[SYDNEY] Container Vacation House

Project ///

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia. It is located in south-east coast on the Tasman Sea. The greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people.

The container is a metal box fabricated from slow rusting steel designed for transporting goods. Its dimensions have been internationally standardised according to ISO regulations. It is also used as a building module in architecture. The ease of stacking the containers allows for rapid construction at an advantageous cost. 
The word “contain” comes from Latin word “continere” meaning to hold together, to surround or to store. A container is a vessel that surrounds a usable volume of space and thus defines the spacial boundary between interior and exterior. And as a walk-in box with useful spacial dimensions, the container fulfils the prerequisites for use as a spacial module.

The aim of this International Competition is to design a Container Vacation House overlooking the Bondi Beach waterfront in Sydney using used freight container. This competition hopes to achieve the following:

_Encourage and reward design excellence at a small scale which integrates function, structure, details and the spirit of waterfront home.
_Research and investgate the various combination possibilities for freight container units to meet the specified program.
_Generate the discussion and ideas about the reuse of freight container modules and encourage the employment of sustainable design in all aspects of the proposal.

This is a single stage Competition with the aim of identifing the most appropriate proposal, which best satisfies the general and specific objectives of the contest.

This is an open international competition hosted by [AC-CA]™ to generate progressive contemporary design ideas. There are no plans for the Container Vacation House to be built. 

Media Sponsors ///

Schedule ///

_Competition Officially Announced - 06th July 2013

_Start of Competition and Early Bird registration - 10th July to 31st August 2013

_Late Competition Registration - 01st September to 31st October 2013

_Deadline for Questions  - 15th October 2013

_Closing Date for Submissions  - 05th November 2013

_Jury Evaluation - 10th November - 17th November 2013

_Announcement of Winners and posted on www.ac-ca.org - 20th November 2013


Jury ///

_Juliette Sohier – Architect (French) 

_Jason Trisley – Architect (Australian)  

_Mads Møller – Architect (Danish)


Prizes ///

Winning participants will receive prizes totaling US$ 6,000 with the distribution as follows:




There will also be 7 honorable mentions


1st Prize, 2nd Prize and 3rd Prize will be published in following magazines as well as on the [AC-CA]™ website:

• wettbewerbe-aktuell Magazine (Germany)

• Concept Magazine (Korea)

• Monitor International Magazine (Germany, France, Russia)

 Future Arquitecturas Architecture Magazine (USA & China)

• ASK Magazine (Egypt)

• Positive Art Magazine (Italia)


FAQ ///

Can participants use the spaces outside the indicated site polygon for cantilevered volumes such as terraces, viewing platforms, pools or even landscape architecture for the house user to get to the beach?
The final design, interpretation of possibilities or the extension of the program is open to participants and as mentioned in the competition brief folder: "We are interested in motivating architects to provide their own point of view or vision, which very often may lead to the pushing of the boundaries and rules defined by the Competition. In other words, entrants are free to explore how far they can push the rules and guidelines set for Competition without breaking them, to avoid being disqualified."

Are the 3 guest rooms to have an en-suite bathroom each?
Yes, the brief request 3 guest rooms with an en-suite bathroom each.

Is any information relating to the size of container to use provided to participants?
Yes, there is some information regarding container regulation including standard size in the downloaded folder. Participants can use any of the sizes listed in the document for their design.

What type of soil do we have around the site?
The soil type is mainly rocky Sandstone.

Are we allowed to have part of the house underground?
Yes, this is allowed.

Can participants use a single container or combinations of a number of containers?
This depends on the design idea or concept, this means participants are allowed to use a single container or combination of containers. However, attention should paid to the space requirement and container specification detailed in the brief document provided to all participants.

Should the house design be on a single floor or on more than one floor by stacking containers on top of one another?
This will depend on the design idea or concept, which means participants are allowed to design on a single ground floor or stack the containers to create multiple floors.

Are there any limitations on the design proposal in terms of lot size, maximum number of containers, budget?
There is no restriction / limitation.

Are we required to design within the limits of the standard sizes of the containers or is there a possibility to alter the footprint?
Participants are expected to respect the ISO standard size and are able to alter the footprint in creative ways as can be seen in some of the images within the brief document provided.

Is it possible to excavate the ground?
Yes, participants are allowed to propose concept which involves excavation of the ground.

Is there a maximum height requirement?
There is no height restriction.

Is there an existing direct access to the sea?
Yes, there is a public walkway right next to the selected site.

What are the requirements for the submission? (eg. PDF format, physical boards, CD…)
Participants will find information relating to submission in the competition brief.

Is the 250sqm the total footprint or just the internal space?
250sqm (approximate) is the internal space to be created as mentioned on the competition brief.

Is the utility room mainly a space for cleaning equipment or garden tools as there is a separate laundry space listed in the competition brief?
Utility room in this case, is a space where water, gas, electricity controls or distribution cylinders / large pipes or even equipment not used in day-to-day activities is housed. It can also be combined with the laundry room in some cases, however the competition brief expects this to be separate spaces.

Is the home office a space solely for working alone or is it also a space for meeting with clients?
The home office requirement is for private single person use only.

What is the difference between the levels in the topography information map?
2 meters is the distance between the level lines.

What is the direction of winds onto the site?
We can assume the direction of the winds is mainly from the sea.

What is the difference between a single living space and an architectural complex as mentioned in the brief?
An individual container is assume to be a single living space or module for the sake of this competition and an architectural complex is a combination of modules vertically / horizontally to create a much larger space.

Are we allowed to cut or alter the containers to our preferred dimensions or are we supposed to work using the original standard size?
Yes, participants are free to alter the standard container size to fit their design.