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HÄUSER AWARD 2020: 15,000 euros for the best small single-family houses

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Small but stunning: that’s the kind of house we’re looking for in our competition for the HÄUSER AWARD 2020.



Small but stunning: that’s the kind of house we’re looking for in our competition for the HÄUSER AWARD 2020. After all, outstanding architecture doesn’t depend on the square meterage – quite the opposite: with well thought-through planning, cleverly organised floor plans and space-saving solutions, a modestly sized home can actually offer more in the way of convenience and quality of life. What’s more, especially in times when development land is becoming increasingly scarce and property prices are soaring, small houses have other advantages to offer as well: they fit onto tiny or awkwardly shaped infill sites, make more economical use of energy and land resources and are therefore both easy on the budget and kind to the environment.

We’ll be awarding prizes to excellently designed houses with compelling spatial qualities and preferably no more than 150 square metres of living space. However, the jury reserves the right to admit projects that exceed this specification slightly to the competition on a case-by-case basis.

And by the way: with a view to sustainability, we’re explicitly looking not just for new builds but for extensions, remodelling projects or vertical extensions as well.

We are holding the HÄUSER AWARD 2020 in collaboration with the Bund Deutscher Architekten (BDA), the Verband Privater Bauherren e. V. (VPB), JUNG and Parkett Dietrich. The results of the competition are scheduled for publication in HÄUSER in March 2020. There will also be an award ceremony at which the winners will be officially announced and honoured. In addition, the best projects will be presented in a book to be published by Prestel Verlag/ Munich at the same time.

Conditions of entry

Architects from all over Europe are eligible to enter the competition.

They must be the originators of the projects submitted. The houses must have been completed after 1 January 2016 and not have been previously published in a general-interest magazine. In addition, the award winners must agree that the winning houses will not be published in any other general-interest magazine prior to the announcement and publication of the competition results (scheduled to appear in HÄUSER 2/2020).

Each participant may submit a maximum of two projects under the condition that the participants and owners/clients agree to the publication of photos and plans in HÄUSER and on the HÄUSER website, as well as in the book to be published by Prestel Verlag.

The prize money

The total prize money of 15,000 euros will be allocated as follows:

  1. 1st prize: 7,000 euros
  2. 2nd prize: 5,000 euros
  3. 3rd prize: 3,000 euros

The jury may choose to allocate the prize money differently.

The VPB will pay the owner/client of each award-winning house an additional bonus of 1,000 euros. This does not apply if the owner is also the architect of the house.

Interior Prize

The Interior Prize, which is held in collaboration with Parkett Dietrich, is presented to an interior design of outstanding quality. The jury of the HÄUSER AWARD 2020 will select one winner from amongst all the entries submitted. The key selection criteria will include a convincing use of materials, excellent functionality and the integration of furnishings into the design.

The winner of the Interior Prize will receive 2,000 euros and likewise be published.

The jury

The works submitted will be judged by an independent jury made up as follows:

Mikala Holme Samsøe, architect, Munich
Heiner Farwick, President of the Association of German Architects (BDA)
Thomas Penningh, President of the Verband Privater Bauherren (VPB)
Reiner Nagel, Chairman of the Bundesstiftung Baukultur
Anne Zuber, Editor-in-Chief of HÄUSER

The jury will convene in Hamburg on Friday, 14 June 2019.

Competition Documents

Please submit the following project documentation and forms:

  • Project plans: location plan on a scale of 1:1000 with north point, plus ground plans, sections and views on a scale of 1:100, maximum format A3 (as loose sheets, folded; no brochures, boards etc.).
  • Photos: at least eight colour prints/colour copies in a format of approx. 18 x 24 centimetres showing the house both from the outside in its overall setting – including its urban context – as well as from the inside, featuring all the important spaces in an occupied/furnished condition.
  • Plans and photos must also be submitted in digital form (on a USB stick or CD-ROM); plans preferably as PDFs, photos as TIFF or JPG files. Note about photo credits: if the pictures originate from different photographers, please name or label the digital image files appropriately so that the photos can be clearly attributed to the respective originators/photographers should they be published at a later date.
  • A completed project sheet (see PDF download) with the most important building data, key energy figures, date of completion, an exterior photograph of the house as well as a summary of the design concept in bullet points (in German or English).
  • An explanatory text in German or English with a detailed project description
    (1 page A4 maximum), explaining the special features of the design.
  • The completed entry form as well as the signed participant's declaration (see PDF download.)

Important: please do not send any originals of the project plans and photos as the submitted documentation will not be returned!

The closing date

The closing date for entries is Monday, 6 May 2019 (date as per postmark).

The jury’s decision is final.

Download Entry Form (PDF)

Information, Entry Form and Project Sheet:
Download (PDF)


Gruner + Jahr GmbH
Editorial office HÄUSER
(Envelope to be marked “HÄUSER AWARD 2020”)
20444 Hamburg, Germany

Telephone enquiries

Editorial office HÄUSER
Telephone + 49 (0) 40 – 3703 – 2215

Tips and advice on the application documents

How to improve your chances:

  • Please submit your documents as specified in the announcement: the maximum format for plans is A3, folded (no rolled plans or boards, ring binders, brochures or similar), photos as colour prints or colour copies.
  • In case of subsequent publication, we also need all plans and photos in digital form as well (on a CD-ROM or USB stick): plans preferably as PDFs, photos as TIFF or JPG files. If the pictures originate from different photographers, it must be possible to attribute the photos to the respective originators in order to credit them accordingly should the project be published. Therefore, please name the digital image files appropriately (e.g. save them in subfolders with the photographer’s name or list the photo credits in a separate file, numbering them to match the pictures).
  • When selecting pictures and motifs, remember the photos should give the jury as comprehensive an impression of the building as possible – both its exterior and the interior. That applies not only to the architecture but also to the interior atmosphere. In order to show how the house is integrated into the urban context, at least one of the outdoor photos should include the surroundings. The interior should be photographed in its occupied state, i.e. furnished; the furnishings shown must correspond to the current situation at the time your entry is submitted.
  • The building must be totally completed by the time the entry is submitted: do not submit any construction site photos, renderings, computer simulations or similar, they cannot be given consideration. Image manipulations (e.g. falsifying image processing that goes beyond the usual extent of retouching, photomontages, other visualisations or similar) are to be clearly marked as such – they are otherwise inadmissible and can lead to the exclusion of the participant at a later date.
  • Please use our form for the project sheet (see PDF form for download and completion). It provides a clear and standardised summary of the most important project data and information and gives the jury a quick but comprehensive overall idea of the project.
  • The project description should be as brief and concise as possible – the most important information about the design concept will usually fit on one sheet of A4. The preliminary judging will be much easier for the jury if they don’t have to work their way through mountains of paper!

Explanation of the conditions of entry

Point 6 of the Participant’s Declaration:

  • General interest magazines include e.g.: Architektur & Wohnen, AD Architectural Digest (German edition), Atrium, Ideales Heim, Schöner Wohnen, H.O.M.E., ELLE décoration, Casa Mia, Domus (German edition), Zuhause Wohnen, Raum und Wohnen, as well as building society magazines, e.g. Das Haus.
  • Publications in specialist journals such as e.g. Baumeister, Bauwelt, db, DBZ, Detail etc. and in reference books are excepted from the provision in the sense of Pt. 6.

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