The contemporary home

This competition is part of a strategic partnership between Buildner and ArchDaily that aims to explore "The Contemporary Home".

Learn more


Light is one of the most important factors when designing homes, and the use of natural light is vital in creating a space that feels both comfortable, inviting and practical. It could be said that lighting is a form of language that architects can use to communicate emotions in the spaces and structures they design.

As such, shadow plays as much a role in influencing the feel of a space as light. The harmony between light and shadow allows architects and designers to create spaces with depth and texture, creating different moods for different purposes. In many cases, it could come down to the simple placement of a single window or door.

The Home of 

For the Home of Shadows #2 competition, participants are asked to design a home for a hypothetical couple with just one rule - there can be no artificial light within the home. The jury will be looking for designs that study how natural light can influence and shape architectural decisions.

Participants may select any theoretical site for their Home of Shadows and propose a design solution for the fully functional building.

Download the full competition brief for more information!

The competition is open to all. No professional qualification is required. Design proposals can be developed individually or by teams (4 team members maximum). Correspondence with organizers must be conducted in English; All information submitted by participants must be in English

The full competition brief

The full competition brief can be downloaded as often as required; no additional information will be provided after registration.

(!) Full Competition Brief



7,000 €


3,000 €


1,500 €


1,000 €


1,000 €

(more details)


500 €

(more details)

6 Honourable mentions & certificates

Buildner will acknowledge the outstanding performance of all winners and honourable mentions with Certificates of Achievement.

Publicity campaign

The Buildner’s extensive global publicity campaign for the competition winners:

Buildner's two million

The results are published on, a leading website in the architecture industry, attracting over one million unique visitors annually. Additionally, the campaign extends to Buildner's social networks, which boast over 800,000 followers combined, and through newsletter campaigns reaching over 200,000 subscribers.

Interview and movie

Winners will have the opportunity to submit a movie and an interview, boosting their recognizability and helping to build their name in the industry.

Extensive media network

Buildner leverages an extensive network of media industry leaders to publish the competition results. This broadens the audience further, ensuring that participants' work is showcased across multiple platforms known for their influence and reach in the architecture and design sectors.

Key dates

Send reminders


Jury members shall under no circumstances be contacted by competition participants or their representatives. Participants who attempt to contact jury members, shall be disqualified.

All jury members are involved in the evaluation based on their availability at that time. All communication regarding the competition should only be carried out with Buildner staff. For any questions please contact us on [email protected]  

Ophélie Herranz

Director, Nomos Architects


Robert Hutchison

Robert Hutchison Architecture


Roxanne Kaye

Principal, SAOTA

South Africa

Nikita Morell

Founder, Architects WordShop


Andrew Maynard

Principal and Architect, Austin Maynard Architects


Daniel Toole

Founder and Principal, Daniel Toole Architecture

United States

Blake T. Smith

BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

United States

Patcharada Inplang

Sher Maker


Thongchai Chansamak

Sher Maker


Sarah Broadstock

Architect at Studio Bark

United Kingdom

In the context of this competition, any light sources besides the sun, moon, and stars are considered artificial light.
In the context of this competition, fire is considered an artificial light source.
The purpose of this competition is to explore the relationship between our built environment and the use of artificial light sources. Participants are encouraged to submit proposals that not only address lighting solutions but also consider the overall functionality of the home and its potential impact on the inhabitants' lifestyles. Since the only permissible light source is natural light, the challenge is to think creatively and come up with solutions that can make the home functional and livable even during nighttime hours. The competition aims to push boundaries and explore new ways of designing homes that are sustainable, functional, and livable with the use of natural light only.
The competition's primary focus is to redefine our ways of living by exploring innovative and sustainable designs that work in harmony with natural light sources, such as sunlight, moonlight, and starlight, in their direct forms. While alternative methods of transforming natural light, like those mentioned, are certainly intriguing and have potential applications, they may not fully align with the competition's objectives. The goal of this competition is to encourage designs that embrace and maximize the use of direct natural light during daylight hours, emphasizing sustainability and a deeper connection with nature. By seeking to transform or manipulate natural light, these alternative methods may be perceived as diverging from the competition's spirit and intent. Therefore, we recommend focusing on design solutions that directly utilize sunlight, moonlight, or starlight, promoting a fundamental shift in our relationship with natural light and fostering an environment in harmony with nature. By doing so, your submission will better align with the competition's purpose and increase your chances of success.
To register, simply click on “Register Now,” fill out all necessary fields, select your preferred payment method, and submit your details. You will be redirected to PayPal or a card payment gateway to settle the competition fee. Upon confirmation of your payment, we will send you an email containing your Unique Identification Code (UIC). You must then log in to your Buildner account using your credentials and validate your UIC to complete the process. Learn more here -
You can add/remove/edit team member information as often as you want in the upload panel, up until the submission deadline. Learn more here -
Yes we are in the process of negotiating with multiple international industry-related media representatives. The list of media partners is constantly updated on our website, please check it regularly to find latest updates.
Yes. If the jury panel selects a Student award's submission for the top 3, it will automatically be awarded both prizes.
Yes. If the jury panel selects a Sustainability award's submission for the top 3, it will automatically be awarded both prizes.
No. Competition entries are evaluated anonymously. The participant registration type is only revealed upon the announcement of the results.
Please contact us – [email protected] and we will address the problem directly.
As AI-generated images may be based on pre-existing work or generated using proprietary algorithms, it is best to check the specific terms and conditions of the AI tool used to generate the image to determine its ownership status. It may also be necessary to seek legal advice to fully understand the ownership rights and any restrictions that may apply. In general, it is not recommended to consider AI-generated images as your sole work or intellectual property unless you have obtained explicit permission to do so.