Call for Ideas: Ghost Town Refuge

Call for Ideas: Ghost Town Refuge

YAC - Young Architects Competitions launches “Ghost Town Refuge”, a competition of ideas aiming to design contemporary refuges among the ruins of the ancient Craco in order to delight visitors with a sublime experience: living among ruins and falling asleep under the uncovered vaults of a ghost town. A cash prize of € 15,000 will be awarded to the winners selected by an outstanding jury panel comprised of David Chipperfield, Joao Carrilho da Graça, Ian Ritchie, Alberto Veiga, Benedetta Tagliabue (Miralles Tagliabue), among others.

As with the temples of Angkor and the ruins of Chernobyl, ghost towns have always played a special role in the collective imagination. There is an axiom, a mysterious and elusive connection between life that has passed in a place and the fascination such space induces once it has been abandoned. It is as if any event occurring in architecture could leave a mark on the place, as if any person living in a place could give a unique value to it. It is something intangible but real, mysterious but perceptible. It is something that remains over time as the echoes of distant lives turn abandoned cities into indescribably charming places.

Craco is no exception. Perched on stone pinnacles and clay ridges, Craco is the archetype of the ghost town. It is a city both burned up by the sun and ravaged by severe winters. It is an assemblage of houses composed of unsteady bricks clinging to each other. Their arrangement is so expressive and fascinating that looks artificial. It is a sculpture of houses with torn-off roofs, interrupted vaults, and ruined bell towers. It is a place that does not belong to the present. This space is trapped among the depths of the past. Here, time and abandonment made one of their most indescribable miracles.

Every year, thousands of visitors from all over the world look for such a miracle, in the pursuit of intense emotions. They undertake a journey that is not always easy. They follow the irresistible call of the most outstanding ghost town on the planet. Ghost Town Refuge aims to respond to such a call. Ghost Town Refuge is the competition launched by YAC and Craco Ricerche. It invites architects to design a dispersed system of contemporary refuges among the ruins of the ancient Craco.

This system will create a sublime experience for visitors: living among ruins and falling asleep beneath the uncovered vaults of a ghost town. Among steep routes and pebbly paths, in the new refuges visitors will have the opportunity to lie down under starry skies, listening to the sound of the benign ghosts of Craco. When the wind blows through empty windows and torn-off roofs the spirits of the hamlet appear. They are old rusty hinges that creak and whimper at nightfall. They are the irreverent guardians of the identity of a hamlet that, despite time, does not intend to die.



  • 1st PRIZE 8.000 €
  • 2nd PRIZE 4.000 €
  • 3rd PRIZE 2.000 €
  • 2 GOLD MENTIONS 500€ each


  • 25/11/2019 “early bird” registration – start
    22/12/2019 (h 11.59 pm GMT) “early bird” registration – end

  • 23/12/2019 “standard” registration – start
    19/01/2020 (h 11.59 pm GMT) “standard” registration – end

  • 20/01/2020 “late” registration – start
    16/02/2020 (h 11.59 pm GMT) “late” registration – end

  • 19/02/2020 (h 12.00 pm – Midday - GMT) material submission deadline

  • Title

    Call for Ideas: Ghost Town Refuge
  • Type

    Competition Announcement (Ideas)
  • Organizers

  • Registration Deadline

    February 16, 2020 11:59 PM
  • Submission Deadline

    February 19, 2020 12:00 PM
  • Venue

  • Price


More information at:

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: Megan Schires. "Call for Ideas: Ghost Town Refuge" 25 Nov 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
© Young Architects Competitions


You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.