RIBA Competition Winners Announced: Design ideas for housing in the private rental market

Following a unanimous verdict from the judges, the winners of the competition for Housing in the Private Rental Market were announced on Monday 25 November at an award ceremony held at the RIBA, London. The competition was launched earlier this year by The Wates Group, Wates Family Enterprise Trust and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) following recommendations in The Future Homes Commission report.

The joint winners are:

- Metropolitan Workshop with Sir Richard MacCormac, WT Partnership, XC02 and Lee Mallet

- Carl Turner Architects, London

The runner up prize is awarded to actLAB, New York and Andrew Stoane Architect, Edinburgh is highly commended. 

Kris Hopkins, Minister for Housing, said: “The Government attaches a great deal of importance to improving the design of homes and neighbourhoods. A core part of the mission is the commitment of both the Government and the Royal Institute of British Architects to building a bigger and better Private Rented Sector to help the country meet its housing needs and to raise standards in the sector. I believe these awards are an invaluable way of recognising and rewarding projects that set the standard for great architecture all across the country.”

Tim Wates said: “This has been a very exciting competition to be involved with.  Congratulations to the finalists who are an outstanding group. Overall the quality of the entries exceeded the most optimistic hopes of the judging panel and shows there is a huge amount of untapped concepts and potential in this area.The high standard of ideas presented will no doubt move private rental in the UK forward. We are now looking to bring together architectural and construction industry leaders and to engage with government to create real opportunities for large scale, commercially viable private rental communities.”

Simon Allford, AHMM and RIBA Adviser said: “The shortlisted entrants are hugely intelligent suggestions of the possibilities of immediate and near future.  They share one common interest in increasing density in plan, in section and over time to engender, at both the scale of the building and the place, a more delightful common ground.  They also offer fascinating suggestions for new funding, renting and group ownership models; insights into construction and technique; visions of future shared living arrangements; and designs for the new typological models that are needed.”

Carl Turner Architects said: “This is fantastic news for our practice.  Following our success with Slip House winning the 2013 RIBA Manser Medal, this competition win demonstrates again how we are bringing fresh thinking to housing design in the UK.  We are grateful to Wates and the RIBA for supporting the competition, and really looking forward to developing this work and our ideas further as we move towards larger projects.”

Metropolitan Workshop said: “Our team are absolutely delighted to be joint winners of the Wates/RIBA competition, which we feel has made an important contribution to the debate around the UK’s increasingly serious housing shortage. Our ideas combine Sir Richard MacCormac’s theories about sustainable suburbs with current thinking on how renters want to live and what investors needs. We took soundings from industry leaders throughout the process and it is rewarding to find our ideas have won broad support. If the future is going to include more rented housing, then this competition has provided some of the answers.”

The competition sought to explore what specifically designed privately rented suburban neighbourhood might look like. It is hoped that the ideas generated will influence the design of future rental schemes in a positive way with real benefits to people and their communities.

An online gallery of all of the design entries including the winners can be viewed at www.ribacompetitions.com/privaterentalhousing


Notes to editors

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our 40,000+ global network of members. Founded in 1834, the RIBA received its Royal Charter in 1837 and today is recognised as a Business Superbrand.

RIBA Competitions has been established for over 40 years and is responsible for delivering some of the most high-profile building projects in the UK through competition. These range from major public projects such as the Millennium Bridge, BALTIC and The Hepworth Wakefield to the more unusual like Halley Research Station, Antarctic. Competitions are a recognised vehicle that drives up quality, stimulates creativity and innovation and generates a range of ideas improving choice which often results in award winning buildings. For further details visit ww.architecture.com/competitions

The Wates Family Enterprise Trust is a charitable trust set up by the Family owners of the Wates Group. As part of its work the Trust seeks to promote thought leadership around topical social issues to advance ideas and address solutions through its programme Wates Giving. For further information visit www.watesgiving.org

Established over 116 years ago, the Wates Group is one of the UK’s leading construction companies, employing over 2,600 people and posting a turnover of £1.2bn in 2012.

A stable presence in a changing market, Wates works on a variety of projects across the public and private sectors, from building new homes and providing planned and responsive maintenance to housing associations and local authorities; through to office interiors; construction projects in the commercial, retail, heritage and education sectors; and partnering on joint-venture developments. The first privately-owned company ever to be awarded Business in the Community’s Community Mark in recognition of its leadership and excellence in community investment, Wates is distinguished by its commitment to leaving a lasting legacy in the places where it works.  www.wates.co.uk

 actLAB is a New York based collaborative design group. We represent the architect, the educator, the illustrator, the photographer, the writer -- all interested in observing and representing human behaviour -- collaborating to create projects that enhance and re-imagine social life in cities and in communities.

actLAB is lead by Australian architect & Columbia University GSAPP alumna / faculty, Aya Maceda (www.ayamaceda.com), with collaborators, Buzz Wei (architect/ GSAPP alumnus) and illustrator Sandra Javera (www.sandrajavera.com).

Andrew Stoane is an Edinburgh based architect and educator. His studio simultaneously operates as an architectural practice and a think tank for more speculative and research orientated strains of architecture. He teaches architecture and urban design at Edinburgh’s ESALA school. Construction, pedagogy and research continually reciprocate to enable multi-disciplinary and varied outputs. In practice, since its inception in 1993, the studio has built a reputation on meticulously detailed smaller scale work involving an unusual level of attention and direct involvement in the construction process. In research, among the broad range of interests, volume housing has been a perennial focus, with an increasing reflection on the architect’s agency within the industry.

 Carl Turner studied architecture at the Royal College of Art in London. The RCA provided him with a foundation for collaboration and working across platforms, and an enduring ethos that sees design and construction as an extension of his time there as a ‘maker’. Before establishing Carl Turner Architects, Carl worked with a number of practices including Foster + Partners, and Penoyre & Prasad.

Carl Turner Architects was formed in 2006, and has established a reputation for high impact, low cost architecture. The practice has won numerous awards for its work, including a RIBA Award and the RIBA Manser Medal in 2013 for Slip House, which was also short-listed for the RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize. The practice was highly commended in the 2012 Architect of the Year Awards, and was the only UK practice to be highly commended in the 2013 AR House Awards.

Teaching and engagement with the wider design world are important aspects of practice life. Carl has taught at the Architectural Association, the Royal College of Art, the University of Greenwich and the University of Brighton, and has been an external examiner at London South Bank University. Carl is also a member of the Southwark Design Panel.

The practice is working on a series of residential and community projects around the UK, and will be showcasing its work with the RIBA in Shanghai, China in 2014. 

Metropolitan Workshop Architecture and Urbanism is based in London with wide, international experience of complex housing projects. We have teamed up with Sir Richard MacCormac for this competition, whose work on Sustainable suburbia is highly relevant. 

Our team's experience encompasses over 40 years of housing design of all types and tenures and in all contexts. A consistent tenent of our housing work has always been the importance of housing design in promoting social cohesion and developing convivial ways of living. 

Our recent work has demonstrates that compelling cases can be made for delivering design-led housing in appropriate greenbelt contexts.