Design and Build: Sanctuary Continental

Submission: July 10, 2022
Registration: July 10, 2022
Language: English
Location: US
Prizes: Please see the details below
Type: Open


The Museum of Outdoor Arts (MOA) in Englewood, CO seeks conceptual design proposals for its Design and Build Competition from art, architecture, design and other creatively focused USA based collegiate students, teams, and/or classes. This year’s theme is “Sanctuary Continental” and submissions should address the challenge of designing a sanctuary / pavilion like structure for one of the seven continents of the world, primarily utilizing local materials. The design should utilize architecture, landscape architecture, and/or sculpture/installation as a solution while considering environmental impact and sustainability in use of materials. Furthermore, the design should relate to the selected continent in some way and at least 51% of the materials used for the conceptual design should be native to the selected location. Contestant’s designs will need to respond with their conceptual project under the premise that the structure will be utilized by the general public in a publicly accessible setting.

Museum of Outdoor Arts (MOA)- Englewood, Colorado

The mission of MOA is to make art a part of everyday life. Founded in 1981 by commercial real estate Developer, John W. Madden Jr., Marjorie Madden and their daughter, Cynthia Madden Leitner, MOA is an arts focused non-profit, private operating foundation, based in the Denver metro area. MOA offers a robust outdoor sculpture collection of over 85 pieces throughout the Englewood and Greenwood Village communities, maintains an indoor art collection, hosts indoor gallery exhibitions, provides education programs and owns and operates Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre. More information can be found at www.moaonline.org.

Design and Build Competition

After operating the Design and Build program for over 30 years in the Denver metro area, MOA has expanded Design and Build to include a national competition as part of the program. 2022 marks the fourth annual, national art, architecture & design competition. The goal of the competition is to cultivate potential from emerging artists, architecture and design students and to allow these creatives the space to conceptualize inventive ideas within a set of boundaries. The competition garners an online repository of art, architecture and design concepts. The competition is based on an annual theme and/or challenge provided by MOA and cash prizes are awarded to the top four submissions, which includes an honorable mention prize. It is the goal to expand the national competition to allow for international entries in the future. The competition will focus on the USA national level through at least 2024 before taking the competition to an international audience.

Introduction, Theme & Challenge

We are all familiar with pavilions, gazebos, and other similar types of structures. This competition asks contestants to think outside of the box and design a sanctuary structure for use by the public for one of the seven continents of the world. Contestants may select the continent of their choice and will be asked through the narrative questions about the reasoning behind their selection and design. The conceptual design should relate to the selected continent in some way and utilize at least 51% native building materials to the selected continent. Submitted designs should reflect a creative and unique aesthetic and function, and should relate to the site selected by the contestant. The design should utilize architecture / landscape architecture, and/or sculpture/installation as a solution while considering environmental impact and sustainability in use of materials. Concepts may include both permanent and/or temporary structures. There are no restrictions on the type of setting that the concept should be designed for (i.e. urban, open-space etc.), however, the selected location should be publicly accessible. The final design should not exceed a footprint of 500 square feet, though structures have no height restrictions. Final designs should have an estimated design and build budget of no more than $250,000 USD. Furthermore, we want to know how the structure would function as a usable space for the public. Are there particular activities, design elements or technologies that will be implemented as part of the design? Please address this through the narrative portion of your proposal by addressing the questions found in the “items to include in your proposal” section of this competition brief.

Eligibility Requirements

The competition is open to any undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled in any US university (recent graduates are eligible to enter for up to one year post graduation). Students should be studying in the field of art, architecture, landscape architecture, design, engineering, and/or other programs that focus on creativity. Entries can be submitted by individuals, teams, or as classes. Collaborative designs are highly desired. Past competition winners must observe a one-year sit out period prior to being eligible to enter future competitions.


The spirit of Design and Build has always been to solve problems and create through collaboration. Collaborative team projects are strongly encouraged and desired, however, all proposals must include narrative about how collaboration would be utilized in realizing the design (i.e. fabricators, engineers and architects must work together to realize any design). Instructors who take the competition on as a class project are eligible to submit up to three proposals per class. Individual student submissions or student team submissions are also eligible for entry.


MOA will award the top three entries with the following prize structure:

1st Place $5,000 + winning entry to be archived & featured on competition website

2nd Place $2,500 + winning entry to be archived & featured on competition website

3rd Place $1,000 + winning entry to be archived & featured on competition website

In addition there will be an Honorable Mention prize of $500.
*If entered as a university class, prize will be awarded to department in which the class resides within the university. If entered as a team, prize will be split evenly amongst team members (i.e. If 1st place has 2 team members, each collaborator will receive $2,500).

Schedule & Important Dates

December 2021 – Competition launches July 10, 2022
Submission deadline –
July 2022 Top ten proposals selected
Early August 2022 – Proposal finalist presentations

August 2022 – Winning entries announced

>>> Go to the competition’s website <<<