Call for Entries: Italian Castle Observatory and Resort Competition

Courtesy of YAC

Courtesy of YAC

YAC – Young Architects Competitions –launches Observatory Houses, an open architectural competition aiming at the design of a hotel-observatory in the area of the castle of Roccascalegna, in Central Italy. The competition is in cooperation with the Italian State Property Agency – Italian Government, Italian Exhibition Group, the Municipality of Roccascalegna, Casabella, Associazione Italiana Confindustria Alberghi. The internationally-renowned jury gathers, among others, Enrique Sobejano, Rodrigo Duque Motta, Simon Frommenwiler co-founder of HHS Architects, Nicodemos Tsolakis, Felix Perasso from Snohetta. A total of € 20.000 in prize money will be awarded and winner projects will be published on international architecture and design platforms.


The nocturnal sky is eternal, sublime and inaccessible. When looking at it, the human being experiences the furthest condition and feels overwhelmed by an ancient and inviolable mystery. A mystery that not even the most modern and refined minds can understand, despite efforts and technological progress.

Dazzled by the brightness of our metropolis, we often forget the extraordinary vision the vault of heaven can offer us. However, there are still places that are far from lights and cities where the beauty of the infinite appears in its entire splendor. Surrounded by forests and crags, Roccascalegna is one of the places where this magic continues to occur and where the sky keeps on telling its eternal and beautiful story. It is a unique and far place that is both incredibly beautiful and clearly fragile. In fact, the fortress deeply depends on the constant care of the human being to preserve its characteristics and remarkable appearance.

For these reasons, the Rimini Fair and the Italian government launched the Observatory Houses project aiming to find a new use for Roccascalegna taking advantage of the potential of a oneiric setting with remarkable skies. The project aims at creating in Italy the first and most suggestive observatory houses. They will be a sustainable and exclusive house model aimed to ensure the protection and improvement of such inestimable heritage. How to build a complex of modern observatory houses in a picturesque medieval fortress? How to create the most refined national reference for the astronomical observation tourism through architecture? On the bases of these issues, designers will have to create a story composed by stars, silences, and landscapes.

This story will have to include architectural elements designed to create a place beyond compare. It will not be a place of mere observation or accommodation; it will be a place of spirituality and meditation. Observatory Houses wishes to promote an architectural intervention that aims at becoming a symbol destination for those who wish to move away from their everyday routine and live an archaic, almost mystic experience thanks to the most ancient and beautiful sight.

Under everlasting skies, the new observatory houses in the ancient fortress will provide an unforgettable stay for those who wish to experience the feral excitement to fall asleep under the stars rocked by the slow movement of planets and fascinated by a sudden shooting star.

YAC thanks all the designers who will take part in this challenge.


  • Rodrigo Duque Motta, DUQUE MOTTA & AA
  • Simon Frommenwiler, HHF ARCHITECTS
  • Felix Perasso, SNOHETTA
  • Pippo Ciorra, FONDAZIONE MAXXI
  • Vittorio Vannini, ITALIAN GOVERNMENT
  • Francesco Cotellessa, OAPPC Chieti


  • 1st PRIZE 10.000€
  • 2nd PRIZE 4.000€
  • 3rd PRIZE 2.000€
  • 4 Gold Honorable Mentions 1.000€ each
  • 10 Honorable Mentions
  • 30 Finalists


  • 17/04/2017 “early bird” registration – start
  • 23/05/2017 (h 11.59 pm GMT) “early bird” registration – end
  • 24/05/2017 “standard” registration – start
  • 20/06/2017 (h 11.59 pm GMT) “standard” registration – end
  • 21/06/2017 “late” registration – start
  • 19/07/2017 (h 11.59 pm GMT) “late” registration – end
  • 26/07/2017 (h 12.00 pm – midday – GMT) material submission deadline
  • 31/07/2017 jury summoning
  • 25/09/2017 results announcement

More information on :
Contact us at:

  • Title: Call for Entries: Italian Castle Observatory and Resort Competition
  • Type: Call for Submissions
  • Website:
  • Organizers: YAC
  • Registration Deadline: 19/07/2017 23:59
  • Submission Deadline: 26/07/2017 12:00
  • Venue: Roccascalegna
  • Price: 50