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
Lavington Mansions by Tate Hindle
Peabody Avenue by Haworth Tompkins
Underwood Road by Brady Mallalieu Architects
Darbishire Place by Niall McLaughlin Architects
Silchester Garages by Haworth Tompkins