Seven architects to pitch ideas for post-pandemic housing

24 August, 2020

Seven architects have been shortlisted to pitch ideas for post-pandemic housing that addresses the needs of young people to a panel led by residential developer HUB with the winning practice invited to work with HUB on a forthcoming project.

The architects are: Al-Jawad Pike; Citizens Design Bureau; O’DonnellBrown; Hall McKnight; Kristofer Adelaide Architecture; Mole Architects and Morris+Company.

The Pitch attracted 52 submissions from practices across the UK.

Damien Sharkey, HUB’s managing director said: “We received over 50 thoughtful and imaginative entries, reflecting a clear interest from architects in taking a new approach to housing in the post-pandemic world. The overall standard of entries was extremely high but the seven shortlisted practices responded to our brief with particular creativity and originality.

“We are always keen to be challenged with new ideas and ways of working, and we can’t wait to explore these proposals in the Architect Pitch.”

The panel comprises Pooja Agrawal, co-founder of social enterprise Public Practice, Robert Sloss, CEO, HUB, Georgia Young, Mace, Euan Blair, Co-Founder & CEO of WhiteHat and HUB’S Damien Sharkey.

The live pitch will be available to watch on September 15.

Here the selected architects tell us why they want to pitch.

Al-Jawad Pike

Tell us about your practice

Al-Jawad Pike is a London-based architecture studio led by Jessam Al-Jawad and Dean Pike. We previously spent 10 years at David Chipperfield Architects.

We have intentionally worked across a range of project types from private residential to conceptually driven projects for high-profile retail brands. Another major focus over the past three years has been two pioneering social housing schemes developed with Hackney Council, both currently on site.

How old is your practice 

5.5 years

Why do you want to take part?

In a post-pandemic world, re-training will become a fundamental component of any economic resurgence while housing shortages and the increased prevalence of working from home will place even greater importance on the quality of all new housing. We want to be part of and contribute to this paradigm shift.

We think the collaboration between HUB and WhiteHat has the potential to create high-quality sustainable housing through a new development model that provides genuine opportunities for training and employment.

Image above: Housing infill at Daubeney Road, Hackney.

 

Citizens Design Bureau

The new Manchester Jewish Museum

Tell us about your practice

Citizens Design Bureau has an unusual diversity of projects from the new Manchester Jewish Museum (nearing completion) to Jacksons Lane Arts Centre in London (under construction), a new Community Land Trust housing development in Newham, East London and start-up work and community spaces for Hackney Council.

We are also community engagement facilitators and develop business plans and strategic guidance for social enterprise.

How old is your practice?

6 years

Why do you want to take part?

In 2005 director, Katy Marks co-founded ImpactHub Islington, the first co-working space in London, now the biggest non- profit network of co-working spaces in the world. Since then we have been building on this theme, for example working with the London Legacy Development Corporation to reinvent business models for public libraries. Currently we are developing a housing model for the E16 Community Land Trust to incorporate community facilities, imaginative public space and a network of rentable ‘spare rooms’ for study or work.

 

O’DonnellBrown

Entrance Courtyards, Overnewton Place, Glasgow

Tell us about your practice

We are an award-winning practice based in Glasgow. Our work is spread across the UK, with a focus on London and Glasgow, bringing about confident change in the places we know and love. We continually test new ideas and theories through self-initiated projects that include the O’DonnellBrown Studio and The Sitooterie, a parklet solution for small businesses in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The practice was a finalist in the 2019 Architectural Review Emerging Architecture Award and will also feature in the fourth edition of the Architecture Foundations New Architects series.

How old is your practice
7 years old (4 years operating in Glasgow)

Why do you want to take part?

We would welcome the opportunity to pitch as it would allow us to share our recent thinking with a new client and in new contexts. The studio has been collaborating with the children’s charity Barnardo’s to develop housing solutions for young care leavers. This work in the context of the on-going pandemic has reinforced the point that our younger generation cannot be forgotten as we emerge into the post-pandemic world. The accompanying recession and on-going housing crisis creates a potentially difficult situation for many 16 – 24 year olds. However, we believe that any opportunity which applies creative thinking to test new solutions can only lead to better prospects for all.

 

Hall McKnight

Unique Instruments; Expectant Spaces exhibit at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. Image-Rory Gardiner.

Tell us about your practice

We work at all scales from furniture to public space. Our Belfast and London studios occupy re-purposed industrial buildings and we mix project resource from both studios – a distinct attribute combining insider and outsider views of London and the challenges of living there. Our on-going work at Gallaudet, a University for the Deaf Community, has increased our awareness of human-centred design while our invitation to exhibit at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale allowed us to explore an idea expressed in the curators’ manifesto that as architects we must address the ‘unspoken wishes of strangers’.

How old is the practice

12 years

Why do you want to take part?

As architects we like to think we can solve urban problems and develop healthy communities by design. But architecture cannot address inequities caused by historical events or market economics. This collaboration between HUB and WhiteHat enthuses us in its potential to suggest new ways of living well, combining the most valuable resources in London – people and space.

In a post-Covid world we wonder how architecture can respond to new concepts of urban life that can address the resultant challenges to high streets, property value and conventional ideas about ‘workplace’ that drive the current urban economy.

 

Kristofer Adelaide Architecture

Mountbatten Court, Uxbridge Road, Hanwell, London

Tell us about your practice

KAA is a young diverse BAME-led practice based in Southwark, South London. Working mainly in the developer-led residential market, we are currently delivering a nine-unit scheme on a tight site in London, a 16-unit scheme in the centre of Camberley, and a 34-unit shared amenity scheme for the over-55s. We are also working closely with several developers to review sites in London and Kent. We have an interest in sustainable design and make it a priority to offer clients new methods of construction to deliver their projects, particularly engineered timber frame or offsite manufacturing.

How old is your practice?

3 years

Why do you want to take part?

Earlier this year, Kristofer presented A.F.R.O House at the Developer Pitch. The presentation of the ‘Architecture For (the) Reasonably Ordinary’ was about creating a modular timber-framed city built offsite. Since then, KAA have partnered with Modularize – who are specialist in modular building- and we have proactively designed a range of house types, learning the lessons of lockdown. KAA would like to get these developed and see an opportunity to respond to the pandemic and support skills in the offsite construction industry at the same time.

 

Mole Architects

Marmalade Lane, Cambridge

Tell us about your practice

Mole has established a fantastic reputation for designing houses and housing that make us rethink what is possible. This has encompassed pre-fabrication, low energy building, sustainable materials, inter-generational living, and co-housing.

We are currently working on almshouses for a village trust, affordable housing for a community land trust, and a new zero-carbon prefabricated house system. Our ethos is about making buildings – and especially housing- tailored for the people who will live in them by engagement, research and real life experience.

How old is your practice

22 years

Why do want to take part?

We like to challenge ourselves. We seek opportunities to make a difference. We like the combination of aspirations and to rethink housing provision and consider social change that young people are experiencing, especially in the light of recent events. The world is full of dull people with very few looking to create a better future.We wonder whether you are one of those few, who might be seeking to inject some joy into a fairer world.

 

Morris+Company

Bell Vue , retirement apartments, Hampstead, north London

Tell us about your practice

Morris+Company was born in 2018, and is an evolution of Duggan Morris Architects. The same restive creative spirit, developed over 12 years as Duggan Morris, is the foundation of our renewed practice but our reassembly as Morris+Company has brought a broader field of vision and more collegiate way of working.

Our buildings are the result of rich and constructive discourse with our clients. Our methodology is inquisitive, explorative and powerful, and gives us new perspectives on a brief. The communicative, iterative nature of traditional model-making is as fundamental to our process as the possibilities offered by newer technologies.

How old is your practice?

2 years

Why do you want to take part?

Lockdown has highlighted the vital role of social interaction, collaboration and serendipity that the shared workplace offers and which our team has increasingly craved as the weeks have passed. Additionally, there is a new condition, where home and workplace are now layered over one another. This poses many ‘ponderables’ of space, of the nature of the digital interface, questions regarding interactivity, of distance, of physicality and so forth. The Architect Pitch gives us all a dynamic opportunity to debate issues simultaneously.