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HTA Design wins Barratt/AJ Home of the Future competition

HLM and fledgling practice C4 Architecture commended in contest to find bold and innovative house type for the mass market

HTA Design beat nine other shortlisted practices to win the Barratt/AJ Home of the Future competition while HLM’s Sheffield office and up-and-coming Manchester practice C4 Architecture have both been commended.

Launched in April the contest asked UK architects, architectural designers and architectural and design firms to consider what homeowners will want in five to 10 years’ time and design a bold and innovative house in response which will appeal to the mass market.

Following an ‘overwhelming’ response from AJ’s readership, 10 practices were shortlisted in August and asked to develop and fine-tune their designs ahead of a final judging session held last month at the RIBA headquarters in Portland Place involving three senior figures at Barratt and three external design experts selected by the AJ in a jury chaired by AJ deputy editor Will Hurst.

HTA’s proposal involved a ‘semi-wide’ frontage intended to take the best features of a double-frontage house – in particular the two dual-aspect reception rooms – within the confines of a more economical plot and house size. Judges were highly impressed with the scheme’s flexibility, attention to detail and focus on wellbeing and daylight levels and it was the unanimous winner.

Clare Devine, director at Design Council Cabe said HTA’s proposal was ‘the most comprehensive submission, providing a range of strategic future housing insights that could be readily adopted within the next five years’ while Barratt’s Jeremy Hipkiss said the practice had applied some ‘very simple principles rooted in what customers want – a winning combination’.

HTA will receive repayment of its costs up to a maximum of £20,000 while HLM and C4 Architecture will be reimbursed to cover their competition costs of up to £10,000 each.

Barratt now intends to work with HTA to establish how its ideas can be incorporated into future designs that will then be tested with customers. Ultimately this process, the housebuilder believes, could ‘set new standards for new built properties across the UK’.

Full coverage of all 10 shortlisted schemes will appear in print and on the AJ’s website later this week.


Will Hurst, deputy editor of the AJ (chair); Michael Finn, group design & technical director, Barratt Developments; Jeremy Hipkiss, group head of sales & marketing, Barratt Development; Alastair Baird, regional managing director for London, Barratt Developments; Clare Devine, director, Design Council Cabe; Gus Zogolovitch, managing director, Solidspace; Philip Marsh, director, dRMM Architects


Readers' comments (2)

  • Ben Derbyshire

    We are delighted by this outcome at HTA - naturally enough. But there is a wider point that lies behind this competition and underpins the seriousness with which we responded to it in the practice. That is, despite the conviction of many to the contrary, we believe architects should work at demonstrating how design can add quality, sustainability, value and indeed delight to the house-builders' product. There is huge potential in a market that is more or less lost to architects at present - and the coming of custom-build, co-housing and mass customisation only adds to the potential.
    So we should avoid the mistake of gratuitous house-builder bashing with epithets like 'shameful shoeboxes' and prove to them that we can contribute to improving the quality of the product.
    This is surely especially important now we have a Government relying so heavily on home ownership and the private sector to feed the nation's demand for more and better homes.
    Ben Derbyshire
    Managing Partner, HTA Design LLP
    Chair, The Housing Forum.

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  • All good points, and a useful complementary initiative to the broad-brush NLA/GLA design ideas competition currently on exhibition. Architects who can demonstrate the added value they bring to housing estate projects will not only benefit from more commissions, but will contribute to better lives for, potentially hundreds of thousands of residents. We need a delivery programme of military scale, but it needs to be informed by good design quality, which should never be seen as an enemy of quantity.

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