Hunt Thompson and Ralph Erskine have won the Millennium Village competition, to design a landmark housing scheme for the twenty-first century, next to the Millennium Dome site in Greenwich.
They are the main architects for the winning housebuilder consortium, Countryside and Taylor Woodrow. Other consultants include architects Baker Brown Mackay and Cole Thompson, engineer and ecology consultant Battle McCarthy, and QSWT Partnership. Deputy prime minister John Prescott, who launched the competition last July, announced the results this week.
Hunt Thompson was lead consultant, with the veteran Erskine, who designed the iconic Byker social housing in Newcastle in the 1970s, as main architect and urban designer. Bernard Hunt, who is chair of the RIBA's housing group, is heading the 2000 Homes initiative, and many of its themes have occurred in the Greenwich competition.
Among them are ideas about the home, placemaking, community, and electronic communications.
It is understood that the judges were impressed by the holistic approach of the winning design, which incorporated materials and technology in a convincing way.
The brief for the development, on 13ha, called for 5000 mixed-tenure homes, 100,000m 2of offices, 28,000m 2of retail and leisure space, a 300-bed hotel, all the usual community facilities, substantial parkland and a riverside walk. Innovative environmental thinking was required, to include high levels of energy and water efficiency. The site is owned by English Partnerships, which purchased it from British Gas as part of a major urban-regeneration project for the area.
A shrewd choice of consultants by Hunt Thompson appears to have paid dividends. Battle McCarthy is well known for its cutting-edge research on energy systems, while Baker Brown Mackay has been involved in teleservicing experiments at Woolwich, in the London Borough of Greenwich. Cole Thompson has just unveiled its conceptual designs for energy-efficient future housing types. A review of the four competition schemes will be published next week.