The "Architecture and Innovation for Sea" International Grand Prix

Meet today's major challenges, and in particular the Ocean, the guarantor of our environmental and social living environment.

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.).


The underwater Village will host a community of women and men, the Meriens, aquanauts living in osmosis with an extreme environment for long term stays. It places the human beings at the center of this submarine world and carries values of solidarity. It can be located at different depths and will accommodate a community of 150 to 250 people or more.
The village must be self-sufficient and fully autonomous running on renewable marine energy (tidal power, wave sensor, ocean thermal energy...). The daily life of its inhabitants will cause a minimal impact on its environment (waste...) There will be a general reflection on the submarine mobility. What kind of submarine vehicles to reach the earth?

There will be considered the specific way of life related to the underwater and the multiple constraints due to this environment, among others equi-pressure, buoyancy, etc. The inhabitants will live in equi-pressure and in saturation. The different architectural structures will allow the Merien aquanauts to go out easily under the sea as often as they wish in the third dimension of this submarine space.

It will not only respect the marine biodiversity but will also promote it. All infrastructures must have a minimal environmental footprint on the underwater environment. The materials used must have a maximum level of recyclability.
It may include at the candidate’s choice various programs as far as a scientific research center on biodiversity, aquaculture and algal farms, a hotel, leisure facilities, a wellness center, sports and cultural zones, an underwater museum, a cultural and artistic center, etc.

PLASTIC INCONTINENCE- Boris Lefevre (2012)


At sea, it will be designed in harmony with its environment. Dedicated to the discovery and study of the marine environment, it will offer a wide audience to better understand the functioning of marine ecosystems. To meet its ambition of raising awareness, sharing and transmitting knowledge, it will have to host research programs as well as innovative educational and cultural activities for the general public and students. It will have a positive ecological footprint and will constitute a circular economy model. The materials used must have a maximum level of recyclability.

SEA MORPHOSIS- Dina Elmatboli (2022)

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