Airbnb contest seeks world’s most outrageous home designs

March 11, 2020

All photos courtesy of Airbnb

Airbnb is searching for the world’s most unique and unusual short-term rental home as part of a new contest. Ten people will be awarded $100,000 each to design a groundbreaking home that is both livable and a space for social good, the company announced on Tuesday. Proposals can include renovations to an existing Airbnb property, a project in progress that needs funding, or a totally unbuilt project.

Submissions to the Unique Airbnb Fund will be evaluated based on creativity, feasibility, sustainability, and social good. Proposals will be accepted until April 15, with winning ideas selected on May 15.

The 10 ideas will be chosen by a panel of design and style experts, including Broadway star and fashion icon Billy Porter, Airbnb Superhost Kristin Wolfe (of the Potato Hotel in Idaho), and architecture firm MVRDV.

“The only thing better than pushing the boundaries of style, is empowering others to do the same,” Porter said in a press release. “I’m thrilled to join Airbnb in this global search for the most outrageous, spectacular home ideas ever. I can’t wait to see these concepts developed by design lovers from around the world firsthand.”

Lucy the Elephant, Margate NJ
You can stay inside Lucy for $138/night on March 17, 18, or 19.

According to the company, Airbnb guests increasingly want to stay in unique spaces, with searches for eclectic homes up nearly 70 percent over the last year. Unique Airbnb Fund participants can draw from current boundary-pushing listings, like the Lucy the Elephant statue on the Jersey Shore, a giant boot on the coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the Big Idaho Potato Hotel in Idaho, a chic covered wagon in Arizona, and a one-of-a-kind UFO stay in Wales.

“The Unique Airbnb Fund is a great initiative that makes hospitality exciting,” MVRDV partner Fokke Moerel said. “It will empower people to create new spaces with daring, imaginative and fantastic architecture. Personal wunderkammers will be created for guests to appreciate and be inspired by.”


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