023

      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.


    Is it possible to participate without a team?

    Participants can join the competition either individually or with a team.

    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 a team submit more than one proposal?

    By paying one registration fee, participants are allowed to upload one project; by paying additional registration fees, participants will be allowed to upload more than one project.

    Is it possible to modify the team’s participation in the competition if the payment has already been made?

    Once the payment has been made, it is not possible to modify the team’s participation in a competition. If the team wishes to take part in a further competition (in addition to the one which payment has already been made), another team shall be registered.

    Shall all the elements listed in the program be designed or is it up to the designer's decision?

    All the areas listed from point 1 to point 12 in the program shall be designed. Point 13 to point 16 are elements that are not part of the competition but that are still functional to the station and that architects shall know.

    Shall the elements listed in the program be designed as independent modules? Is it possible to combine more functions in the same module?

    Each element shall be designed as an independent module, therefore separable from the others through specific watertight closing systems to enable the correct functioning of the station in case of damage of parts of it. It is possible to combine consistent functions in the same module.

    Where will the Moon Station be located?

    Architects are invited to design their Moon Station inside the Lacus Mortis Pit and into the connected undergound lava tube cave (see page five of the brief and 3D model).

    Is it possible to use modular and prefabricated elements that will be transported from Earth?

    Yes, it is possible. In this sense, it is better using lightweight materials. It is important to remember that even if costs are constantly decreasing, at the moment transporting 1kg of load to the Moon costs about 152,000$.

    Is it possible to insert glazed surfaces?

    Glazed surfaces are possible as long as they are equipped with an external shading system to deal with the most extreme temperature/radiation situations and possible impacts of micrometeorites.

    What is the approximate dimension of the competition area?

    The approximate dimension of the competition area provided in the model is 3315m x 1918m.


    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.


    Moon Station