San Francisco 2016: Tenderloin System Update

Following on from the success of ‘Cambodia 2015’ (awarded 3rd Top Competition of 2015 by Bustler), Eleven is excited to announce their latest architecture and idea challenge: ‘San Francisco 2016 - Tenderloin System Update’.

For this challenge, we move to California, in the beautiful city of San Francisco. The city is the USA’s most sought after real estate location and its Bay Area is today leading the way for innovative technologies and new urban models for the future. However, San Francisco is also home to the Tenderloin, one of the most distressed and dangerous neighborhoods of the USA. High levels of drugs, crime, prostitution, homelessness and violence are every-day realities in this neighborhood. Locals and tourists alike are strongly advised to avoid the area even in broad daylight and the police are often too scared to intervene without heavy backup by their side.

Ironically, the Tenderloin sits at the geographical heart of San Francisco, next to some of the most fashionable and desirable districts the city has to offer. Despite the vicinity to affluence, this part of the city remains isolated, existing as a dystopian urban island.

Herein lies both the opportunity and the challenge. The Tenderloin is an area of huge untapped potential waiting to be discovered, but the question remains: how do you solve a problem like San Francisco’s Tenderloin? Can it be turned into a model-district of the future, paving the way for a new age of 21st century inner-city regeneration to flourish?

Eleven calls thinkers, architects, designers, students and multidisciplinary teams from around the world to design innovation by submitting a proposal for turning one of the most deprived, dangerous and disconnected areas in the USA into the neighborhood of the future.

The challenge will seek a winner, a runner-up and six honorable mentions with a total cash prize of £4,500 to be won as well as lots of media goodies! The awards will be selected by a prestigious roster of judges from renowned academic institutions, architectural studios and magazines. The general public will also be given a chance to vote for their favorite entry, who will win the People’s Choice Award.

The competition will kick-start a series of global spin-off events which include international exhibitions and publications.

This challenge is in support of the San Francisco charity Project Night Night, helping homeless children dream of a better future.

The challenge was officially announced at the opening night of Eleven’s Cambodia Exhibition - a three-week long exhibition in Covent Garden, London, in association with the Architectural Review, hosted by KPF - on the 21st of January. ‘San Francisco 2016’ is open for registration from the 11th February until the submission deadline of the 11th March, with winners announced on the 11th July.

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Winner: The winning team will receive a cash prize of £3,000 GBP, get publication on Eleven Magazine and their global media partners, team members will be individually induction in Eleven’s Hall of Fame, and finally the team will be either invited to join the jury panel for Eleven’s next competition OR get a discounted entry fee for Eleven’s next competition.

Runner-Up: The runner-up team will receive a cash prize of £1,000 GBP and get publication on Eleven Magazine and their global media partners.

Six Honorable Mentions: There are six honorable mentions to we won as well. There is no cash prize (boo!) but lots of glory nonetheless (yay!), as these will be also published on Eleven Magazine and their global media partners.

People’s Choice Award: While the jury deliberates, Eleven Magazine will open up the people’s choice so that the general public will get a chance to vote for their favourite entry online. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will receive a cash prize of £500 GBP, will be published on Eleven Magazine and their global media partners, and the team members will be individually inducted in Eleven’s Hall of Fame.


Karen Nelson: Dean, Boston Architectural College (BAC)
Trent Tesch: Principal, KPF Architects
Roger Hawkins: Partner and Founder, Hawkins/Brown Architects
Jonny McKenna: Associate Director, Metropolitan Workshop
Leon Rost: Associate, BIG Architects
Chris White: Associate, BIG Architects
Carlos Arnais: Director and Founder, CAZA (Commended at AR Emergent Architecture 2015 Awards)
Hasdai Westbrook: Editor, Impact Design Hub
John Barton: Director of Architecture Programme, Stanford University
The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI)
Amy Frearson: Deputy Editor (Architecture), Dezeen
Team EC007: Winners of Eleven’s Cambodia 2015 architecture competition.
Andrea Verenini: Editor in Chief, Eleven Magazine


21 January - The competition was officially launched at the opening night of Eleven’s Cambodia 2015 competition Exhibition, and a three-week long exhibit in Covent Garden, London, organized in association with the Architectural Review and hosted by KPF.
11 February - San Francisco 2015 opens for registration. Early Bird discounted fee applies.
1 March - Early Bird discounted fee ends / Standard Fee applies.
11 May - Competition closes and the submissions are due.
11 July - Winners Announced!


Two A1 sheets with an accompanying text document (between 500 to 1000 words) explaining the design. Models are optional. All proposals to be submitted digitally online.


The challenge sponsors Project Night Night, a fantastic San Francisco based charity, whose noble mission is to help homeless children across the USA dream a better future.

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  • Title

    San Francisco 2016: Tenderloin System Update
  • Type

    Competition Announcement (Ideas)
  • Website

  • Organizers

    Eleven Magazine
  • Submission Deadline

    May 11, 2016 11:00 AM
  • Price

    Early Bird Fee: £50 / Standard Fee: £75

This competition was submitted by an ArchDaily user. If you'd like to submit a competition, call for submissions or other architectural 'opportunity' please use our "Submit a Competition" form. The views expressed in announcements submitted by ArchDaily users do not necessarily reflect the views of ArchDaily.

Cite: "San Francisco 2016: Tenderloin System Update" 08 Feb 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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