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Architecture Vision Competition / US$ 10 000


Homemade Dessert is excited to invite you to participate in architecture vision competition „Ghost Town Challenge” on Karosta, a former soviet military town about 10 km North from Liepaja city centre, Latvia.

Karosta translates as War Port (or Navy Harbour). It is used to be a closed secret military town for the Russian Empire, and later for the Soviet military. As Latvia regained its independence in 1990, the Soviet military had to leave Karosta. As a result the population dropped dramatically from 25 000 to 6 000, leaving many abandoned buildings behind which have fallen into a state of partial or complete disrepair.

Homemade Dessert in collaboration with Liepaja City Council and a number of local artists has created a design brief on Karosta´s revitalization. Before exploring the brief in depth we would suggest you to familiarize yourself with this unique urban context. There are number of impressive historic monuments as St. Nicholas Ortodox Marine Cathedral in the central part of Karosta, the  Horse Arena or Manege  and Karosta Prison. Specific and unique poetic value can also be found in brutalist architecture „soviet style” apartment buildings.

The Brief will more closely examine development of Karosta´s urban core by planting a building complex that will be the main attraction of the town and would help to bring back the life to this part of Liepaja city. You are asked to present your architectural vision for a multi-purpose cultural centre that would include exhibition hall, library, and conference centre with possible entertainment as retail zones and a restaurant.

This competition is the first competition in the competition series on Liepaja city. This international architecture vision competition is open to everyone. Teams must have no more than 4 people, no professional qualification is required.

More information in informative material package.

This is a vision competition that should be treated as an academic exercise.


Indulis Kalns - Liepaja city head architect
Juris Greste - Urban designer, recipient of the of the Built Environment exemplar award in Australia
Dr Adam Jasper Smith - Lecturer, Faculty of Design Architecture and Building, University of Technology Sydney
Dr Louis Gyoh - architect and academic, RIBA, MCIOB, FRSA, United Kingdom
Alona Martinez - lecturer, School of Architecture, University of Plymouth
Ardzuna Sinaga - associate at AECOM Asia Pacific 
Andrejs Edvards Rauchut - 2010 Cooper Union graduate, associate professor at RISEBA and a Fulbright grant recipient
Gemawang Swaribathoro - architect, OMA, Hong Kong
Rajiv J. Fernandez - architectural designer, Tamarkin Co, USA
Mandy Too - architectural executive - DPA, Singapore
Allison Schwartz - architectural designer, MA Architects, USA
Agata Piet - PhD student, Faculty of Architecture, Wrocław University of Technology, Poland
Simon McGown - project designer, Morphosis Architects, USA
Collin Anderson - writer, architect, Renzo Piano, France
John Simons - designer, KPF, USA


1st prize - US$ 6000

2nd prize - US$ 3000

3rd prize - US$ 1000

+ 6 honourable mentions will receive complimentary cash prize which will equal to the double registration fee.

The winners and honourable mentions will get international art and design media coverage and featured on the Homemade Dessert website.

Confirmed media partners:

Archilovers web
Archello web
CRC - Université de Montréal web
Architekturjournal Wettbewerbe print
Archi.ru web
NIP Magazine web
SALON Magazine print

Infinityinner web
Architime.ru web
Viavili web

Potential media partners are welcome to send their cooperation proposals via contact@homemadedessert.org


Registration:  JUNE 5 - NOV 17, 2013 

Closing date for registration: extended to NOV 17, 2013 11.59pm GMT

Closing date for submission:  extended to DEC 7, 2013 11.59pm GMT

Announcement of the winners:  DEC 24, 2013


How to participate in the competition?

Click on "register now", fill in all the required fields, choose your payment method and submit your information. You will be forwarded to Paypal or CPS secure payment gateway, to cover the competition fee. Once we receive your payment, we'll send you an email with your username and password to upload your submission directly to the website.

Can one team submit multiple proposals?

One proposal per registration. Participants are entitled to register multiple times, to participate in the competition with several proposals.

Where can I find information on the site and area?

All available information can be downloaded by clicking on “DOWNLOAD INFORMATIVE MATERIAL” button under the “REGISTER NOW” button.

Can you provide the Liepaja city plan as CAD file?

Unfortunately Liepaja City Council do not provide city's plans in CAD for the public. 

Is the decision to demolish residential buildings next to the site final, or participants are allowed to propose an alternative solution?

Demolishing the buildings is the most obvious solution to improve the overall traffic circulation and accessibility to the site, however we encourage participants to propose an alternative, more clever and sensitive solution to improve the connectivity, avoid the main road's dead end and keep the existing residental buildings. You are allowed to present different road system.

Who is the client of the competition?

Ghost Town Challenge is an architecture vision competition that has been developed in  collaboration with Liepaja City Council. As it states in the competition brief - neither of the parties - neither the organisers nor the City Council carry any obligations to build the project. Participants should focus on presenting their vision for the solutions to the presented problems in an academic manner.

Does the winner have priority to take part in the further project stages?

Homemade Dessert will provide the Liepajas City Council with all the competition winner's contact information upon approval from the winners to do so. Whether or not  the Liepajas City Council decides to cooperate with the specific designers depends purely on the Liepaja City Council.

What is the minimum allowed distance from the road according to the Latvian regulations?

There are no minimum distances from the road that must be respected. Participants are allowed to place their building/s at the edge of the site boundary if they find it beneficial to their design proposal.

Are there any schemes of territory development (transportation scheme or functional zoning scheme)?

There is no up to date territory development scheme. Participants are allowed to provide their recommendations for the area development as a part of their design proposal

Can the program of the building/ building complex be extended?

You can extend the building program if you find it beneficial to your proposal.

Does car park have to be covered with roof?

There is no requirement to provide the roof for the car park; nevertheless you are free to do so if there is a rational justification.

Could you please specify the requirements for the project presentation (vertical or horizontal view on the sheet; scale of the drawings; final composition of all 4 boards)

The presentation boards will be viewed on the screen as well as projected on the wall. The manner of viewing the boards will be  one after another therefore we do not recommend placing any drawings that would span two or more presentation boards. All presentation boards should be oriented horizotally (landscape); Scale is not specified as long as the design scheme can be easily read.

Do you plan the publication of the best projects in international architectural resources/web-sites/blogs, if so which are they?

Yes we are in the process of negotiating with multiple international industry related media representatives. The list of media parters is constantly updated on our website, please check it regularly to find latest updates.

I am experiencing problems with downloading the informative material package!

Alternative download source - click here!

I am experiencing problems with payment processing!

Please contact us – contact@homemadedessert.org and we will address the problem directly.

I can not upload my project!

Here are a few steps we suggest you try to make the upload work:

- Try to use secure internet connection
- Try different browser (some issues with Internet explorer have been reported previously)
- Make sure each file size do not exceed 5mb.

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