The "Architecture and Innovation for Space" International Grand Prix

Opening up fields of development and technological applications that are essential for the future of our civilisation.

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.).


All the roadmaps for space exploration include the Moon as the next step before a journey to Mars. Our presence on this satellite of the Earth in a permanent infrastructure would therefore be a real springboard for acquiring knowledge and operational experience before an even more distant exploration. In 2015, Jan Woerner, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), proposed the concept of a "Moon Village". This vision involves a gradual expansion of habitable infrastructure, adapted to multiple uses and different types of residents and users.

The lunar or Martian village will have to be imagined as an open, inclusive and sustainable project at the service of humanity, supporting international science, offering new opportunities for cooperation with space and non-space players, open to all nations and broadening the potential uses, whether industrial, commercial, tourist, educational or cultural.

On the Moon's surface, the absence of a protective atmosphere means that its surface is very hard and exposed to extreme temperatures (from - 110°C to + 130°C). The Moon is also regularly bombarded by meteorites. Its surface is covered with a fine dust coated by a vitreous shell that makes it highly abrasive, but also electrostatic due to its exposure to solar radiation waves. The Moon's gravity is 1/6th that of the Earth.

The purpose of the competition is to propose self-sufficient living systems that are independent of the Earth, using in situ resources as part of a circular economy approach. These closed-loop life-support systems will have to include the regulation of the atmosphere, the production of food and water, the recycling of waste and the equipment essential to life (exercise, mobility, etc.). These projects may be entered in one of two categories:

  • modular systems brought from Earth and assembled on site
  • systems built in situ using local materials such as regolith, on the surface or in lava tunnels.

MINOS- Jakub Pietryszyn (2022)


The satellite of Jupiter and a link between Space and the Ocean: with a cover of 100km of water (icy on the surface and liquid below) it is a question of solving questions related to these two environments. Europe is slightly smaller than the Moon and contains salt and Silicate rock. The gigantic tidal effects exerted by Jupiter create movement like our plate tectonics and heat the interior enough for a liquid mantle to exist. 

No one knows what this ocean contains, but life may exist there. It is for this reason that several missions will have for objective Europe in the years to come: “JUICE” of ESA in 2022 and “Europa CLIPPER” of NASA in 2025. This moon of Jupiter is undoubtedly the most promising to eventually set up a science center that will study the largest reserve of liquid water in the solar system. The science center will be composed of a base on the icy surface of this world, it will consider continental drift and the extreme environment. It will relate to the interior ocean where underwater explorations will be offered. It will also serve as a prime location for observing Jupiter - the largest planet in our system.

It is thus a project which must bring together the three major components found in:

  • polar bases in the Antarctic
  • the spatial environment with its constraints
  • underwater structures and vehicles.

MISSION HERCULES - Nour François (2021)


Exploring the solar system requires a whole new kind of transportation. It is inconceivable to imagine bases or villages on other worlds without thinking of the infrastructure that will connect them. With this in mind, when NASA and ESA plan to return to the Moon in the coming decade: their first concern was to design the “Gateway”, a port station orbiting the Moon and which will serve as a feature. union between the Earth and its natural satellite. The spaceport is also a place of life, where teams take turns, meet and share information. When humanity also projects onto Mars and elsewhere, other sidereal ports will need to be established to form an interplanetary transport network. The spaceport will have to be a subject in relation to the elements that connect it: it is not autonomous but connected, it is a nerve center at the intersection of roads and trajectories in space.

It can take several forms: 

  • An entirely artificial structure resembling an orbital space station. 
  • Implanted on a small star (like Phobos and Deimos for Mars)
  • Be located on places with specific properties such as a Lagrange point or an asteroid in the Jupiter belt. 

It must be thought of in terms of the considerable time scales that such journeys require and will serve as a place of rest, meeting and refuge. The concerns related to the life of human beings will be analyzed: artificial gravity, protection against cosmic radiations and solar flares.

... Although it is not asked here to design the means of transport, it is nevertheless essential to think about how it is connected. Like a land port or an airport, as there can be several types of vessels (interplanetary and landers) and therefore several ways to connect. It will be essential at this stage that this infrastructure has relative autonomy and therefore a means of producing energy and preserving the health of the occupants with stocks of water and food. It is important to note that this is not a town or a village but a place of transit.

D. N. A - Sophie Vereecquee (2015)

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