Thought Up A Grand Design? Airbnb’s Contest Will Fund Your Dream House
If the thought of having the soothing baritone of Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud narrate your design ethos while taking audiences on a tour of your humble abode is a recurrent dream, the new fund launched by Airbnb could just see it happen.
Aptly titled the Airbnb Fund (for a site that boasts some of the most unusual houses, we were hoping for something a little more creative), the $1 million USD contest will see the company seek to find and finance the most unique liveable spaces around the world.
Airbnb has already gifted us a number of surprising offerings when it comes to a place to rest our weary heads. Where it used to be the case that hotels were something to be adored, with their high thread-count sheets and crisp white interiors, that’s all changed as we’ve come to embrace the experience economy and homes that offer something more personal (with the exception of bed bugs). Thanks to Airbnb, we’ve been able to stay at Harry Potter’s childhood home, Downtown Abbey’s Highclere Castle, Tony Stark’s cabin from Avengers: Endgame, and more left-of-field places like...a giant potato.
Naturally, you can imagine then that to win the competition, you’re going to really need to deliver something judges haven’t seen before. As the company states, they’re after the “most unconventional and unusual liveable spaces on the planet.”
If you’ve got a design you think will capture the imagination of visitors and prove to be a memorable stay, you can apply to the contest by writing an essay about your wild idea.
Judges of the Airbnb Fund will then select 10 lucky winners to build their fantasy homes, giving each a budget of $100,000 USD. On the judging panel are Emmy, Tony and GRAMMY award-winning actor – and regular red carpet favourite – Billy Porter, Kristie Wolfe, an Airbnb Superhost who created a hobbit house and the aforementioned potato house, and architectural design firm MVRD.
The judging criteria rest on the creativity exhibited in each design; they’re after unusual shapes, surprises, inventive homes, but ultimately ones that are practical and feasible to construct in the allotted budget. Given our current climate where environmental sustainability is a pressing issue, judges will no doubt be looking for sustainable construction and social good, encouraging entrants to look at using recycled materials, smart irrigation and waste reduction.
As Billy Porter suggests, “Identify the focal point of your design or concept and build everything from there!” Porter also recommends exploring various patterns and colours, but ultimately wants entrants to know: “You don’t need a red carpet to make a fashion statement. Your home is the perfect place to practice self-expression and bring your most authentic self to the table.”
The houses are expected to be built from June to December.