General description

Well Building 2050 is an international design contest that challenges students to explore the future of urban housing in 2050. The objective: providing housing with new perspectives that could bring about changes in the way we imagine the future of the habitat as well as its users’ lifestyle. Proud of the 2012 and 2016 editions’ success, the Elithis group reedits the contest by offering international students the opportunity to place all their expertise and interpersonal skills at the service of a well-reasoned town-planning.

The contest enables new generations to forget about the present to idealise – and even conceptualise – the 2050 urban habitat as a more prosperous and fair-sharing environment for all of its inhabitants. It mainly wishes to stimulate imagination and develop thinking on themes related to the future of living areas, regardless of the current constraints.

International students are given a chance to forget about what they already know and focus on possible futures that could enable the largest number of people to reach their ideals in life. Their dream-like housing should thus be adapted to people’s lifestyle improvement more than to social, political, economic and technological constraints.

Theme of the 2018 edition

Over the 21th century, the Humanity will face up to a climatic and demographic disruption. Whoever we are, wherever we are, it is admit that population’s concentration to town doesn’t stop to grow over the next years.

How welcoming these new urbans without compromise the universal right to happiness, liberty, considering the planet, the biodiversity and our heir?

If the “tower”, without being exclusive, may be an answer to this urban housing densification, she must present virtuous properties to be accept from the largest people.

The 2018 edition of Well Building 2050 contest deals with the “ideal tower” in 2050.

As well, if you want to contribute to the quality life improvement for all; explore and plan yourself to the future and believe in the reality of your imaginary by proposing your creation.


Well Building 2050, the international design housing contest for students, is based on an original idea of Elithis, a consulting and engineering group specialised in energy efficiency. The organisations’ head office is located at 1C Boulevard de Champagne, 21000 Dijon, France. Registered in the Trade and Companies of Dijon, France, under the number 444 782 015. Elithis is a straightforward joint stock company with a capital of €5 850 000. The chairman is Thierry Bièvre. The contest is co-hosted by Elithis and Terra Ethica. The latter is a non-profit organisation whose headquarters are located at La Tour Elithis, 1C Boulevard de Champagne, 21 000 Dijon, France. Chaired by Thierry Bièvre, Terra Ethica is an association of people who contribute on a daily basis to environmental protection and awareness

The 2018 edition of the Well Building 2050 contest is sponsored by the Fibres-Energivie cluster.

Fibres-Energivie is a French competitive cluster dedicated to sustainable materials and practices within the building sector.


1st prize: the winning team will be awarded a $20,000 grant, whose redistribution will be at the team members’ charge. The 1st prize is to reward the audacity and the originality of the team’s project. The winning team will be invited to be a jury member of the next Well Building 2050 edition.

2nd and 3rd prizes: the second and third place teams will each receive a $5,000 grant for free redistribution between members.

Award ceremony

The Well Building 2050 – 2018 edition award ceremony will take place at Strasbourg, France, during Build & Connect 2018, an international colloquium dealing with sustainable buildings and materials. All of the ten teams will be invited to the award ceremony, regardless of their home country.

The finalist projects will also be exhibited before the winning team receives a $20,000 grant whose redistribution will be at the team members’ charge. Before the award ceremony begins, the finalists will be entitled to discuss their work with the colloquium’s participants, as well as other competing teams.

The Build & Connect 2018 colloquium will occur on November 28th, 2018.

Communication tools

An official website, as well as a Facebook page, a Twitter and an Instagram account, will be operated by the Well Building 2050 – 2018 edition communication team. Those communication tools will relay the contest’s information (news, important deadlines, terms and conditions etc.) but will also be used as a means to generate team spirit and federate the participants’ community around multi-disciplinary dialogue and knowledge-sharing – two essential values for the Elithis Group.

Because all contest-related information will be published on social Medias, team members are strongly invited to follow the Well Building 2050 Twitter and Instagram accounts like the contest’s Facebook page so they can easily have access to its latest news.

Terms and conditions

English is the official language of the contest: any document that will not apply to this condition will not be admissible.

As an international contest, Well Building 2050 – 2018 edition is open to any student able to provide a certificate of school attendance for the current year. According to his/her country’s legislation, the contestant must be of age or else he/she must provide a signed parental permission form.

To be allowed to compete, teams must not exceed a maximum of 5 to 10 members and must include – at least- one student in architecture. Built around the architecture, engineering and design professions, teams must be composed of varied fields of specialization, such as arts, health, economy, data sciences, sociology or philosophy for example. The more diverse and multidisciplinary team, the better. Both these points will be taken into account in the application forms’ review.

Each team must be sponsored by an experienced architect.

Please note that the internal selection committee – consisting in representatives of Elithis and Pôle Fibres-Energivie - reserves the right to reject any application if any of the above conditions is not applied.


  1. Competition launch and opening of online registrations

    July 2nd, 2018
  2. Closing date for entries

    September 27th, 2018
  3. Announcement of the accepted teams

    October 1st, 2018
  4. Announcement of the jury's members

    October 15th, 2018
  5. Closing date for submitting files

    November 15th, 2018
  6. Selection and rating of the best projects

    November 21th, 2018
  7. Announcement of the contest results

    November 28th, 2018

    During Build & Connect 2018, an international colloquium dealing with sustainable buildings and materials, located in Strasbourg, France, European Union.

Phase n°1: submission of applications (from July 2nd to September 27th, 2018)

In order to apply, each team must submit a detailed application form (including an administrative record, a commitment clause, team members’ résumés and certificates of school attendance) as well as a letter of intent which may not exceed a maximum of 1,500 characters (spaces included).

As well, you have to provide an acceptance letter from your architect sponsor and a team presentation in a short video (1-2 min).

The Elithis Group highly urges applicant teams to submit any other documents that could support their candidacy. No presentation format is imposed. However, all those files are to be uploaded on the contest’s official website.

The reports’ assessment will thus depend on both the boldness and inventiveness of the competing teams. Their ability to describe their futuristic utopia, as well as their capacity to conceptualise it, will be carefully examined. Besides, it is to be noted that only one project per team is to be submitted.

Please note that the applications will be examined by an internal selection committee composed of both Elithis and Pôle Fibres-Energivie representatives who reserves the right to reject any application if any of the above conditions is not applied.

Validation of applications

Application forms will be examined by an internal selection committee, composed of representatives of Elithis and Pôle Fibres-Energivie, who reserve the right to reject any application that is incomplete or fails to comply with the contest’s rules.

The contest’ communication team will send in October 1st, 2018 a confirmation e-mail and letter to each team allowed to compete in the rest of the contest.

Phase n°2: the contest (from October 1st to November 15th, 2018)

By the end of phase n°2, the teams must file a final in-depth report including:

  • A detailed project’s presentation in the free format (Video, PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, PDF, drawings etc.)
  • 3D views and perspectives of their dreamlike 2050 housing
  • A description of the organisation of both the indoor and outdoor spaces
  • A report of the architectural integration of the habitat
  • An account of the quality of living spaces, as well as the way they adapt to the owners / tenants’ everyday life
  • A depiction of the volumes’ arrangement
  • A full analysis of the way housing is able to please all types of profile (single persons or families, social or unsocial individuals) and promote diversity and exchanges among people
  • A record of the methods used to control energy sobriety, as well as environmental quality standards
  • A detailed list of the things that make the building / district environmentally-responsible

Any other document entitled to support the team’s project is welcome. Please feel free to come up with funny and original submissions (videos, paintings, hand-made maquettes etc.).

The contest’s final phase will end on November 15th at midnight, Paris time (GMT +1), France, while the Award ceremony will occur on November 28th, 2018.

The composition of the examination board will be announced on October 15th, 2018. The jury will be composed of architects, designers, engineers, eco-conception experts, as well as people recognized for their hard work and economic, social or environmental commitment. The 2012 and 2016 edition’s winners will also be invited to participate in the selection of the laureates.

For more information, click here to download the official rules of the competition.

2016 Edition of the contest

Theme of the 2016 edition

Desire is the very essence of Man. Through conscience, mankind finds his way out the trivial and tyrannical needs and wins spiritual freedom where he is to pursue progress. Being the root of all his actions, desire is caused by want and deprivation that encourage him to project into a more satisfying future: therefore, as it is ingenious and industrious, desire thus helps produce value-add realities.”

Keeping Desire’s philosophical definition in mind, describe or sketch what best embodies and exemplifies your and your team’s ideal housing for 2050. No land location is imposed: participants are free to choose the country, city or district where they want to put up the building or district of your dreams as long as it is located in Earth. However, if the chosen building or quarter is also not to be spatially-limited, it still has to be big enough to embody the vision of theirs.


The Well Building 2050 – 2016 edition partners were:

  • The France Air Group: a family business specialized in the design and distribution of air-treatment systems.
  • The Pôle Fibres-Energivie: a French competitive cluster dedicated to sustainable materials and practices within the building sector.


Chaired by Thierry Bièvre, President of the Elithis Group, the 2016 contest’s jury was composed of:

  • Vincent CALLEBAUT, president of the Well Building 2050 – 2016 edition jury, he is a Belgium independent architect and planning professional.
  • Olivier DOLBEAU, chief Executive Officer of the France Air Group, a family business specialized in the design and distribution of air-treatment systems.
  • Alan KIRSCH, an architect and real estate professional with keen curiosityand dedication to constantly learn about innovations in the design field, clean technologies and new construction techniques.
  • Laurent HABART, an independent consultant.
  • Benoît BOUREL, vice-rector for social responsibility in the Université Catholique de Lille, and director of the sustainable and responsible development institute.
  • Thierry VERNINAS, director of the Kaufman & Broad' innovation, quality and architecture department.
  • Gilles ROCCHIA, strategic Marketing Director at Socomec, a manufacturer specialized in the distribution, control and availability of the power supply to low voltage energy systems.

Final ranking

From July 30th to October 21st , 2016, 55 students dispatched in 10 teams from 21 universities, representing 9 nationalities worked to imagine a urban Housing in 2050.

Four teams were selected to participate in the final phase of the competition: DreamCraft (Germany and France), Dynamic Balance (India and China), Melteam Pot (France) and UMM Monterrey (Mexico).

After careful deliberation, the jury of Well Building 2050 – 2016 edition awarded a $20,000 grant to DreamCraft, a team of 8 German students and 1 French student specialized in architecture, geography, economy, mechanical engineering and international studies. Their project was named “What wood happen”.

The other winners, respectively second and third were: Dynamic Balance and UMM Monterrey. Each team brought home a $5,000 reward.

The Melteam pot team received the jury special prize with a $2,500 from Terra Ethica.

The prize ceremony took place at Build and Connect international colloquium, Strasbourg, France on November 23th, 2016.

2012 Edition of the contest

Land location : les Groues in the La Défense Seine-Arche territory, France

The international competing teams had to set up a project in the La Défense Seine-Arche, one of Paris districts, France, in the European Union and hence had to take its demographic and bio-climatic indicators into account. Covering 76 hectares (190 acres), la Défense Seine-Arche is Europe’s number 1 business district : as a strategic area, it thus enjoys a high level of attractiveness on a local, metropolitan and international level.

The teams were asked to think about current global issues to best contribute to meeting the challenge of sustainable development, while considering Les Groues’ following constraints:

  • Combining urban density and quality of life
  • Reconciling urban living with privacy
  • Controlling the ecological impact of the territory due to its ongoing development
  • Providing a high-quality living environment as well as an adequate residential housing supply
  • Favouring sustainable commercial developments meeting international standards
  • Etc ...


The Well Building 2050 – 2012 edition partners were:

  • The public development authority EPADESA which runs the La Défense Seine Arche national interest operation (564 hectares), in the municipalities of Courbevoie, La Garenne-Colombes, Nanterre and Puteaux.
  • Le pavillon de l’Arsenal, which is the city of Paris’ centre for information, documentation and urban and architectural exhibition.
  • Nexity, which is France’s leading integrated real estate group, with business operations in all areas of real estate development and services.
  • France Air, which is a major company in Europe, specializing in design and distribution of air quality and HVAC equipment (ventilation, diffusion, …) for service buildings, hospitals, industrial structures, council housing and professional kitchens.


Chaired by Thierry Bièvre, President of the Elithis Group, the 2012 contest’s jury was composed of:

  • Frédéric Bonnet, an architect and urban-planner, who is the co-founder of the Obras agency – an architecture and urban-planning firm.
  • Raphaël Catonnet, former Deputy General Manager of EPADESA (public development authority for La Défense-Seine-Arche) in charge of town planning.
  • Antonio Frausto, project director and associate architect of Arte Charpentier, a French architecture firm specialized in architecture, urban design, interiors and landscape architecture.
  • Robert K. Watson, founder of the LEED association* and chief executive officer of EcoTech International Group (ETI).

* The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design association

The jury was aimed at evaluating Phase n°2 works and picking the 3 prize-winning teams on October 1st, 2012.

Final ranking

From June 15th to September 15th 2012, 93 students dispatched in 13 teams from 28 universities, representing 11 nationalities and 27 different disciplines worked to imagine a urban Housing in 2050 in Les Groues in the La Défense Seine-Arche’ district.

Four teams were selected to participate in the final phase of the competition: Archi’nnove (France), Madan (South Korea), Holy Freak (Slovenia) and Cityzens (Tunisia).

After careful deliberation, the jury of Well Building 2050 – 2012 edition awarded a 22, 600€ grant to Archi’nnove, a team of 7 French students specialized in architecture, interior and product design, urban-planning, medecine, immunotechnology and bioinformatics. Their project was named Homeostasis Building and dealt with the ability of an organisation « to seek and maintain a condition of balance or equilibrium within its internal environment, even when faced with external changes ».

The other winners, respectively second, third and fourth were : Madan (South Korea), Holy Freak (Slovenia) and Cityzens (Tunisia). Each team brought home a 3 700€ reward. The prize ceremony took place at Le Pavillon de l’Arsenal, Paris, France on November 26th, 2012.