The UK's leading retirement developer, McCarthy & Stone, is seeking out the country's most creative architects to help it to revolutionise housing aimed at those aged 55 and over.
Responding to its research into the facilities and types of property that would appeal to the post-war baby-boomer generation, McCarthy & Stone has joined forces with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to launch a nationwide hunt for housing concepts of the future, aimed specifically at those in or reaching their third age.
The British Open Design Competition will task competitors to think beyond what has previously been available in terms of retirement accommodation in the UK, and concentrate on delivering exciting and innovative new designs that will meet the demands of baby boomers looking for something a little different in later life.
The announcement of the project closely follows the launch of the Future Homes Commission's latest report, entitled 'Building the Homes and Communities Britain Needs', which calls for a far greater focus on ensuring new homes design meets the needs of the resident.
Sam Turner, Group Marketing Director from McCarthy & Stone, explained:
'With the Future Homes Commission report stating that an extra 300,000 new homes will need to be delivered year on year, and the Office of National Statistics projecting that those aged 65 and over will account for 23% of the total population by 2035, it is becoming increasingly important that we address the added pressure that an aging population will place on the housing market.
However, despite this growth in demand, it also remains imperative that we do not lose sight of the individual consumer's needs, and that as an industry, we are to continue to develop housing products that will also fit in with the generational shift in the perception of age.
Baby boomers see themselves very much as the generation that broke all the boundaries, and that is exactly what we are asking architects to do when considering what would be the ideal type of housing for these kind of forward thinking people.
We really want design professionals to challenge their pre-conceptions of what age means and create solutions which celebrate the wisdom and freedom that the aging process should encompass.
The properties need to both fit in with the modern active culture of the over 55’s, but also offer any facilities that might make the process of growing older easier to cope with.
It is our belief that downsizing into a purpose-built property in later life can open up doors to enjoying a greater way of living, and with this competition we are hoping to show just how great that life could be.'
Design professionals are invited to submit design proposals based on McCarthy & Stone's forthcoming site in Bishops Waltham, Hampshire or similar. It is McCarthy & Stone's intention that the winning architect will have the opportunity to develop the competition site and take the project through to completion.
Entries will be judged by an expert panel that includes a team of retirement lifestyle specialists from McCarthy & Stone, RIBA architect advisor Robert Sakula of Ash Sakula Architects, and Lisa McMyn from interior design expert Ruby Slippers. The final five shortlisted teams will each receive a cheque for £2,000, plus VAT, while the overall winner will be awarded an additional £3,000, plus VAT.
Robert Sakula added:
'I'm very excited to be involved in this competition, which provides architects with a chance to research in depth a sector which is going to be of increasing importance over the coming decades. It will give entrants the opportunity to set the design agenda for the baby boomer generation's take on housing for old age.'
McCarthy & Stone is currently selling a range of purpose built later and assisted living apartments throughout the UK. As well as offering a low maintenance lifestyle, purchasers can benefit from maintained landscaped gardens, a central lounge, on site restaurant, domestic assistance, personal care by arrangement and the peace of mind of added security.
For a full competition brief, entry details and terms and conditions please visit www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk/riba.