Homestead — Architecture Competition by

UNI announces ‘Homestead’— Architecture Competition to Design a farmhouse in Madrid, Spain —

Fig: 1 — Agricultural land or pastures are scenic spots for people who live in urban settings.

Longing for green

“My wish is to always live like this, living quietly in the corner of nature.” — Claude Monet

The lush of the farms is something that attracts everyone’s attention. Especially the urban dwellers, who live in a concrete jungle and are seldom exposed to the natural realm. And oftentimes these spaces are preferred to live in and attracted towards.

The lush and abundant natural availability creates a kind of environment that makes it attractive to the people who wish to cherish living in spaces that extend beyond the cities and roads.

And often in such environments, one wishes to stay and live a little longer. This can only be possible through resorts, hotels, and other stay places that help them experience both worlds.

Although there are rare places where one can have a luxurious stay as well as experience nature at its best and at our doorsteps.

Fig: 2 — Farmlands capture the beauty of natural landscapes around the site and people are taking advantage of this by building spaces of retreat in these sites of cultivation.

Nature at the doorstep

To be able to live inside nature for a longer period of time is something we all often wish for.

How can we find ways to accomplish this without having to limit our vacations to just holidays or longing for one more vacation every year?
Can this be made possible by creating a space that expands itself into nature by giving us a wholesome experience?

Will a space that offers us a kind of comfort of the house and also the variety and experience of the farm work? To enjoy moments of peace can a homestead; a farmhouse give us that valuable and long-lasting experience?

A Farmhouse expands its horizons beyond typical households and connects the building with the context closely. Not just through the built environment but also through the integration of the flora and fauna of the context. It offers us numerous activities including farming, animal rearing which help one live a sustainable lifestyle.

Fig: 3 — Farmhouse design can transcend the experience of living on a farm. (Credits: Decoist)

Brief of the Competition

“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

We need to be able to live in nature rather than just being a part of it. This requires a kind of design that is integrating itself into nature rather than including nature into it. And this can be made possible by creating a kind of homestead that bends all the boundaries between the context and the design and becomes an integral part of it.

Brief: Aim of this challenge is to design a homestead that redefines the concepts of farmhouses by eliminating the barriers between the interior and the exterior through its design.

Thus creating a farmhouse that provides a refuge to the people along with an experience of farming, animal raising, and sustainable living at the same place. This design challenge is aimed to bring the natural context and the design together in harmony by creating a structure that is not just built on the site but is very much an inherent part of it.

Design Objectives

Concept — Understand the concept of a homestead to expand its boundaries and leverage its imageability.

Harmony — Understand the coherence between nature and the built environment to create a symbiosis between them that transcends beyond the assigned boundaries.

Context — The design must respond to the (existing) site conditions. The wider socio-cultural, economic and environmental settings are to be considered in the design approach.

Sustainable — Reduce the negative impact of design on the environment, by improving building performance, reducing waste, and ensuring comfort for occupants.

The above objectives can be a point of beginning to conceive this design. Participants can assume their contexts and user group on the basis of their concepts and designs.


Fig: 4 — Site image

Location: Ciudad Real, Spain
Site Area: 11,134 sq.m
•Height limit: 10m
•FAR (Floor Area Ratio): 2
•Coordinates: 38°59'45.2"N 3°57'30.3"W

Spain is well known for a vast number of monuments, and cities that have become a travel destination for everyone. It is a geographically and culturally diverse region. The whole of Spain has a scenic background, with the majority of the countryside being filled with castles, aqueducts, and ancient ruins; where the other major part comprises the farms that reside in Spain. These farms are majorly spread across the Spanish region.

The site is located on the outskirts of Ciudad Real, Spain. The site is around 3km away from the center of the city. There are many farming settlements in the vicinity. It offers panoramic views of farmlands around the site with complete privacy on this parcel of land.

Program outline

Participants are to design for a family of 6. They can assume their users and requirements along with the concept of a farmhouse.


Living room, Bedrooms, Drawing rooms, Washrooms, Open Kitchen, Utility room Dining hall, Entrance, Foyer, General storeroom.

Recreation and Relaxation

Sauna/Steam room, Fireplace, Gym, Lounge, Bar

Farm utilities and services

Animal Shelter, Farmshed, and storage for maintenance of farms and related activities.

Other ancillary spaces can be added by the participants according to their design.

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

page: Homestead | Hospitality Building Competition on UNI | About

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