RIBA and housebuilder launch design competition

Jim Dunton

Sussex House, West Sussex by Wilkinson King Architects - shortlisted for the RIBA House of the Year

Judge Glenn Howells says Taylor Wimpey could build winning scheme

The RIBA has launched a worldwide design competition to explore materials, features and floorplans of real housing for the future.

Run in conjunction with Taylor Wimpey’s Project 2020 initiative, the competition will be judged by a panel including Glenn Howells and the winning entry will be developed into a prototype that could be incorporated into the housebuilder’s product range.

The contest, which is open until June 14, seeks to create the house typology of the future by exploring and evaluating potential housing trends based on customer needs and lifestyle expectations.

Howells said the competition was an important chance to shape future housing in a practical way.

“It is an exciting opportunity to explore new house types that respond to 21st-century living integrated with new, highly efficient construction techniques,” he said.

“I am particularly keen to be involved as Taylor Wimpey is looking to potentially replicate the winning designs in its future house type range.”

Taylor Wimpey has a track record of forays into cutting-edge housing, however its Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners-designed housing scheme at Oxley Woods (illustrated), near Milton Keynes, struggled with protracted cost and build-quality issues.

Taylor Wimpey chief executive Pete Redfern said that while the firm continually reviewed its offering, it was keen to use the competiton as a way to take an even longer-term view.

“We need to look ‘outside the box’ to explore and evaluate new innovations in design, architecture, technology, materials and methodology so that we can create our product range for 2020 and beyond,” he said.

Five concept designs will be shortlisted for the Project 2020 competition, each of which will receive an honorarium of £6,000. The winning team will receive an additional £10,000 prize.

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