Fentress Architects Announces International Student Design Competition

A 2020 competition entry, courtesy of Fentress.

Denver-based Fentress Architects is accepting entries to its 2021 Fentress Global Challenge (FGC), paving the way for students to re-imagine the future of airport terminal design and mobility. Now in its 8th year, the annual international student design competition challenges students to envision a forward-thinking concept for an airport of the future, and in turn, stimulate innovative design in terminal architecture.

“The Fentress Global Challenge is a great opportunity for young designers to bring broad ideas and creative perspectives to the table while spearheading innovation in airport terminal architecture,” said FGC Founder Curtis Fentress, FAIA, RIBA. “We are excited to see how students push the limits of architectural design this year.” 

This year’s competition brief encourages students to reimagine the terminal building in the year 2100, siting the new terminal at either an existing airport of their choosing, or at a location where an airport does not yet exist. The latter option calls for participants to consider a city where an airport could serve as a catalyst for economic and social development. Students’ designs must consider several aspects, including local context, evolving technologies, sustainability and resiliency, security, wellbeing, mobility, urbanization, globalization, project feasibility, and the overall passenger experience.

The First Place Winner will receive $15,000 USD — the largest prize in FGC’s history. Four additional winners will receive smaller cash prizes. 


FGC is open to graduate and undergraduate students currently pursuing architecture or engineering degrees in an accredited university program, as well as recent graduates (within the last four years) with a degree in architecture or engineering.

Competition Schedule

Design Submission Deadline: October 1, 2021

Shortlist Announcement: November 1, 2021

Winners Announcement: December 1, 2021


The First Place Winner: $15,000 USD

Second Place: $3,000 USD

Third Place: $2,000 USD

Two People’s Choice Awards: $1,000 USD 

About the Jury

The 2021 FGC will be judged in two stages. A first-round jury of industry experts will shortlist fifteen (15) designs from which the second-round jury will select the three finalists. The 2021 FGC Jury, which will be announced at a later date, will feature leading aviation and architecture voices while bringing together diverse perspectives from professionals in these industries.

To learn more about the Fentress Global Challenge and to register, please visit:

To view the 2021 competition brief, visit:


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