In launching its 2011 Open Architecture Challenge—[UN]RESTRICTED ACCESS—Architecture for Humanity is inviting architects and designers to partner with community groups across the world and develop innovative solutions to re-envision closed, abandoned, and decommissioned military sites. The six-month competition requires designers to work with the communities surrounding these former places of conflict—from Gaddafi's Compound to the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center—to transform hostile and oftentimes painful locations into civic spaces built for the public good.
Dotting the global landscape, decommissioned military installations are symbols of triumph, pride, pain, and the unforeseen consequences of military aggression. These abandoned structures also disrupt neighborhoods and split entire communities. In launching the competition, Architecture for Humanity sees an opportunity of global proportion in these sites for the global design and construction community to identify retired military installations in their own backyard, to collaborate with local stakeholders, and to reclaim these spaces for social, economic, and environmental good. In the U.S. alone, for example, Americans will spend billions of dollars of taxpayer funds to do environmental remediation on the 12 million square feet of US military space scheduled to close this year. For teams not located near a decommissioned site, the organization has selected sites in Afghanistan, Cuba, Libya and the United States.
In partnership with Google SketchUp and Google Earth, designers are able to present their ideas in the most impressive form no matter their location or economic capacity. The design competition will be judged by an international, interdisciplinary panel of experts in various fields, such as experts in base realignment processing, real estate and building professionals, former world leaders, and members of communities that have experienced a base closure or demilitarized site. The resulting entries will be available and accessible to all on the Open Architecture Network: www.openarchitecturenetwork.org.
The Challenge is hosted once every two years on the Open Architecture Network, an open-source community developed by Architecture for Humanity. To date more than 1,200 design teams from 64 countries have competed in these challenges. Support from sponsors and implementing partners funds the construction of selected designs. The competition is open to all. Registration began last week and ends March 31, 2012. The submission deadline is May 1, 2012. Entry fees are $50 Professionals; $25 Students; $00 Entries from Developing Nations. Winners will be announced June 29, 2012 with exhibitions of semi-finalist and winners project held in the Fall of 2012.
To enter, visit www.openarchitecturenetwork.org/competitions.