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Architecture champion Claire Bennie to leave Peabody

  • 6 Comments

Peabody’s development director Claire Bennie is to leave the progressive, design-savvy housing association after 11 years

Bennie was recently described as ‘perhaps the most significant commissioner of work from emerging architects’ in Debrett’s listing of Britain’s 500 most influential people.

Among the architects to have been handed work with Peabody during Bennie’s tenure are Pitman Tozer, Haworth Tompkins, TateHindle and Niall McLaughlin. She also oversaw the creation of the association’s small projects panel which attracted entries from more than 300 practices.

It is understood Bennie will spend the next few months away from the industry, redrafting a radio play she has written about development and travelling around Europe.

However, further down the line, she hinted she was looking forward to ‘commissioning work from… practices again in the future.’

Bennie said: ‘I’ve been very fortunate to work with some of the best UK and European architectural talent over the last few years, including smaller and emerging practices who bring such important vitality to the housing scene. Starting the development pipeline in earnest in 2010… and seeing our buildings complete has been very exciting but has meant very little time for wider professional development.

‘In the light of this, I’m intending to take some time to reflect on housing design and development from a place outside the working environment over the summer.’

Luke Tozer of Pitman Tozer Architects said: ‘Bennie has the rare understanding and ability to go beyond being just a passionate and compelling advocate for good design as a client.  She has the nous and wherewithal to make it happen in practice.’

Gallery: Claire Bennie’s top projects

Mint Street by Pitman Tozer

Mint Street by Pitman Tozer

Lavington Mansions by Tate Hindle

Lavington Mansions by Tate Hindle

Peabody Avenue by Haworth Tompkins

Peabody Avenue by Haworth Tompkins

Underwood Road by Brady Mallalieu Architects

Underwood Road by Brady Mallalieu Architects

Darbishire Place by Niall McLaughlin Architects 

Darbishire Place by Niall McLaughlin Architects 

Silchester Garages by Haworth Tompkins

Silchester Garages by Haworth Tompkins

 

  • 6 Comments

Readers' comments (6)

  • Claire Bennie has been a fantastic person to work with and a role model for women in our industry. Peabody Trust are an inspiring client and we are sure will miss Claire's talent. However there are other sides to working directly in development and the radio play sounds fascinating.

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  • Claire has continued the tradition started by Dickon Robinson. Let's hope Peabody continue the trend, and start to give the same concern to their existing homes.

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  • Claire has been a breath of fresh air, a level headed champion of quality, an architect who has made an incredibly positive impact on a perennially cynical industry. The radio and literary world's obvious gain will be our loss.

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  • Michael Bach

    Was right to buy for housing association tenants the last straw, or was it purely an accident of timing?

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  • Michael Bach

    Was right to buy for housing association tenants the last straw, or was it purely an accident of timing?

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  • Claire Bennie’s recent departure from Peabody Housing Trust is a great loss for the charity as she has played an instrumental role in raising its profile through her approach to design quality. Claire has been one of the most forward thinking clients I have known - she has always been committed to creating beautiful places where people want to live and has recognised the role that landscape can offer in this process. I will miss working with her, but wish her well with whatever the future holds.

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