New Architecture Competition Announced — ‘By the Bay’ to design
Design Marina Holiday Homes for post-pandemic situations —

Vacations and relaxation

In this rapidly developing era, existing industries experience rapid shifts. The travels industry has undergone massive changes in the past decade. From booking holiday destinations through local tourist offices to planning a vacation a click away, technology has changed the way we travel.

Modern lifestyles seem to have taken a toll on our mental well-being as well as our cities. Most cities have transformed into concrete jungles, resulting in lesser avenues for human interaction with nature. Thus, the need to escape from everyday lives has fuelled weekend/short trips. New trends, affordability, and the increase in slow travel are shifting the conventional stay. Instead of traditional hotel stays, today’s generation is opting for safer accommodation options — holiday homes/homestays/AirBnB’s- that offer much more than just a well-furnished room.

Fig: 2 — International Travel on a standstill (Credits-curlytales)

Unwinding after a standstill

In 2020, the world came to a standstill. Travel and tourism were among the worst-hit sectors. Traditionally, the volume of international arrivals is accepted as a bar of success for the tourism economy. While domestic travel has always carried on, due to restrictions post-lockdown has started to insulate domestic travel.

People are eager for a weekend getaway or a short trip. As the crisis has pushed our living in isolation, millions of people in cities are demanding gateway experiences with family, kids, and friends, in remote destinations. With the work-from-home culture blurring the lines between leisure and business travel, the lockdown has played a crucial role in reviving the demand for holiday homes.

People are looking for options that provide them with opportunities to unwind, work, re-energize and relax.

Fig: 3 — Impact of tourist activities and stay (Credits- Dustan Woodhouse)

Impact of revived tourism

In this global industry, 80% of all tourism takes place in coastal areas, with beaches and coral reefs amongst the most popular destinations. Tourist activities and facilities in coastal regions help to revive the local communities with infrastructure development and economy.

While this remains true, it has also impacted it in terms of excessive use of resources and large energy emissions for leisure facilities. Massive influxes of tourists in smaller areas lead to degradation of the natural landscape and the local community life.

With the increase in people choosing beach stays for their next vacation in the current scenario, how can we manage and mitigate the impacts of these accommodations while serving the upcoming tourist influx? Can we design vacation homes that give the bay experience and are energy-efficient?

Fig: 4 — Between the pandemic and environmental impact can we create something for the travel generation? (Credits-Arkitema Architects-Sustainable beach houses model)

Brief of the competition

The staycation trend has peaked after the pandemic began. It is the most sought-after experience in today’s time and is expected to revive the travel industry and support the local economy. Hotels and resorts are adapting to this change by closing alternate rooms to minimize contact. Safety, hygiene, longer stays, and nature is becoming the new face of travel.

For the future of this industry, the development of staycations and holiday homes that follow current trends is the need. What will this new typology of holiday homes look like? While developing new solutions for the pandemic, to reduce the previous harm done to the coastal regions, can we design more energy-efficient facilities?

Brief: Design marina holiday homes for post-pandemic situations with provisions of minimal contact, for work, play and to enjoy the landscape.

These homes must be sustainable and conserve the local biodiversity and community through design solutions.

Design objectives

The following objectives can be a point of beginning to conceive this design:

  • Envision — Ideate and design how holiday homes will look like in current times.
  • Context — Design must rely on locally available resources, on the immediate environment, and identifiable needs.
  • Environmental sustainability — Incorporating traditional as well as new strategies to move towards low-emission designs.
  • Form and Materiality — Apply culturally and climatically appropriate form and materiality, even if unconventional.
  • Balance — Environmental and recreational balance.


Fig: 4 — Site image
  • Location: San Pedro de Alcántara, Spain
  • Area: 7658 sqm
  • Height limitations: 12 meters
  • Maximum Built-Up Area: 7658 sq.m
  • Ground coverage: 50%
  • Coordinates: 36°27'54.1"N 5°00'00.2"W

The San Pedro de Alcantara beach is a family-friendly urban beach, it is fully occupied on weekends and holidays due to a nearby promenade. Moreover, the beach is marked and identified by its historic roman baths and other remains. Between the heavy tourism and identity of the place, can your holiday homes prevent and mitigate the impact faced by this beach as well as give tourists staying there, the view and peace they want?

Program outline

The challenge is to design homes for approximately 500 visitors per month. The following programmatic outline is the point to begin your design at. You can add more functions and activities in relevance or modify the below design program in your plan.

  • Accommodation 55%: 1 Bhk homes, 2bhk homes, Duplex 3 bhk homes
  • Recreation 25%: Cafeterias/restaurants, Lounge, Spa/Fitness, Yoga/meditation, Landscape
  • Services 20%: Entrance Lobby, Utility, Kitchen and pantry, house-keeping, Cloakroom, and other staff space.

Find all the competition brief, terms, and other registration guidelines on this

page: By the Bay | Architecture Competition on UNI | About

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