Past RIBA president Angela Brady has called on Notting Hill Housing and Sellar Design to rethink a £15 million Canada Water framework criticised for excluding small practices
The procurement reformer said it was not too late to rewrite the tender which demands a minimum of £10 million Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) cover and recent experience of designing a 40 storey-plus tower.
She said: ‘This is a return to old, restrictive and unfair procurement. Such PII requirements will cut out 90 per cent of architects and discriminate against capable architects with expertise for this type of project.’
Brady continued: ‘We need to have better procurement this proves it. I would advise Notting Hill Housing and Sellar Design to rewrite their tender in a more inclusive way which values quality design and innovative architectural practices (with adequate PII cover) – then they might earn the trust of the profession.’
Notting Hill Housing has defended the four year framework to design 1,030 new homes in Canada Water, claiming it is open to small practices.
But Robert Adam of ADAM Architecture said this claim was disingenuous because few such practices have experience of designing a 40 storey-plus residential tower in the past three years.
He said: ‘This is the all-too-familiar risk-avoidance process that keeps large projects within an inner circle and is one of the reasons why the genre is so dull and predictable.’
Notting Hill Housing group development director, John Hughes said: “The level of the PII is in keeping with the scale and risk of the project and it’s consistent with the current market conditions.’
He continued: ”The scheme includes a 40+ storey tower, so we will be looking to secure the services of an organisation that can provide the high quality design services necessary to create a landmark building for London.’
Backed by Notting Hill Housing and Sellar Design, the three hectare regeneration scheme – dubbed Project Light – will create a mix of private sale, private rent and affordablehousing on land close to Canada Water station in south-east London.
Maccreanor Lavington Architects, David Chipperfield Architects and Claus en Kaan Architecten won outline planning permission for the 140,000m² mixed-use scheme last year.
Maccreanor Lavington will design the masterplan’s first phase – which has detailed planning permission – while the framework will select teams for the scheme’s remaining three phases.
The later phases include the detailed design of a 40-storey tower designed by David Chipperfield. Alongside housing the project will also include 18,500m² of commercial space and a range of community facilities.
Wilkinson Eyre and Michael Auckett Associates previously won planning permission for a 2010 lower rise scheme on the plot but the development transferred to Sellar after project backer Conrad Phoenix pulled out two years later.
The deadline for requests to participate in the framework is 12 November.
How to apply
View the tender notice for more information
Central Purchasing Unit
Notting Hill Housing Trust
2 Killick Street
Tel: +44 2083575000
Brady demands rethink on ‘unfair’ Canada Water framework