HAB (Happiness Architecture Beauty), the development company set up by broadcaster Kevin McCloud, has announced the shortlisted architects for its inaugural project.
David Chipperfield, DSDHA and Wright & Wright have been selected from a longlist of 20 to design a development of 150-200 houses on a local authority site in the West Country.
An appointment will be made imminently and HAB plans to submit the project for planning by August 2007.
The company has also announced the appointment of AJ editor Isabel Allen as its design director. Allen, who joined the AJ as buildings editor in 1996 and became editor in 1999, will leave the AJ in April to take up her new role.
Set up with the stated ambition of becoming 'the most exciting housebuilder in Britain', HAB is committed to building suburban and rural housing which is 'sustainable, enjoyable, contextual, social, profitable and contemporary'.
'We aim to work closely with forward-looking local authorities and top architects to develop brownfield and low-grade greenfield sites,' Allen said.
She added: 'While the ambition is to create zero-carbon-emission, zero-waste, sustainable homes it is important to stress that the green agenda will not be pursued at the expense of longevity or design.
'Our key objective is to create communities which will still be thriving in 50 years' time and buildings which will not be rendered inflexible or outdated by unproved technology or design.'
McCloud said: 'I have been astounded at the level of support we have received, from the RIBA, from the profession, from local authorities.
'I don't think it's just the media profile. I think there is a real hunger for a combination of ambitious environmental targets, outstanding architecture and the really serious thinking about the best way to create successful communities'.by Ed Dorrell