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Make Bethnal Green competition winners announced

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Housing association Affinity Sutton has revealed the joint winners of its Make Bethnal Green sustainable housing competition: Robert ‘Joe’ Williams and George Calver, both of Oxford Brookes University

The year’s work placement at HTA prize will be split with the joint winners taking six months each at the firm.

Commended were: Heena Mistry of Oxford Brookes; Richard Mather of Oxford Brookes and Chris Bell of Bath University.

The competition organiser noted the high standards of entries and expressed interest in running the competition annually.

The exhibition of all the finalists is on show at the RIBA, London W1, until 15 May.


Previous story (AJ 06.05.10)

Sustainable housing finalists revealed

Housing association Affinity Sutton has unveiled the eight finalists in its ideas competition for a sustainable version of its Edwardian Joseph and Smithem-designed Bethnal Green Estate in east London

Affinity Sutton launched the RIBA-backed competition to celebrate its 100th anniversary in October last year. It challenged Part 2 students to design a sustainable exemplar for the site.

Finalists developed their ideas at a week-long placement with practices. The finalists are: Christopher Bell, University of Bath, with Karakusevic Carson Architects; Mallika Bhattacharya, Oxford Brookes University, with PRP Architects; George Calver, Oxford Brookes, with Hunters; Andrew Longland, Oxford Brookes, with HTA; Richard Mather, Oxford Brookes, with Levitt Bernstein; Heena Mistry, Oxford Brookes, with RH Partnership; Dominic Taujanskas, Leeds Metropolitan University, with Conran and Partners; and Robert Williams, Oxford Brookes University, with Cartwright Pickard Architects. First prize is a paid year-in-practice at HTA.

 Competition judge and AJ sustainability editor Hattie Hartman said: ‘It’s fantastic to see Affinity Sutton taking the sustainable design agenda to heart. I hope more architecture schools will adopt this competition as regular coursework.’

 25 year-old Joe Williams took his placement at Cartwright Pickard in Kings Cross. He said:  ‘It has been fantastic to bounce ideas and collaborate with qualified architects.  It has made the whole project seem a bit more real.’

 The shortlisted entries will be on show at the RIBA, London W1, until 15 May.


Richard Rose-Casemore, director at Design Engine Architects and Oxford Brookes University DS1 unit tutor, on Make Bethnall Green

Housing has been considered a high-risk theme in Schools of Architecture for a while.  However, the need to understand the increasingly stringent codes and standards, contribute to the topical debates, and challenge dated pre-conceptions has never been more apposite.

I chose to run the ‘Make Bethnal Green’ competition this year as it embodied many of the issues I wanted the students to explore in the DS1 studio.  I had already decided to find a suitable project brief which would shadow the work we are undertaking at Design Engine in designing sustainable housing exemplars, and the Affinity Sutton brief offered a fascinating vehicle for that exercise.  My practice colleagues have been able to input with specialist knowledge and we have carried out tutorials both in University and at the office.  

The students have visited some of the best built schemes in the UK and I also took them on a week-long study trip to Holland in March, where we were able to visit first-hand the influential Dutch housing models which have been translated for the British lifestyle in schemes such as Accordia.

In the event, the DS1 studio provided 7 of the 10 finalists, and 5 of the students were able to take part in the Stage 2 placement week.  Each found their experience in working with their respective practice partners and Affinity Sutton very rewarding.  Most have developed their schemes further since the Stage 2 presentations and I would like to thank RIBA and Affinity Sutton for organising the competition so effectively and with so much enthusiasm.

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