national pavilion

2020 CIRT CHALLENGE: National Pavilion

2020 National CIRT Design & Construction Competition Challenge

This challenge is open to the DiscoverDesign community. Yet, to be eligible to compete applicants must be a participating ACE Mentor Program student and enter with a team of three or more students and ACE Affiliate(s). See for details and download the competition packet.


Define the problem you are solving for by writing a success statement. What is the key problem, who are you solving for and what solutions are you proposing?


The mission of this competition challenge is to create an iconic landmark that reflects, symbolizes, and captures in design and construction materials, methods, and standards of the U.S. in the 21st century (for 2020) reflecting its diversity, technological strengths, and security needs. This entry must connect our history, our present, and our potential future – to display or capture in the “built environment” (including structures, landscaping, building materials, techniques, and overall presentation) the essence of being an American – and all its vitality and freedom.

The winning pavilion should strive to be a catalyst for the promotion of U.S. tourism, investment, business excellence, and a showcase for the quality of life found in the United States.

Collect Info

Gather information about the site, users and pavilions.

Gather as much information as possible about your chosen location’s topography, climate and primary audiences. Upload images, notes, sketches, land use maps and other helpful resources that show your thinking. You can leave notes for your team in the comment section.

Brainstorm Ideas

Document your ideas throughout the process. 

As ideas come together, upload sketches, floor plans, bubble diagrams, aerial maps, material studies or prototype models of your initial ideas.

Brainstorm what materials, building techniques, structural elements and approaches you will use. 

The proposal must determine the size of the undertaking, both in terms of structures, land use, and access. Provide a before vs. after site development.

Teams must also provide a CONSTRUCTION timeline and per/sq. foot estimate of the cost of delivering the project. The cost estimates must be realistic and doable for the resources/financial support likely available.

Develop Solutions

Work towards your final design.

Take your preliminary ideas and form multiple small-scale design solutions. Create digital or physical models that help articulate your more developed ideas. Discuss them as a team and make final decisions.

Demonstrate specifically how using construction elements (including work flow/time lines, and traffic routing, etc.) will achieve the challenge’s goals. Decisions must be fully explained and show before/after. 

Explain the dimensions, size, costs, materials, etc. determined by the team. All decisions should be explained and warranted based on the real world resources likely to be used for such a proposal. Provide a square foot cost estimate.

Final Design

Describe your design process, approach and impact.

Thoroughly describe your design process, in writing and through visuals (e.g., sketches, renderings, stepped process, before and after, budgets, timelines, etc.) that meet the precise or exact nature of the challenge and/or the client goals/needs.

Think About:

Explain how your design approach is an appropriate, innovative solution that realistically responds to the precise design competition problem.

Explain how your design is different from other approaches or processes, if such is the case. How does your design address budgetary constraints, timeline issues or other challenges?

Describe and/or demonstrate what you learned from this design competition.

The following design and construction aspects will be jury evaluation criteria, and should be explained where appropriate:

  • site selection and its context (built and/or natural)
  • constructability (structural challenges, materials, textures, colors, etc.)
  • strategy for sustainability
  • surrounding landscape/external spaces
  • life and activities, in and around the building, including the qualities of enclosed spaces showing furniture, fittings and finishes
  • Upload your final images, text and renderings.

ACE Teams: All work must be submitted to the competition portal by 12:00pm (midnight) CST on March 3, 2020 in order to qualify for jury review.