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Contest launched for 'revolutionary' retirement homes

Retirement home developer McCarthy & Stone has launched a competition to design pioneering housing for the 55s and over

Entrants to the RIBA-backed competition are invited to submit ‘revolutionary’ proposals for the developer’s site in Bishops Waltham, Hampshire [or similar]. The winner is expected to develop their plans for the competition plot and take the project through to completion.

The entries will be judged by an a team of retirement lifestyle specialists from McCarthy & Stone, architect advisor Robert Sakula of Ash Sakula Architects, and Lisa McMyn from interior design expert Ruby Slippers.

Five shortlisted teams will each receive a cheque for £2,000 (plus VAT). The victor will be awarded an additional £3,000 (plus VAT).

The brief calls for competitors ‘to think beyond what has previously been available in terms of retirement accommodation in the UK, and concentrate on delivering exciting and innovative new designs which will meet the demands of baby boomers looking for something a little different in later life’.

Click here for the competition website

The announcement comes jsut days after the publication of the RIBA-backed Future Homes Commission’s latest report, Building the Homes and Communities Britain Needs, which calls for a greater focus on ensuring new homes meet the needs of the resident.

Sam Turner, group marketing director from McCarthy & Stone, said: ‘With the Future Homes Commission report stating that an extra 300,000 new homes will need to be delivered year on year, and the Office of National Statistics projecting that those aged 65 and over will account for 23 per cent of the total population by 2035, it is becoming increasingly important that we address the added pressure that an aging population will place on the housing market.

‘However, despite this growth in demand, it also remains imperative that we do not lose sight of the individual consumer’s needs, and that as an industry, we are to continue to develop housing products that will also fit in with the generational shift in the perception of age.

‘Baby boomers see themselves very much as the generation that broke all the boundaries, and that is exactly what we are asking architects to do when considering what would be the ideal type of housing for these kind of forward thinking people.

Turner added: ‘We really want design professionals to challenge their pre-conceptions of what age means and create solutions which celebrate the wisdom and freedom that the aging process should encompass. The properties need to both fit in with the modern active culture of the over 55’s, but also offer any facilities that might make the process of growing older easier to cope with.

‘It is our belief that downsizing into a purpose-built property in later life can open up doors to enjoying a greater way of living, and with this competition we are hoping to show just how great that life could be.’

For a full competition brief, entry details and terms and conditions please visit

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