Winner announced: Mixed tenure affordable housing development, Greyhound Opening site, Norwich
Riches Hawley Mikhail Architects have won the competition to design a new mixed tenure, affordable housing development on the Greyhound Opening site, Norwich.
The RIBA Competitions Office managed the selection process on behalf of 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.
The first phase of the competition attracted 101 Expressions of Interest from architects based in the UK, Eire, Japan and the Netherlands. Riches Hawley Mikhail were one of five teams invited to develop design proposals for the 1.2hectare Greyhound Opening site - the shortlist also included: Letts Wheeler Architects, Maccreanor Lavington Architects, Make Architects and Shedkm Architects.
The Jury Panel consisted of a former Greyhound Opening resident, together with representatives from the DAHP, the Homes and Community Agency and Clare Wright (Wright & Wright Architects) acting as the RIBA Architect Adviser. The Panel members faced a difficult task in selecting the winner, as there were elements in all the design proposals which appealed to different Panel members. The Panel felt that in proposing a contemporary re-interpretation of Norwich's streets of Victorian terraced housing, Riches Hawley Mikhail had developed a pragmatic solution which would provide an excellent contextual fit for the City and should prove extremely popular with prospective tenants. In choosing to orient the houses to maximise year-round solar gain, the scheme cleverly addressed issues of sustainability, cross-site connectivity and the proposed density of the circa GBP £10-12m development. The Panel felt that the realised scheme should also provide an excellent benchmark for other future affordable housing developments in Norwich.
Members of the Jury Panel commented:
"Riches Hawley Mikhail is an enthusiastic team of up and coming architects who are committed to designing houses and flats that people in Norwich will be very proud to live in. We will be helping to ensure that the existing community has the opportunity to be involved in helping to design certain aspects of the scheme, such as the public areas, so that everybody living in the neighbourhood will see some benefits and feel part of the area's redevelopment."
(Chris Bennett, Norwich City Council conservation and design officer)
"I was very impressed by the level of commitment to engage with the architectural ideas from the people representing the partnership: Norwich City Council, Flagship Housing, Circle Anglia, Broadland Housing, local residents, Oxbury and Lovells. It was extremely difficult for the panel to choose a winner because the standard of design was so high. It stimulated debate about streetscape, scale and sustainability but ultimately the persuasive argument was "in which scheme would people most want to live?."
(Clare Wright, RIBA Architect Adviser)