Architecture Competition Iceland Volcano Museum Honorable mention - Craig Nener

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winner of the Honorable mention of our “Iceland Volcano Museum” competition - Craig Nener from Australia!

Craig Nener

Craig Nener from Australia

Grotto has been a growing opus of architecture, design and art since finishing my Master’s, however, the name only came recently. It was while exploring the natural and man-made caves (grottos) of Portugal in 2018, from the coast of Lagos to the masonic grottos of Sintra. The definition and category of the word seemed to resonate with the work that myself and my friends were interested in. The studio is nimble, as it collaborates with other architects, artists and designers when the project calls for it. I find this agility to be necessary today as the traditional form of the architect is waning as culture evolves, we as designers must stay ahead in order to survive and influence.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where company/ individuals have been involved?

Before Grotto, Craig had been involved in various scales of projects, commonly residential and hotel typologies. Namely, The Tiing in Bali, Indonesia (built) and a wellness resort in Arrabida, Portugal (unbuilt) both of which are World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2019 shortlisted projects. Currently, Grotto’s projects consist of small, intimate and meaningful projects in residential alterations, and speculative architectural newness based in Western Australia. The intimacy of the home or any place to dwell in fact can have the most affecting memories, the refuge, the outlook and the sense of calm a home can provide encompasses most of the power architecture has for any individual.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

Architecture is a totality. The built form is an expression of what we value, the risk we take on investment and the intention we place on our identity that encompasses our total understanding of who we are and what we consider to be meaningful as a society. To me, architecture has limitless potential to enrich the lives of everybody. But that potential is bound. Bound by everything that drives up our society, our economy and our culture. This is the totality that contextualises architecture as a muddy reflection in and of itself.

Where I’m from, the understanding of what architecture is, is greatly misunderstood by most of the population as is such in a young country with little to show for our heritage or any preserved indigenous infrastructure. Therefore, we are left with a majority of modern, post-modern and internationalist styles of architecture. Yet you’ll find many Australians anywhere you travel in Europe saying how much they love the architecture there. This places the role of the architect in a strange predicament – either to continue to comply with internationalist architecture or to iterate a lineage of conscious human architectural development to form our own identity based on the cumulative knowledge of a couple dozen centuries of architectural thinking and most paramount – 60,000 years of territorial understanding?

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

I often do competitions when what I’m practicing day to day becomes stagnant, repetitive or too easy. A competition is an opportunity to sharpen the blade, explore and experiment with a different typology and to challenge myself to test my ideas amongst others with a similar drive.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

Some advice I’d give to those on the fence about doing a competition would be to do your research first and to ask yourself one thing: does this brief have the right parameters to test whatever theory, idea or avenue you’re interested in at that time. A vision competition is just a medium for an idea to present itself as the means to presenting yourself or your studio. Doing your research on the subject before registration allows you to feel confident to have some substance in what you propose if you are to commit to it. There’s no use in doing it the other way around as you may not find what you’re looking for to test your idea, which will result in hollow and meaningless work.

Open architecture competitions

  • Closest Deadline first
  • Project competitions first
    Selected winning projects have the potential to be constructed
  • Ideas competitions first
    Experimental competitions with the focus on pushing the boundaries of creativity
project COMPETITION
Omuli Museum of the Horse

Reimagine a historical primary school into a museum for horses

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

extended registration deadline

Remind me
Dec 14
Jan 26
May 24
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ideas COMPETITION
The Last Nuclear Bomb Memorial

Design a memorial that speaks to the cause of ending all nuclear weapons programs

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

extended registration deadline

Remind me
Dec 15
Jan 27
May 25
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project COMPETITION
Sleeping Pods on a Cliff

Design a series of sleeping pods for a Portugal yoga retreat

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

extended registration deadline

Remind me
Dec 18
Feb 01
May 31
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project COMPETITION
Tiny Kiwi Meditation Cabin

Design a meditation space in New Zealand

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

extended registration deadline

Remind me
Dec 21
Feb 02
Jun 01
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ideas COMPETITION
Berlin Techno Booth

Bring back techno music to the streets of Berlin by designing individual dance booths

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Mar 23
Apr 20
Jul 06
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ideas COMPETITION
Modular Home Design Challenge 2021

Design a modular dream home

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN THE BOOK
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Mar 24
Apr 21
Jul 07
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essay COMPETITION
Essay: Modular Architecture

How modular design has impacted architecture?

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN THE BOOK
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Mar 25
Apr 22
Jul 08
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ideas COMPETITION
Hospice - Home for Terminally Ill

Design a safe and supportive space for those struggling with a terminal illness

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Mar 30
Apr 27
Jul 13
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project COMPETITION
Romantic Cabin For Two

Design a romantic and secluded cabin for two in New Zealand

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Mar 31
Apr 28
Jul 14
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project COMPETITION
Monte d'Oiro Wine Hotel

Design a new hotel set within a beautiful Portuguese Monte d'Oiro vineyard

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Apr 01
Apr 29
Jul 15
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essay COMPETITION
Essay: Architecture of Illusions

Do you have something to say about illusions in architecture?

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN THE BOOK
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Apr 02
Apr 30
Jul 16
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ideas COMPETITION
MICROHOME 2021 - Small living, huge impact!

Design a new concept of small-scale architecture

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN MAGAZINE
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
May 11
Sep 07
Nov 02
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project COMPETITION
Legendary Bird Home 2021

Design a bird home to fund wildlife charities

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PRODUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
May 11
Sep 07
Nov 02
Register now

Why enter architecture
competitions?

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winners of the 1st prize of our
Pape Bird Observation Tower” competition:
Manuel Pareja Abascal and Berta Risueño Muzás from Spain!

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winners of the 1st prize of our “Pape Bird Observation Tower” competition - Manuel Pareja Abascal and Berta Risueño Muzás from Spain!

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