Ends in 6 days, 23 hours

For this year’s competition we’ve teamed up with the Center for Architecture and Design (CFAD) to give you, the creative thinkers reading this, a chance to really express your design chops. In this design competition we are asking you to simply rethink and show what the facade of the Center should be!

The Center for Architecture and Design just developed a brand new space that is open, engaging, and meaningful for those that dare to enter through the same ol’ façade. But what is THE façade of the Center for Architecture and Design? How can the façade call upon it’s founding principles?

[The Center for Architecture and Design is] An independent non-profit, the Center was founded in 2002 by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Philadelphia). The Center provides the public with a place and programming to explore architecture, urban planning, and design, allowing them opportunities to understand how these disciplines affect us all in our daily lives.

The Center brings together architects, designers, developers, thought leaders, and the public under one roof and also provides office space to AIA Philadelphia, the Community Design Collaborative, and the AIA Bookstore. The Center is open to the public six days a week.

The Center for Architecture and Design’s mission is to engage and educate the public with/in thoughtfully architecture and design. We celebrate the built environment and promote design excellence by championing the impact that thoughtful and responsive architecture and design have on the public’s everyday lives. Further, we leverage our physical space as the hub for the Philadelphia design community and the general public.

For this competition we are really looking for how YOU define the façade: how it pushes the envelope, both physically and subliminally, how it addresses the experiences of those coming into or passing by and how it engages the public both inside and out beyond a visual connection.


To enter into the competition register here. Each entry submission is $15 ($10 for AIA Members). AIA Membership is not required. Entries may be submitted by an individual or a team of individuals, students and professionals, no firm entries will be accepted. Each registrant will be provided access to models/drawings upon registration. Upon receipt of your 10-digit ID, keep this handy when you’re ready to upload your submission via Submittable.

Submission Requirements:

During DesignPhiladelphia, finalist entries will be displayed along the Center's facade in scale so let’s make sure this 1 rendering really shows what’s happening on and beyond the façade. The top 5 finalists will be able to present to a jury and the public during DesignPhiladelphia, Friday, October 13.

  • Provide a narrative on your interpretation of the current storefront and how the Center for Architecture and Design provides for the design community and the citizens of Philadelphia at large. 250-500 words

  • (1) 3000x1200px 300 ppi Rendering of the exterior elevation of the storefront (view to match models given). JPG, TIFF, or PNG files are acceptable.

  • OPTIONAL: 24 in. x36 in. PDF supplemental imagery/board to further understand your concept, file size limited to !0MB.

You MUST register by 11:59pm EST on September 23, 2017. Completed entries are due by 11:59pm EST on October 1, 2017.

By submitting an entry to this competition, the designer acknowledges that all work submitted is original and is the intellectual property of the applicant. The design competition organizers-- Philadelphia Emerging Architects (PEA) Committee, DesignPhiladelphia, the Center / Architecture + Design--claims no responsibility or accountability in any form for any misrepresentations or other legally infringing matters of authorship. Entries become the property of the design competition organizations, which reserves the right to publish and/or reproduce images of any and all submissions, with credit to its creator.

Register (for FREE!) to participate by Sunday, November 5 @ 11:30pm! We only have space to display 20 gingerbread creations, so registration is on a first-come basis.

Download the Official Rules + Regulations Here

Showcase your architectural, engineering, and culinary skills and compete to win $500 in the Center’s second annual Gingerbread Architecture Challenge! The gingerbread structures will be displayed at the Center for Architecture and Design in the weeks leading up to Christmas and the winner will be determined by popular vote.

This competition is open to individuals and teams of any size and entries can come from anyone, including designers, architects, chefs, or just passionate foodies and makers! There is no age limitation, though entrants under the age of 18 must partner with at least one adult teammate.

NEW REQUIREMENT: In order to register, you will be required to submit a sketch, collage, drawing, or rendering of your proposed creation. Don't worry - we won't hold the quality of your drawing against you, we just want to see what creative ideas you will be pursuing!

Registration Options:

  • Individual | Select this option if you would like to design and build your creation by yourself.
  • Team | Select this option if there are at least two (2) people working together to design and build your creation. There is no maximum team size.
  • Individual Looking For a Team | Select this option if you would like us to pair you up with at least one teammate or find a group for you to join.