Re-Imagining the Garden City Design Ideas Competition, Hertfordshire Architecture, Building News

Re-Imagining the Garden City Design Ideas Competition

RIBA Competitions & Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation in Herts, southeast England, UK

8 Jun 2019

Re-Imagining the Garden City Design Ideas Competition Winners

Design: Responsive Environments

Winner Announced: Re-Imagining the Garden City Design Ideas Competition

RIBA Competitions and Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation are pleased to announce that the Re-Imagining the Garden City Design Ideas Competition has been won by EcoResponsive Environments.

The Competition invited architect-led design teams to explore Garden City living and place making to meet 21st century needs, using a potential development site in Letchworth – the world’s first garden city – as a case study.

Founded in 1903, Letchworth Garden City was the brainchild of social reformer Ebenezer Howard, whose vision to improve lives for people by combining the best of living and working in the town and country, led to a vibrant international garden city movement. Today, the need for new homes means that there will be an expansion of the urban area of Letchworth for the first time since the 1980’s.

Design concepts generated by the winning team will inform the overall masterplan and subsequent build on an approximately 110-acre case study site. The site is included in the North Herts Local Plan for housing, which is due to be adopted in 2019, and includes proposals for 900 new homes on this land (of which 40% will be affordable housing), together with a new primary school, local community facility and retail space.

EcoResponsive Environments were one of four teams short-listed to develop the concept masterplan proposals submitted to the first, anonymous phase of the competition. The other short-listed teams (in alphabetical order of team lead) were: CF MØller Architects UK Ltd.; Stride Treglown and Sarah Wigglesworth Architects.

The Adjudication Panel consisted of the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Executive Director Stewardship and Development from the Heritage Foundation; together with representatives from Anglian Water, BRE, Homes England, the Town and Country Planning Association, Cushman Wakefield, and the University of Hertfordshire; together with RIBA Past President Jane Duncan OBE acting as the Architect Adviser to the Competition.

EcoResponsive Environments impressed the Adjudication Panel with their enthusiasm, understanding of key issues and breadth of thinking applied to get beneath the skin of the project. The team demonstrated a particularly strong understanding of resource efficient design which built on team members’ experience of living and delivering projects in less developed parts of the world.

The Panel was pleased to note that the competition format, in which the first phase submissions were assessed anonymously on the strength of the design ideas presented, had eventually resulted in a recently formed firm winning the post-competition commission.

On announcing the Result, David Ames (Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation) commented: ‘We are delighted with the quality and number of the entries we received, which demonstrates a continuing interest in Letchworth as the world’s first garden city. The final judging followed a community consultation exercise where over 250 votes were received, which contributed to the final decision.

Choosing a winner was very difficult, but we feel that the team at EcoResponsive Environments will make a positive contribution to the evolution of our development proposals and the wider debate on modern garden city living and we look forward to working with them’.

For further details about the competition please visit:

Judging Panel

– Jane Duncan OBE, RIBA Past President, Jane Duncan Architects
– David Ames, Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation
– Pam Burn, Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation
– Gillian Hobbs, Building Research Establishment (BRE).
– Fionnuala Lennon, Homes England
– Katy Lock, Town and County Planning Association
– Dr Susan Parham, University of Hertfordshire
– Allan Simpson, Anglian Water
– Paul Wickenden, Cushman Wakefield

About Letchworth
Letchworth Garden City, founded in 1903, is the world’s first Garden City, a bold and visionary idea that combined the best of town and country living to create better living conditions for everyone. Based on the ideas of Ebenezer Howard, Letchworth Garden City has inspired town planning across the globe.

About Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation
The Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation is a unique place-based Foundation. We reinvest income from our local property portfolio to maintain both the built and natural environment and fund a wide range of community facilities for residents and visitors to enjoy. This includes an educational farm, a free treatment centre, an independent theatre and cinema, an art gallery and performance studio and other charitable services.
For further information please visit: Follow: #gardencitiesoftomorrow

Re-Imagining the Garden City Design Ideas Competition information from RIBA Competitions

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