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Crazy Good Sandcastles Designed by World Class Architects — See the Most Elaborate Creations

Travis Scott's AstroWorld and Game of Thrones Both Immortalized

BY // 08.29.19

While you’re packing your beach gear for this upcoming Labor Day weekend, don’t forget your shovels and pails for the time-honored tradition of building sandcastles. But it’s time to move on from unidentifiable piles of sand and “castles” that look more like boxes than Cinderella’s new home.

The American Institute of Architects Houston has a few fabulous suggestions for you, courtesy of this past weekend’s Sandcastle Competition.

Close to 50 teams displayed their skills constructing amazing creations carved from the cement-hued sand of Galveston’s East Beach. Chaired by Jeffrey Briggs and Vanessa Poe, the 33rd annual event attracted more than 25,000 spectators. For those who couldn’t make it, we have photos and a roster of the winners to inspire epic sandcastles of your own.

Will your challenge be to recreate the Gold Award winning over-the-top elaborate “The Litter Mermaid” by the Ziegler-Cooper team, or Kirksey + Metzger Construction’s epic “Game of Toys,” which won loads of honors, or “Winter Isn’t Coming” by Jacobs/Bartlett Cocke, winner of the Sydney LeNoir Public Favorite award?

Our personal fave was Travis Scott pop-up theme park riff by Stantec — ‘AstroWorld: Past and Present.’ It took honors as the Best Houston Centric entry.

Judging of the sandcastle sculptures was rated on originality of concept, artistic execution, technical difficulty, carving technique, and utilization of the site.

Even if you don’t have architects and builders on your Labor Day Weekend beach team, the 14 sandcastles included here offer fun inspiration.

Scroll through the best sandcastle winners in the photo gallery below or above this story.

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