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Open call for radical responses to the rural housing crisis

Homes for Cornwall, an emerging grassroots initiative aiming for transformation, is extending an invitation to RIBA Members and RIBA Chartered Practices across the Southwest. They are encouraged to share their innovative solutions to address the pressing issue of rural housing scarcity, as part of an expansive open call.

The design collaboration work began on 21 March 2023 with an evening workshop that brought together 10 RIBA architects from Cornwall and Devon with 20 architecture students at Falmouth University. The fast-paced event produced five unique designs in response to a notional acre field, at the edge of a small village.

Ideas generated in response to the open call will form a Homes for Cornwall ‘Expo’ at the Hall for Cornwall on 17 September 2024. Expo material will then be included within open resources for any group, Parish Council or community looking to tackle the need for low-cost homes locally, while showcasing the ideas of RIBA Members and RIBA Chartered Practices.

Speaking on behalf of Homes for Cornwall, Emma Stratton noted:
"A place to call home is a fundamental building block for life. Many smaller village communities desperately need lower cost homes for local rent and discounted purchase. We need to reimagine the needs of people, the environment and contemporary rural life. We are calling on architects, designers, and collaborators to respond to a single rural acre."

Homes for Cornwall plan to enable over 200 rural acre projects that directly create between six and 20 homes per site to help address local affordable housing need over the next 10 year by connecting architect led teams to communities, landowners, funders, and contractors via the simple notation of change at the level of a radical rural acre.

Coordinating the open call is RIBA Member, and former Regional Chair, Rachael Gaunt who commented:
"The launch workshop was such a buzz; when faced with a clear brief and only two hours it’s amazing what can be produced. The open call is a great opportunity to put architectural ideas at the centre of collaborative change. We all have an unbuilt project or pioneering proposal in us. This is a great chance for architects to lead the change they want to see."

The open call closes on 26 July 2024.

To find out more, and register for information, simply email

A workshop featuring RIBA architects from Cornwall and Devon and architecture students at Falmouth University on 21 March 2023.

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