Rules & Eligibility

Contest Description

Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, draws millions of visitors annually, and in 2016, will host dozens of different events such as concerts, sporting events, and festivals. The city has an opportunity to bring Philadelphia history to the heart of each of these events through the use of mobile visitor centers.

The Challenge

Design a mobile visitor center, using shipping containers. The centers will be transported and set up in various locations around the city, based on a specific event.

Visitor Center Design Criteria:

  • Assemble and disassemble time of 24 hours or less
  • Independent power supply – runs off-grid
  • ADA compliant
  • Conceptual site plan
  • Transportation plan
  • Reception desk
  • Waiting area
  • Display area for event info/maps/brochures, etc.

Site Locations:

Mummers Parade

The Philadelphia Mummers Parade – one of the longest running traditions nationwide – this parade features unique costumes, music, and pageantry. No matter the weather, every New Year’s Day, crowds line Broad St., from South Philadelphia straight through Center City to take in a spectacle of color, feathers and fun. The climax of the parade takes place at City Hall and the PA Convention Center where the official judging takes place. The event is so popular, it is broadcast on television and streamed over the web.

How will your visitor center capture the flamboyant outrageousness that is the Mummers Parade?

Credit: Photo by M. Edlow for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Dad Vail Regatta at Boathouse Row

Dad Vail Regatta at Boathouse Row  –  Philadelphia takes full advantage of its scenic location along the Schuylkill River by playing host to more regattas and boat races than any other city in the United States. The Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta is just one of them. This collegiate regatta brings athletes into Philadelphia from more than 125 colleges and universities for two days of rowing competition on the Schuylkill River. Beautiful Fairmount Park, highly regarded as one of the most famous and scenic rowing routes in the world, attracts more than 10,000 competitors and their families each year.

Will you set your visitor center in this active and unique location?

Credit: Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Race Street Pier

Race Street Pier – right in the heart of Philadelphia, visitors can find open space to enjoy a picnic lunch or just relax and take in the beautiful Delaware River Waterfront. Active types flock to the Race Street Pier for free sunrise yoga, walking trails and riverside recreation. Located in the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the Pier hosts a variety of entertaining evening events as well. Philadelphia has invested millions to attract tourists to this free public space as part of the city’s revitalization of the Central Delaware Waterfront.

How will you welcome visitors to this beautiful green space tucked into an urban environment?

Credit: Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia


Any undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled in a US architecture or interior design program at time of entry.

All entries must be registered through this competition site to be considered.

Submission Format

  • ARCHICAD project file (.PLN) with a PDF and a BIMx Hyper-Model (.BIMX)

Please upload all three files to this link:
On the registration page make sure you write ‘Student Competition’ in the Company field.

Complete submission instructions can be found in the supplied ARCHICAD template file as well


  • First place: $1,500
  • Second place: $1,000
  • Third place: $500


  • March 3: Pre Announcement: Sign up for notification when competition goes live
  • March 16: Official announcement/ competition website goes live
  • May 8: Submission deadline – 5 PM ET
  • May 13: Finalists announced
  • May 20: Winner announced

Judging Criteria

  1. Overall design of visitor center and how it relates to its surroundings
  2. Level of detail, use of materials/colors
  3. Creative use of software elements
  4. Communication of project through a narrative statement