Fentress Global Challenge 2020

Registration date:


Submission date:




Fentress Global Challenge (FGC) is an annual international student design competition.  Since its inception in 2011, thousands of entries from over 75 countries have competed for top honors.  FGC represents an extraordinary exploration into the future of architecture, and in so doing, continues to advance the pursuit of innovative design in public architecture.

While the airport terminal—conceived a century ago—is a relatively new architectural typology, it has since its inception held equal importance with quintessential civic buildings: city halls, courthouses, libraries, museums, and theaters.  Yet, airports are uniquely complex and they are more than just high volume transportation hubs.  Increasingly, airports are also workplaces, centers of commerce, recreational outlets, and cultural resources.

For this year’s challenge, designers are challenged to envision a terminal building for the year 2100. The objective is to create a new airport terminal concept, keeping in mind forecasts for population, environmental conditions, modes of travel, and potential destinations in the creation of their concept.  


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. Current students must provide proof of active enrollment status: a scanned copy of their student ID and current course schedule. Recent graduates must provide a scanned copy of their diploma.


  • Create a new airport terminal concept.  
  • Employ Fentress’ Touchstone 2: Use Context to Create Identity. “Context is more than an intellectual consideration of the history or physical appearance of a neighborhood, city, or state, and it’s more than the way new will live with old. Context draws on the senses, the sights, smells and memories that define a place and make it unique. Context grows from community, and people respond to it.” 
  • Improve upon at least one primary factor influencing airport terminal building design in 2100.  Entrants are encouraged to make projections about the factors that will most influence airport architecture in the future.  Examples of factors include mobility, urbanization, globalization, technology, flexibility, security, project feasibility, and passenger experience. 
  • Achieve sustainability and resiliency. Sustainable design is the creation of places that are environmentally responsible, healthy, equitable, and profitable. Resilient designs are capable of adapting to changing conditions and maintain or regain functionality in the face of natural and manmade disasters. 
  • Site the new terminal at one of the 20 busiest airports (by passenger volume) in the world such as, Hong Kong International Airport HKG,  O’Hare International Airport ORD, Dubai International Airport DXB, Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle CDG.


1st Place: US$15,000

  • The top prize includes US$10,000 cash and the opportunity to accompany FGC Founder, Curtis Fentress, to a prestigious architectural event. Airfare, lodging, and entrance fee will be paid for by Fentress Architects (not to exceed US$5,000). Winners are responsible for obtaining necessary visas and paperwork. If entering as a group, the monetary prize and attendance at the architectural event will be distributed equally.

2nd Place: US$3,000

3rd Place: US$2,000

2 People’s Choice Awards: US$1,000