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Common Ruins – Architecture Competition

Submission: January 30, 2019
Registration: January 27, 2019
Language: English
Location: Mothe Chandeniers Castle, France
Prizes: Please see details below
Type: Ideas Competition


YAC – Young Architects Competitions ​and  Mothe Chandeniers​ launch “Common Ruins”, a competition of ideas aiming to breath a new life into an astonishing castle in France. A cash prize of € 20,000 will be awarded to winners selected by a well-renowned jury made of, among the others,​ Anish Kapoor, Rudy Ricciotti, Edoardo Tresoldi, Dagur Eggertsson, Alfonso Femia, Aldo Cibic, Marco Amosso (Lombardini 22), Luca Dolmetta (LD+SR  architetti​).


There is a special fascination in ruins. There is a sublime hint in dissolved architectures. There is something moving in the pulverizing of time.

Silence takes over the architecture. In the long sunset that follows abandonment and preludes destruction, nature completes the design of mankind by taking space back according to its own pace. In that moment, something magical happens. In that moment, architecture gives way to ruins.

The castle of Mothe Chandeniers is a perfect ruin.

It is lost in the French countryside. It is a gothic lace embroidered in stone. It is an enchanted mirage fluctuating on a calm lake. It is embraced by jealous vegetation that has been twining its bastions and architectures as a greedy lover. The castle evokes an intimate embrace between history, architecture and nature. Faraway from mankind, this place has achieved its most resplendent beauty. However, now it needs mankind in order to forestall its ultimate destruction.

Dartagnans is a fund aiming at protecting and safeguarding the international artistic heritage. Recently, it has purchased the castle thanks to more than 27, 910 shareholders’ donations. Today, through YAC, Mothe Chandeniers invites designers to highlight the natural fascination of the castle in order to transform it into a destination of contemplation and relax for tourists and visitors from all over the world.

How to transform a ruin into a cutting edge tourist-accommodation facility? How to make a neo-gothic shell communicate with contemporary architecture?

These are the questions on which Common Ruins lays its foundations. This competition offers designers the opportunity to dedicate their own design action to one of the most fascinating ruins in the world. They will do so by designing a visitors’ center aiming at ensuring a unique, spiritual and regenerating hospitality experience.

At the sunset of a building, architecture itself has to protect the remarkable combination of human action and natural activity that is the fascination of Mothe Chandeniers. Architecture has to save the castle from the erosion of time in order to give it back to the community that purchased it. It is an unprecedented challenge that invites designers to deal with a place with a surreal beauty able to create oneiric and refined holiday scenarios. Designers will have to highlight such feature carrying out an architectural intervention aiming to be the milestone of contemporary architecture.

Yac thanks all the designers who will take part in this challenge.


  • Anish Kapoor
  • Rudy Ricciotti, (Agence Rudy Ricciotti)
  • Edoardo Tresoldi,
  • Dagur Eggertsson, (Rintala Eggertsson Architects)
  • Alfonso Femia,( Atelier(s) Femia)
  • Aldo Cibic (Cibic Workshop)
  • Marco Amosso (Lombardini 22)
  • Luca Dolmetta (LD+SR  architetti​)
  • Romain Delaume (Dartagnans)
  • Julien Marquis (Adopte un Château)
  • Olivier de Chabot (Groupe Mercure)


1st   PRIZE 10.000 €

2nd  PRIZE 4.000 €

3rd  PRIZE  2.000 €

4 GOLD MENTIONS 1.000  € each






29/10/2018 “early bird” registration – start

25/11/2018 (h 11.59 pm GMT) “early bird” registration – end


26/11/2018 “standard” registration – start

23/12/2018 (h 11.59 pm GMT) “standard” registration – end


24/12/2018 “late” registration – start

27/01/2019 (h 11.59 pm GMT) “late” registration – end

30/01/2019 (h 12.00 pm – midday – GMT) material submission deadline

Go to the competition’s website