Architecture Fairy Tales, Fiction and Wizardry

With over 300 entries from 50 countries, Blank Space announce the winners of ‘Fairy Tales,’ the world’s first architecture storytelling competition. Blank Space was established to explore a better manner for communicating architecture, and in turn, to change the way the world perceives architecture.

“Since the beginning of recorded time, and perhaps earlier, fairy tales have been a means to confront and conquer the anxieties and hardships of humankind through metaphor,” says Professor Jack Zipes. “Similarly, good architecture can tell stories and give structure to the chaos that surrounds us. Examining architecture through the lens of fairy tales, as this competition does, will unleash the fantastic potential that architecture possesses.”

Whether or not we recognise it, stories form the foundation for architecture propositions, and it is through various techniques of narrative that allow an architecture strategy to be put in place. In this context, if narrative tells a story in time then architecture builds a story in space.

The “Fairy Tales” competition sought to challenge participants to develop visionary proposals that take fun seriously and that are audacious enough to ignite imaginations. The proposals combine text-based architectural fairy tales with innovative graphic representations, and in doing so, seek to unlock the power of architecture by improving the manner by which it is shared, digested, and communicated.

The all- star jury including Will Alsop, Paula Scher, Jack Zipes and Mitchell Joachim selected 3 winning entries and 10 honorable mentions:

First Place: “Chapter Thirteen” by Kevin (Pang-Hsin) Wang and Nicholas O’Leary.


Mesmerising, powerful images depict a bucolic yet futuristic world where a damsel in distress, Alice as a grown-up, is planning her escape from a setting that is no longer a wonderland, but a city that architecture has rendered unwelcoming and suffocating. Penning the 13th chapter to Carroll’s book, this submission actualises a profoundly familiar fairy tale setting infused with new architectural forms, while elaborating on architecture’s failures and weaknesses.

Second Place: “Man and Ground” by Anna Pietrzak.


Minimalistic, evocative black and white images accompany a poetic analysis on the role of the ground as an architectural element, and as the co-protagonist of the architect’s life, as a man and as creator.

Third Place: “Oscar Upon A Time” by Joseph Altshuler, Mari Altshuler & Zachary Morrison. 


In this collaborative effort between two architects and an elementary schoolteacher, architecture is portrayed as a lifelong companion, changing shapes and growing alongside the protagonist of the story.

Honorable Mentions: 

1. Detroit S.A.R. by and Ya Suo Rania Ghosn, 2. The Secret Life of New World Towers by Berenika Boberska, 3. Hypnagogic set of events experienced by 132x12866y78z by Zygmunt Maniaczyk and Marcin Kitala, 4. Exordium by Posin Wang, 5. Endeavourism by Mark Rukamathu and Yarinda Bunnag, 6. Andy’s Window by JooYoung Ham and YooJin Lee, 7. Untitled by Irena Gajic, Tea Belicev, and Marta Gajic, 8. Ocularcentrism by Gianna Papapavlou, 9. The Metamorphosis of a Giraffe by Hannah Cook, 10. A “Flying” Fortress by Artur Dabrowski.

Fairy Tales: When Architecture Tells a Story:

The winning entries, honorable mentions and other notable submissions will be featured in Fairy Tales: When Architecture Tells a Story. You can pre-order a copy of the book here


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