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Breaking New Ground in the Coachella Valley

PlaceWorks is the lead coordinator of an international design competition —called “Breaking New Ground”— focused on workforce housing for farm and service workers in the Coachella Valley. The competition is sponsored by The California Endowment as part of its Building Healthy Communities program. Breaking New Ground goes beyond most other design competitions by emphasizing not only compelling architecture, but also:

  • Affordability and market feasibility
  • Social, economic, and environmental sustainability
  • A thoughtful approach to embedded social services that foster long-term stability and upward mobility
  • Critical approaches/adjustments to regulatory policies, practices, and standards

Additionally, at the competition’s conclusion, The California Endowment and County of Riverside will work together to build an affordable housing project based on the winning entries.

The competition is set to begin this year and will award $350,000 in prize money to winning entries in open and student divisions. The competition was officially announced at the national AIA conference in Chicago this past June and is already receiving interest from across the globe.

Visit or contact Colin Drukker, Competition Coordinator, at to learn more about the competition.