The "Architecture and Innovation for Climate & Rising Waters " International Grand Prix

Acting for greater environmental responsibility by integrating water and climate issues into the development of our society.

Architectural innovation linked to bio-inspiration and sustainable development are the watchwords of this call for creativity.

Whatever the choice of subject, it is imperative that the human being and his environment are placed at the heart of the reflection, and that engineering specific to the chosen environment is implemented. The project must be based on the specific lifestyles of human beings, exploiting as far as possible the intrinsic characteristics of the environment, which may be extreme, and taking into account the impact of gravity on architecture, changes in the gestures of daily life, and the surface/volume notion in which your project is situated, whether : 

  • oceanic, on the surface or under the sea (marine dynamics, buoyancy, pressure, life under saturation or atmospheric pressure...) 
  • coastal (swells, tides, currents, rising water levels...) 
  • in space or on a celestial body (vacuum, radiation, temperatures, reduced or zero gravity, time and distance scales, micro-meteorites, energy requirements, etc.).


President Mandela said in 1998 that Africa's long and beautiful coasts and abundant marine resources can contribute to improving the continent's economic, food and environmental security. Africa, being bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Indian Ocean to the east and the Southern Ocean at the southern end of the continent, is well endowed.
Among the major assets offered by the African oceans and coasts for the continent's economic, social and cultural development are: 

  • maritime transport of coastal and offshore oil and gas

  • transport and maritime trade

  • coastal and offshore mining

  • inshore and offshore fishing

  • biodiversity outside the imagination and enormous marine genetic and medicinal resources,

  • seaside tourism.

These marine and coastal resources, like the rest of Africa's environmental resources, continue to be exploited in ways that do not benefit Africa or its people.

Challenges for Africa's coastal development include rising sea levels, coastal flooding and flooding, oil pollution and land-based pollution, coastal degradation including coastal erosion with loss of coastal infrastructure and domains, loss of biodiversity and critical habitats.

It is therefore becoming important to invent new forms of sustainable, open and resilient coastal cities through innovative architecture and locally adapted coastal engineering in Africa. The aim of this focus is to contribute both to the invention of the future with regard to the development of African coastal cities as well as the preservation of their intangible and tangible heritage.

This focus is addressed to any visionary and passionate person or team, to imagine systems of techniques and innovations, design, architecture, concepts and/or scientific models and engineering methods using both modern and ancestral knowledge and technologies, which will respect African civilization and cosmogony, local identity, cultural, social and environmental values in harmony with the way of life of communities and local populations while reflecting our globalized world.

While encouraging international teams rich in diversity around the world, it is however recommended to favor at the head of teams or project promoters, candidates with a great knowledge of Africa in order to support leadership, spirit of ownership and entrepreneurship on this continent.

NAADUVAA- Pongpisal Pluem ( 2021)


Today we are facing an unprecedented acceleration in the water level rise which is a major issue of our century. The water rises by 3.2mm / year on average. UN experts predict an increase from the current level of nearly one meter by 2100. The effects of the accelerating rise are already visible in many countries and regions of the world. Catastrophic climatic events (submersions, floods) are already the consequence of this phenomenon. We need to change the framework and adopt adaptation strategies. We have little time, but we must not fall into catastrophism. During the coming century, we can find scalable solutions adapted locally to each geographic, societal and economic problem. Your project will demonstrate the consideration of the population exposed to flooding, its demography and its level of vulnerability. In terms of town planning, development and landscape, you will integrate urban dynamics and the level of resilience of infrastructures while taking into account the environmental parameters (soil condition, biodiversity, retreat of the coastline), energy resources and the global economic growth potential based on the blue economy.

Tekasa'i - Loïs Tavernier (2018)


The landscape, the light, the colors, the materials, the biodiversity vary with the rhythm of the tides. Your project will have to present an architectural structure either floating resting at low tide on the ground or on stilts and will have to take into account the specific rhythm of the tidal pendulum while favoring a lifestyle in harmony with this unique setting. You will have to offer mobility solutions to reach the shore or return to your place of life regardless of the sea level.

Currents for Currents - Alam Deo Alrashid (2017)

Find all the nominated and winning projects on the Foundation's database