$1m prize for “most important architectural competition in history”

A render of Icon’s Wolf Ranch in Texas, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group for American homebuilder Lennar
Texas 3D-printing company Icon has launched Initiative 99, an architecture competition to design affordable housing units costing less than $99,000 to build.

The competition has a total prize fund of $1m. Winning projects will be chosen by a jury of architects, academics, policy-makers and non-profit organisations, after which a selection will be built by Icon.

The project was launched in March 2023 and has already received submissions from 57 countries.

Jason Ballard, Icon co-founder, said: “We need a moonshot for affordable housing, and I believe Initiative 99 will be the most important architectural competition in history.

“The current affordable housing landscape seems to have been designed and built without taking beauty, aesthetics, comfort, sustainability and resiliency as serious requirements.”

More information is available here.

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