The shortlist is announced for the competition to design a new mixed tenure, affordable housing development on the Greyhound Opening site in Norwich.
The Delivering Affordable Housing Partnership (DAHP) - a partnership of Norwich City Council, Broadland Housing & Orbit Housing Partnership, Circle Anglia Ltd, Flagship Housing Group and Lovell Partnerships Ltd - was astounded by the phenomenal response to the competition. 101 Expressions of Interest were received from architects based in the UK, Eire, Japan and the Netherlands.
The Jury Panel consisted of a former Greyhound Opening resident, together with representatives from the DAHP, the Housing Corporation and Clare Wright (Wright & Wright Architects) acting as the RIBA Architect Adviser. With such a strong field of applicants, Panel members faced an embarrassment of riches and arriving at a shortlist was an extremely difficult task. The Panel selected practices which they felt would be most capable of helping the DAHP to deliver an innovative high quality development, with an appropriate density of accommodation that can be built, will be financially viable within social housing constraints and have the potential to enrich the neighbouring community. The five short-listed practices (in alphabetical order) are as follows:
- Letts Wheeler Architects
- Maccreanor Lavington Architects
- Make Architects
- Riches Hawley Mikhail Architects
- shedkm Architects
Members of the Jury Panel commented:
"I am really excited about this development on the site of my former home and especially that in the current climate, higher environmental standards are being considered as it is important for residents that bills are kept low. I hope that the new scheme will create a wonderful community for Norwich."
(Grace Watson, former resident of Greyhound Opening)
"We are excited by the calibre of the architects who want to work with us to create wonderful new homes at Greyhound Opening. We look forward to seeing their clever ideas for how the site can be developed and are confident that the winning architect will produce a scheme for us that sets a new standard for affordable housing across the City."
(Ben Webster, Norwich City Council Design Quality Manager)
"This should be an excellent built project one day. There is a very strong and experienced team of local authority, housing associations, project manager and contractor already in place. They want the magic ingredient a good architect can bring and team members were very thorough in their contribution to choosing who that might be. Importantly, they also expect their architect to resource the scheme properly and are willing to pay for that."
(Clare Wright, RIBA Architect Adviser)
The short-listed practices will be invited to develop design proposals for the 1.2hectare Greyhound Opening site and present them to the Jury Panel at a final interview in late January 2009.