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31st Annual AIA Houston Sandcastle Competition


American Institute of Architects (AIA Houston)/Architecture Center Houston presents the 31st Annual AIA Houston Sandcastle Competition. On Saturday June 3rd at East Beach in Galveston, TX.

For more than three decades teams of architects, designers, and engineers have taken their tools to East Beach in Galveston for one of the world's largest sandcastle competitions.

The Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has been hosting this competition since 1986.

A 31-year tradition, the AIA SandCastle Competition is a fund-raising event for AIA Houston and ArCH Foundation as well as one of the top five revenue generating events for the City of Galveston.

Each year over 60 teams have their eyes and shovels set on winning the prestigious Golden Bucket Award. Firms begin months in advance generating ideas, developing designs, and assigning duties. On the day of the event the teams, stretched along the beach front, meticulously sculpt their piles of sand and work non-stop for five hours.

The judging of the sculptures is rated on originality of concept, artistic execution, technical difficulty, carving technique, and utilization of the site. In addition to the Golden Bucket, awards are given in several categories:

Award Categories:

2017 Theme Based Categories:
Best Architectural Icon
Best Traditional Castle
Kidtastic!- LEGO Edition (A rotating theme: this year all things LEGO)
Houston-centric (Any and all things Houston)
Best Science Fiction Theme
Best Sports Theme

Returning Overall Categories
Gold Bucket (1st Place)
Silver Shovel (2nd Place)
Bronze Shovel (3rd Place)
Honorable Mention (4th, 5th and 6th Place)
AIA College Challenge (awarded only to university student teams)
Best Team Signage
Best Team T-Shirt
Best Costume
Public Favorite

June 03, 2017
June 03, 2017
East Beach 1923 Boddeker Drive Galveston, Texas United States
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