Call for Entries: Design a Tree House Module in the French Countryside

Call for Entries: Design a Tree House Module in the French Countryside

YAC - Young Architects Competitions and Dartagnans launch Tree House Module, a competition of ideas aiming to design and realize a tree house system to sit amidst the oneiric French castles of Vibrac, Mothe Chandeniers, and Ebaupinay. A cash prize of € 15,000 (and the realization of the first-ranking project) will be awarded to the winners selected by an outstanding jury panel including Espen Surnevik, Matthew Johnson (DS+R), Giulio Rigoni (BIG), Tue Hesselberg Foged (Effekt Architects), Peter Pichler, and Patrick Lüth (Snøhetta).

Call for Entries: Design a Tree House Module in the French Countryside - More Images+ 6

Life Among the Trees


We all dreamed about them, designed them in our minds, longed for them. The luckiest of us actually had one of our own. Certainly few people can say that life in a tree house was not one of their greatest childhood aspirations.  

In fact, the tree house is maybe one of the first and most shared archetypes of architecture. It is the shelter of childhood. It is the safe place. It is the stronghold where we feel independent and keep the adult world at a distance. It is an inaccessible place suspended between sky and trees. It is the scenery and projection of extremely exciting adventures. 

Once children become adults, the tree house often turns into a distant memory or an unfulfilled dream. Among all adults, architects have an extraordinary privilege. They can build and realize their own childhood desires. This is the opportunity that Tree House Module offers to participants. This is the challenge that Dartagnans poses to architects. They will have to design and create their own concept of a tree house. 


This invitation goes beyond mere architectural practice, becoming an inner experience. The competition invites architects to rediscover, through the folds of memory, the moments spent imaging the details of their refuge. Architects will evoke those lost days spent sketching their dreams on sheets of paper. Consequently, through the language and knowledge of adults it will be possible to imagine again of a world of silence, brushed by the wind and populated by squirrels and birds.

Indeed, the tree house is more than a place. The suspended shelter is more than a space. The tree house is the materialization of a desire for adventure, a spurt of creativity, reconciliation with nature. It is a desire for peace and serenity that any adult in any part of the world has never stopped dreaming about.

The setting for these visions is an ideal atmosphere to complement designers' tree houses, dreamlike and romantic, among the ruins of castles in rural France. Dartagnans, a renowned European crowdfunding company, has purchased three castles: Vibrac, Mothe Chandeniers, and Ebaupinay, which will serve as the site for the competition. Each ruin tells a unique story and each projects a different aura, molded by its individual history. Designers are not to propose any intervention to the structures themselves, solely to draw inspiration from them as the backdrop to the tree house modules.


Two separate modules are required of competition entrants, a tree house module and a module among the trees. Interventions are meant to be adaptable and replicable and the modules should have the ability to adjust to meet changing weather conditions, creating an intrinsic connection to their natural surroundings. With a focus on composition, designers will need to imagine architecture than can be inserted into different contexts with the properties. The tree house is an archetype. The idea of taking shelter among trees is a universal dream. Dartagnans aims to use these ubiquitous feeling to give the majestic ruins new life, creating a slow tourism experience with an eye to respecting nature and immersing oneself in the landscape.

Jury Members


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


30/03/2020  “early bird” registration – start
26/04/2020 (h 11.59 pm GMT) “early bird” registration – end

27/04/2020  “standard” registration – start
27/04/2020  (h 11.59 pm GMT) “standard” registration – end

25/05/2020  “late” registration – start
21/06/2020  (h 11.59 pm GMT) “late” registration – end

24/06/2020   (h 12.00 pm – Midday - GMT) material submission deadline

More information at:


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About this author
Cite: Megan Schires. "Call for Entries: Design a Tree House Module in the French Countryside" 06 Apr 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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