Up-and-coming practice Openstudio Architects has won an open international ideas competition seeking future housing typologies for housebuilder Taylor Wimpey
The central London-based studio founded by Jennifer Beningfield in 2006 defeated five rival emerging talents to win the £10,000 top prize in the RIBA-run contest.
Openstudio Architects’ winning proposal, dubbed ’Infinite House’, could now become part of Taylor Wimpey’s standard portfolio of homes.
Designed to maximise natural light levels and perceptions of space, Infinite House features an external envelope capable of adapting to different contexts without appearing repetitive. The scheme was also designed to optimise flexibility, customisation and the cost-effectiveness of prototyping and serial fabrication.
The anonymous contest, organised as part of Taylor Wimpey’s Project 2020 vision, sought an innovative ‘prototype for the future’ to meet emerging lifestyles and expectations.
The six shortlisted teams, which included Manchester-based new practice Artform Architects and Newground Architects of London, received £6,000 each to participate in the second stage of the competition, which attracted more than 100 entries.
- Artform Architects (Founded 2013, Manchester)
- Igor Russo and Razvan Andrei (Founded 2016, London)
- More Design (Founded 2005, London)
- Newground Architects (Founded 2013, London)
- Openstudio Architects (Founded 2006, London)
- Origin 3 Studio (Founded 2012, Bristol)
Taylor Wimpey chief executive Peter Redfern said: ‘Congratulations to Jennifer and the team at Openstudio Architects on winning the Taylor Wimpey Project 2020 Open Design competition.
‘This has been an engaging process, and we have been delighted by the level of interest and the quality of the entries. The standard of the six finalists was very high, which made our final decision a difficult one.
‘After meeting the architects much debate was had on the merits of each entry, but ultimately we were impressed by the way in which Openstudio interpreted the brief, and the simplicity, effectiveness and appeal of the winning designs.’
Glenn Howells, RIBA adviser to the contest, commented: ‘The Project 2020 competition not only attracted a high number of high-quality entries but prompted a number of innovative and challenging ideas as to how the family house could respond to new technologies and patterns of living.
‘Openstudio’s proposals for the Infinite House, however, raised the bar in reconsidering the archetype of the terraced house. This project considered not only the urban implications and technical possibilities for off-site production but also explored how such a house could enrich lives through the quality of climate, space and light.’
And RIBA adviser Sasha Bhavan added: ‘While the judges were impressed by the range and quality of submissions, Openstudio’s Infinite House emerged as the clear winner.
‘The depth of research, passion and analytical thinking that they brought to the brief was palpable. The quality of light achieved and the ability of the house to respond to location and orientation through material and plan options was impressive.’
Taylor Wimpey Project 2020 ideas competition
Beningfield said: ‘The level of commitment to transforming housing through this competition has impressed us. At all stages Taylor Wimpey was thoughtful, thorough and careful in decision-making.
‘There are many pressures on housing – cost, delivery methods, sustainability and context – but fundamentally a house should provide joy to its inhabitants and fulfilment of their needs. We have focused on the quality of the houses themselves, and particularly on daylight and adaptable planning, in our submission.
‘We believe that our Infinite House project truly offers the flexibility and customisation that home-owners are looking for, and we look forward to working with the team at Project 2020 to realise and test the prototypes in the near future.’
The competition comes nine years after Taylor Wimpey’s and RSHP’s competition-winning Oxley Woods development won the Manser Medal. Details of technical defects, which led to moisture ingress and damp at the scheme, emerged three years ago.
High-profile schemes currently under construction by Taylor Wimpey include Chobham Manor – the first phase of Olympic Park housing designed by Make, PRP, Muf Architecture/Art, Karakusevic Carson and NORD.