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Final four selected in Southwark scheme - images

Southwark Council has unveiled the last four practices handed social housing projects as part of its 'design experiment' at Elephant and Castle, south London.

Chosen from a pool of 16 up-and-coming architects, Panter Hudspith and Haworth Tompkins are among the third and final wave of firms given schemes to rehouse residents from the soon-to-be demolished 1960s Heygate Estate.

They are joined by Metaphorm and youngsters AOC, who eventually managed to win two residential developments after missing out on earlier rounds.

Each of the 16 plots were vied for by a trio of competing 'framework' practices through an innovative selection process, which the authority's development director Chris Horn believes will deliver more creative schemes than 'traditional' procurement methods.

He said: 'We [want] to create a series of delightful new buildings that reflect the spirit and vitality of the area and genuinely feel that we are achieving this.'

However, not everybody is convinced. As a result of the competition format Riches Hawley Mikhail, Glas Architects and FAT have ended up without any sites to develop.

Intriguingly, the übercool FAT was only invited onto the architectural shortlist after Niall McLaughlin decided to leave the project, citing fears over the restrictive contractual conditions and potential quality of the schemes McLaughlin turns his back on pioneering Southwark procurement scheme.

by Richard Waite

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