Castles in the Sand

Architects put skills to work at the beach, build the craziest sandcastles you've ever seen

Architects put skills to work at the beach, build crazy sandcastles

AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
Gold Bucket Winner 'Finding Gory' by Kirksey. Courtesy AIA Houston
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
Silver Shovel Winner 'SandNuts: Curse You Sand Baron' by Sand Castlers. It also won for tallest entry at 16.5 feet. Courtesy AIA Houston
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
Bronze Shovel Winner 'All Your Junk Are Belong to Us' by Gensler + Harvey. Courtesy AIA Houston
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
Honorable Mention 'Game of Bones' by Team ZCA. Courtesy AIA Houston
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
Honorable Mention 'The Jungle Book' by BGA-HOAR. Courtesy AIA Houston
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
Best Houston-centric 'Urban Octopus' by HOK/Tellepsen. Courtesy AIA Houston
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
'Mad Thomas' by Stantec. Courtesy AIA Houston
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
'How To Train an Architect' Courtesy AIA Houston
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
The 30th annual sandcastle competition is billed as the largest amateur competition in the world. Courtesy AIA Houston
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16

Galveston's East Beach was crawling with design talent Saturday when AIA Houston held the rain date for its mammoth sandcastle competition. Typically held in June, flooding forced a rescheduling of the 30th annual beach bash that drew 46 teams with close to 2,000 competitors.

The American Institute of Architects Houston bills it as one of the world's largest amateur sandcastle competitions. Indeed, the original tally of teams for June was 66 with as many as 3,500 individuals participating. Teams range in size from as few as 15 members to as many as 100, the larger groups operating with military precision and scheduling.

Despite fewer teams this year for the rescheduled competition, the quest to win was intense with competitors allowed five hours to complete their visions in the sand before a panel of judges evaluated the creations. While it's serious business, it's also a mammoth party with food and drink tents and competitions that include best T-shirts, best team signage, best meme, etc.

Winning the prestigious Gold Bucket honor was Kirksey with "Finding Glory." The Silver Bucket prize went to Dow SandCastlers for it's "SandNuts: Curse You Red Baron." That team also won honors for having the tallest standing structure with its 16.5 foot tower. Taking home the Bronze Bucket was Gensler + Harvey with "All Your Junk Are Belong to Us."

Teams earning honorable mention were Team ZCA, Page-BCI, and BGA-HOAR.

The event was co-chaired by Ashley Heitmeier and Ricardo Martinez.