AIA Houston and Architecture Center Houston present The 31st Annual AIA Sandcastle Competition

Many events have been canceled or postponed due to coronavirus concerns. Please check with the organization before going to any event.
AIA Sandcastle contest, Galveston, 8/16
Courtesy AIA Houston

Over 20,000 spectators are expected as 60 teams of architects, engineers, and contractors compete for 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 sculptures are judged 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 including Best Traditional Castle, Best Architectural Icon, Kidtastic! - LEGO Edition, Best Science Fiction, Best Sports, Houston-centric as well as best team t-shirt design, best team signage, best costume, tallest standing structure, Most Sustainable Team, and public favorite. At the end of the day, everyone goes home with memories of a great day at the beach filled with fun, sand, and sun.

Event Details



City of Galveston East Beach
1923 Boddeker Rd.
Galveston, TX 77550