Architects has won a national housing competition organised by the William Sutton Trust to provide low-income tenants with secure, affordable housing. Young architects and students were invited to submit new interpretations of the semi-detached house.
The winning scheme's geometric twist in the plan sets the external walls and roofs at a subtle angle to each other. The houses can be terraced or linked to suit different site conditions. The use of dynamic insulation creates a 'breathing house', while the construction technique lends itself to economic prefabrication, with wall panels and floors assembled off site then erected on pre-prepared concrete foundations and/or loadbearing walls. Non-loadbearing internal walls allow for different layouts to suit changing lifestyles.
The winning design will be finished in 2000 on land earmarked in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Occupation and performance will be monitored for a trial period and, if successful, construction will be repeated on other sites. Letts Wheeler, Wilkinson King and Tucker Siddall were runners-up.