The Contemporary Home

This competition, is part of a strategic partnership
between Buildner and ArchDaily, that aims to
explore “The Contemporary Home”.
Learn more here.

Competition introduction

Competition organisers

House of the Future

In Partnership With

House of the Future House of the Future House of the Future House of the Future

A house and a home aren't always the same thing. And while the aspects that make a place your home aren't limited to physical attributes, architecture can still have a huge impact. Cultural differences, location, resources, and the format of your family will all influence what you look for in a home. And in a world that seems to be changing faster than ever, can architects and designers anticipate the needs of new-age homes?

For the House of the Future competition, participants are tasked with designing a template for a new-age home for Emirati citizens in Dubai. Run in partnership with The Dubai Government, the jury is searching for innovative projects that use design to refresh the current offerings to locals, bringing them more up-to-date with the architectural aesthetic of the country and its people.


Winning entries will be put forward for consideration for construction by Dubai Government, as well as receiving a share of the 250,000 € prize fund.


The House of the Future competition is open to architecture and design enthusiasts of all levels from any location around the world. There is no specified site for the House of the Future competition, and participants are asked to keep a budget in mind of no more than 1 million Emirati Dirhams.

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.



As part of the 'House of the Future' competition, two significant virtual talks were conducted, showcasing the perspectives of esteemed jury members.

Watch now! Two Virtual Talks:

"New Frontiers for Sustainable Home Design"
"Emerging Trends in Design and Architecture"  


Download the full competition brief for more information!

Full competition brief

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

    • Wettbewerbsregeln
    • Règles de compétition
    • 竞赛规则
    • Reglas de la competencia
    • Regolamento del concorso
    • Competition Rules


250,000 € + Construction
140,000 €
45,000 €
20,000 €
Self-sustained House
45,000 €

Bonus category for a design of a self-sufficient house, able to go off the grid, without water or electricity for two consecutive weeks

The 250,000 € prize fund is provided by the Dubai Government, and all prizes will be distributed by them to the deserving winners. 
The competition is open to all. No professional qualification is required.
Design proposals can be developed individually or by teams (4 team members maximum).

Intended for construction

Winning designs from this competition will be added to the current list of housing options for Emirati citizens to choose from when building their future home.  

+ 6 Honourable mentions 

Besides the competition winners, we'll also honor six exceptional individuals with honorable mentions for their remarkable efforts and contributions.
Certificates of achievement


Buildner will commend the exceptional performance of all winners and honorable mentions by presenting them with Certificates of Achievement, recognizing their outstanding contributions.

Publicity campaign

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

  • "SEEN BY" ONE MILLION Results published on - one of the leading websites in the industry and is visited by over one million unique visitors each year.
  • "SEEN BY" 800 000 MORE Publications on Buildner's social networks (over 600,000 followers) and newsletter campaigns (over 200,000 subscribers).
  • INTERVIEW Exclusive interview published with the results and shared on Buildner's social networks.
  • MOVIE The competition winners will be granted an opportunity to submit a movie about themselves. The video will be published on Buildner's website and social networks.
  • MEDIA PARTNERS The competition results will get international art and design media coverage and will be featured in the world’s leading architecture media outlets.

Jury panel

Competition participants or their representatives shall under no circumstances contact Jury members. 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 get in touch with us at [email protected] 


Watch now! Two Virtual Talks: "New Frontiers for Sustainable Home Design" and "Emerging Trends in Design and Architecture"  

As part of the 'House of the Future' competition, two significant virtual talks were conducted, showcasing the perspectives of esteemed jury members.

On July 20, 2023, "New Frontiers for Sustainable Home" was led by Ahmed Bukhash from Archidentity, featuring insights from Will Plowman of Foster + Partners and Charles Walker of Zaha Hadid Architects.

Then, on September 13, "Emerging Trends in Design and Architecture" was moderated by Noora Al Awar of Studio D.04, with contributions from Abeer Tahlak, Christina Seilern of Studio Seilern Architects, and Andrew Mason from Calatrava International.



Find the extended list of jury panel biographies here!

Micael Calatrava Calatrava Grace and Calatrava International UAE
Charles Walker Director of Zaha Hadid Architects UK
Abdul Redha Abu Al Hassan Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) UAE
Martin Voelkle Partner at BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group USA
Christina Seilern Studio Seilern Architects UK
Andrew Mason Director of Contracts for Calatrava International UAE
Ahmed Bukhash Founder of Archidentity UAE
Stefan de Koning Partner at MVRDV Netherlands
Will Plowman partner at Foster + Partners UAE

Key dates

Closing date for registration

30 September, 2023

Closing date for project submission

01 November, 2023 (11:59pm London time)

Announcement of the winners

30 November, 2023

Competition Q&A deadline: 06 October, 2023

In order to guarantee equal opportunities to all competition participants,
no new questions will be answered after this deadline!

Registration fees

  • Registration Deadline
    08 September - 30 September
  • Architects / Enthusiasts / Companies
    190 €
  • Students
    170 €
+4.5% VAT


Contact us to receive special student rates for group registrations (discount applies for 3+ registrations from one university/school) and to receive further information and support for getting your students involved in architecture competitions. Send us request from your university email address along with basic information about yourself and your university/school. Please note that only recognized university staff can apply for the reduced student rate.


Enter the competition!

Register NOW


Competition related questions

No, it's not necessary to designate a specific location. The designs should be versatile enough to be adaptable across a range of different locations.
There is no specific competition site defined in the brief. However, participants may choose to travel to Dubai to learn more about the culture and context.
The total construction costs should not exceed 1 million AED and should include all costs, including interior and fit-out costs (no furniture required).
The "Emirates Pinterest board" referred to in the previous answer is not one specific board but rather a general term used to describe a collection of various Pinterest boards related to Emirati design and culture. Participants in the competition are encouraged to seek out such boards on Pinterest, as well as other sources of inspiration and knowledge that can help them better understand the cultural and design preferences of the Emirates. These boards may contain images of traditional Emirati architecture, interiors, art, and other design elements that could inform the participants' design choices for the competition.
The total building height is not defined, but the recommended floor number is listed in the competition brief available for download on the competition website.
Yes, the cost covers all costs for the finished structure, including interiors, finishing, and cladding.
The recommended total building floor area of 300 m2 refers to the total built-up area of the building.
The recommended total building floor area of 300 m2 refers to the total built-up area of the building only.
By 'expandability', we mean the design should incorporate the potential for spatial expansion or modifications to adapt to changing family needs. Whether it's accommodating new family members, evolving lifestyle changes, or responding to emerging technological advancements, the original design should allow for seamless and aesthetically consistent expansions. This flexible approach ensures the house can evolve with its occupants, creating a lasting and adaptable living environment.
While we do not require a specific cost estimation, participants should consider designing their program to fit within the allocated budget of 1 million AED. The focus should be on creating a design that is cost-effective and aligns with the given budgetary constraints.
Yes, it is important to consider the neighboring land when designing the building. The site has neighbors on all sides except for the entrance side, which is the shortest side with a length of 15 meters and connects to the road.
Yes, all projects are evaluated as anonymous submissions to ensure fairness and impartiality during the evaluation process.
While there are no specific restrictions mentioned regarding the design of the parking lot, it is recommended to propose an enclosed structure for the parking area rather than designing it under a light roof. This recommendation is based on factors such as security and protection from weather elements.
No, the 1 million Emirati Dirhams budget does not cover house furniture and appliances.
The site direction towards the geographical directions (N/S/E/W) is not defined. Participants have the flexibility to design the project to be suitable for various plot orientations.
It is highly recommended to follow the building program, including the mandatory service block spaces. The "optional but recommended" spaces can be partly or fully integrated or skipped in the project design, but their inclusion is encouraged to enhance the overall functionality and appeal of the design.
A server room refers to a room designated for accommodating domestic staff or service personnel who provide various services to the household, such as housekeeping, cleaning, or maintenance tasks. It is not related to IT servers or computer equipment.
Dubai's current building regulations require a 3m setback from the site boundaries. However, in line with the competition's objective of rethinking conventional construction rules, participants have the option to break this rule. If you choose to do so, a clear explanation must be provided.
The Dubai Building Code ( can be used as a reference. However, this competition aims to challenge the status quo by hacking the code and introducing new concepts, materials, and specs towards modular, affordable, and adaptable structures. Hence, the current code should not be treated as an obligatory requirement, as our goal is to disrupt and explore beyond the existing norms.
The 1 million AED budget does not include any potential expansion of the house.
No, the 300 m2 does not need to include the expansion. However, the expansion should still fit within the defined site boundaries.
No specific room sizes have been defined for this competition. It is up to the participants to propose dimensions that best fit their design concept.
There are no specific height restrictions for the boundary wall. This aspect is open to your design interpretation.
The budget of 1 million Dirhams does not include the price of the land. It is solely allocated for the construction expenses of the project.
It is highly recommended to incorporate a fence around the plot area in your design. However, the final decision rests with the participants, keeping in mind the context and the aesthetics of the overall design.
While we initially recommend including all elements within the defined 300 m2 area, this competition is designed to challenge conventional norms. We encourage creativity and innovation in your submissions. Therefore, if your design concept logically proposes to exclude elements like parking from the main built-up area, that is acceptable. Bear in mind that the Dubai building code can serve as a helpful guideline, but it's not a rigid requirement for this competition. Feel free to challenge and redefine the norms in line with the goals of this competition, which are modular, affordable, and adaptable design strategies.
The competition guidelines generally recommend following the specified proportions of the site without making adjustments. However, participants have the opportunity to break this rule in line with the competition's objective of rethinking conventional construction practices. If you decide to make adjustments, it is important to provide a clear explanation for your design choice.
The room for domestic servers in the House of the Future competition should include provisions for overnight stay.
Participants are required to adhere to the specified dimensions of 15m x 30m, totaling 450 sqm. It is recommended to follow the guidelines unless there is a compelling justification provided for any proposed changes.
For the purpose of this competition, it is generally expected that the prototypes should be stand-alone villas. However, we embrace innovation and are open to well-justified design concepts that align with the competition's goals. Thus, if you wish to explore alternative typologies, such as a townhouse, it could be taken into consideration.
A dressing area typically refers to a designated space for dressing, which could include wardrobes, storage for clothes, and a place to change. It can be a separate alcove or area within a bedroom or a distinct room on its own, depending on the design and available space. The interpretation is up to the participants, but it should cater to the needs of changing and storing clothes.
For the purposes of this competition, participants should propose a design for flatland.
We recommend participants select a simple flatland without any unique features to ensure that designs can be easily replicated across different land plots.
Participants should include their proposed furniture arrangements as part of their overall design proposal.

General questions

Click on "register now", fill in all the required fields, choose your payment method and submit your information. You will be forwarded to Paypal or CPS secure payment gateway, to cover the competition fee. Once we receive your payment, we'll send you an email with your username and password to upload your submission directly to the website.
You can add/remove/edit team member information as often as you want in the upload panel, up until the submission deadline.
Only one proposal per registration is permitted. Participants are entitled to register multiple times if they wish to participate in the competition with several proposals.
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.
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.
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