unbelievable challenge

The Unbelievable Challenge 2017 open architectural ideas competition

Submission: November 20, 2017
Registration: November 20, 2017
Language: English
Location: Wrocław, Poland
Prizes: Please see details below
Type: Open architectural ideas competition


This year sees the return of The Unbelievable Challenge open architectural ideas competition presented by Ruukki Construction in collaboration with Helsinki Design Week, Snøhetta and Echo Polska Properties. In The Unbelievable Challenge 2017, Mr. Santa Claus seeks new ideas for a mall façade renovation project in Wrocław, Poland from architect and design students.

The aim of the competition is to explore ways how reinventing exterior architecture could both vitalise the surrounding cityscape as well as give an alluring hint of what is offered inside. This year’s lucky winner is awarded with an amazing internship at the world-renowned Snøhetta design company in Norway.

The Challenge
Grown tired of all the extra gifts he’s left with each year, Mr. Santa Claus has decided to build an epic Winter Wonderland Outlet where he can store the gifts and share the spirit of the season with everyone. Jointly with Ruukki, he has found a perfect place for this, an old shopping mall in Wrocław, Poland. The catch is that the shopping mall is in dire need of renovation. It’s not only that the façade of the building needs freshening up, Mr. Santa wants the Winter Wonderland Outlet to be an eye-catcher, something that really attracts large customer flows as well as reflects the wonderful experiences people are offered inside. For this, he needs the help of designer and architect students, or young professionals in these fields.


A fully paid 10-week internship for one person at Snøhetta design company in Norway (approx. total value 25,000€, including salary, taxes, deductions and rent for an apartment in Oslo) + a minimum of four cash prizes of €1,000 each

How to participate?
The competition is seeking ideas-level solutions, and hence the participants are not limited in strictly formal implementations. However, participants are to utilise the program documents and follow the submittal and general guidelines provided by the competition organiser. Additionally, Ruukki products are to be utilised as a part of the overall design.

The submitted proposal is expected to clearly present the idea (the problem & the solution) for the front of a very large outlet centre, Pasaz Grunwaldzki, and show how the site can be transformed from a post war brutalist area to a setting that provides unforgettable experiences. The evaluation of the competition entries will emphasise the big idea and the general quality of the solution.

The competition is aimed at architect and designer students or young professionals in these fields. A participant can be an individual person or a freely chosen team. However, we advise you to consider the prize (internship for one person) if thinking of teaming up. The applicants enter the competition through uploading their competition entry (pdf & jpeg) on The Unbelievable Challenge 2017 website by 20 November 2017 (12 noon EET). No further registration is required.

Deadline for entries: 12 noon EET, 20 November 2017
The finalists are announced: 4 December 2017
The finalists present their proposals to the jury in a video conference: 8 December 2017
The winner is awarded and the results published: 14 December 2017 (personally, on the campaign website and Facebook)

Go to the competition’s website