Competition :: Nationwide Sustainable Housing Design 2011

Architects challenged to develop designs embracing “regeneration”

Nationwide Building Society has launched the 2011 Nationwide Sustainable Housing Competition, in partnership with RIBA Competitions. This year’s theme is “Regeneration” and judges will be looking for affordable housing designs that demonstrate the reuse of buildings and materials.

The competition is open to registered architects as well as architectural students, and for the first time competitors can choose to base their submissions on a ‘real’ site at Hillington Square in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, which is set to undergo extensive regeneration. The submissions will be judged by a panel of experts including designer Wayne Hemmingway, who is leading the redesign of Hillington Square, and David Orr, Chief Executive of National Housing Federation.

Launching this year’s competition, Graham Beale said: “As the UK’s third largest mortgage lender and a leading provider of funds for affordable housing, Nationwide is dedicated to helping more people own their own home, so we are keen to support new ways of making housing more affordable.”

“The Sustainable Housing Competition has a great track record for innovative design and I am excited to see what architects can create when they turn their focus to regenerating existing buildings and developments. Because affordable housing is currently in such short supply, this year’s competition could produce designs that hopefully help get more people onto the property ladder.”

Hillington Square is an estate of 320 bedsits and flats managed by Freebridge Community Housing, the largest not for profit housing provider in West Norfolk. Tony Hall, Chief Executive of Freebridge Community Housing said: “The regeneration of Hillington Square is a priority for us and we are working with our partners, including Hemingway Design and mae architects, and the local community to redesign the estate into a place where people want to live, visit and work.

“We want to use design to enhance people’s lives in Hillington Square. This is a really exciting project for us and the wider community of West Norfolk and we look forward to seeing the ideas generated for the estate through this competition.”

The judging panel will be looking for submissions that address requirements including:

• Affordability and low cost regeneration: reuse of buildings and materials/thrift
• Community impact
• Self Build designs
• Helping first time buyers
• Environment: Reducing carbon footprint, energy, water, green space and emissions
• Transport and parking considerations

The closing date for entries is 18 Oct 2011
. More information about the competition and how to enter can be found on the competition website at

Hillington Square was built between 1967 and 1971 to re-provide housing after slum clearance of the area. Its 15 residential blocks consist of four and five storey flat-roof buildings, and comprise 320 bedsits, one and two-bedroom flats, and two and three-bedroom maisonettes.