Greyhound Opening Site: Greyhound Opening Norwich

Greyhound Opening site, Norwich Building, Norfolk Architecture Contest, DAHP, Winners

Greyhound Opening Site Norwich

Housing Design Competition in East Anglia, southeast England, UK

12 Feb 2009

Greyhound Opening, Norwich – Winner

Winner announced : Mixed tenure affordable housing development, Greyhound Opening site, Norwich

Riches Hawley Mikhail Architects have won the competition to design a new mixed tenure, affordable housing development on the Greyhound Opening site, Norwich.

The RIBA Competitions Office managed the selection process on behalf of the Delivering Affordable Housing Partnership (DAHP) – a partnership of Norwich City Council, Broadland Housing & Orbit Housing Partnership, Circle Anglia Ltd, Flagship Housing Group and Lovell Partnerships Ltd.

Greyhound Opening Greyhound Opening

The first phase of the competition attracted 101 Expressions of Interest from architects based in the UK, Eire, Japan and the Netherlands. Riches Hawley Mikhail were one of five teams invited to develop design proposals for the 1.2hectare Greyhound Opening site – the shortlist also included: Letts Wheeler Architects, Maccreanor Lavington Architects, Make Architects and Shedkm Architects.

The Jury Panel consisted of a former Greyhound Opening resident, together with representatives from the DAHP, the Homes and Community Agency and Clare Wright (Wright & Wright Architects) acting as the RIBA Architect Adviser. The Panel members faced a difficult task in selecting the winner, as there were elements in all the design proposals which appealed to different Panel members. The Panel felt that in proposing a contemporary re-interpretation of Norwich’s streets of Victorian terraced housing, Riches Hawley Mikhail had developed a pragmatic solution which would provide an excellent contextual fit for the City and should prove extremely popular with prospective tenants. In choosing to orient the houses to maximise year-round solar gain, the scheme cleverly addressed issues of sustainability, cross-site connectivity and the proposed density of the circa GBP £10-12m development. The Panel felt that the realised scheme should also provide an excellent benchmark for other future affordable housing developments in Norwich.

Members of the Jury Panel commented:
“Riches Hawley Mikhail is an enthusiastic team of up and coming architects who are committed to designing houses and flats that people in Norwich will be very proud to live in. We will be helping to ensure that the existing community has the opportunity to be involved in helping to design certain aspects of the scheme, such as the public areas, so that everybody living in the neighbourhood will see some benefits and feel part of the area’s redevelopment.”
(Chris Bennett, Norwich City Council conservation and design officer)

“I was very impressed by the level of commitment to engage with the architectural ideas from the people representing the partnership: Norwich City Council, Flagship Housing, Circle Anglia, Broadland Housing, local residents, Oxbury and Lovells. It was extremely difficult for the panel to choose a winner because the standard of design was so high. It stimulated debate about streetscape, scale and sustainability but ultimately the persuasive argument was “in which scheme would people most want to live?.”
(Clare Wright, RIBA Architect Adviser)

Greyhound Opening : Design by Riches Hawley Mikhail Architects

28 Oct 2008

Greyhound Opening Site Shortlist

Mixed tenure affordable housing development, Greyhound Opening site, Norwich

The shortlist is announced for the competition to design a new mixed tenure, affordable housing development on the Greyhound Opening site in Norwich.

The Delivering Affordable Housing Partnership (DAHP) – a partnership of Norwich City Council, Broadland Housing & Orbit Housing Partnership, Circle Anglia Ltd, Flagship Housing Group and Lovell Partnerships Ltd – was astounded by the phenomenal response to the competition. 101 Expressions of Interest were received from architects based in the UK, Eire, Japan and the Netherlands.

The Jury Panel consisted of a former Greyhound Opening resident, together with representatives from the DAHP, the Housing Corporation and Clare Wright (Wright & Wright Architects) acting as the RIBA Architect Adviser. With such a strong field of applicants, Panel members faced an embarrassment of riches and arriving at a shortlist was an extremely difficult task. The Panel selected practices which they felt would be most capable of helping the DAHP to deliver an innovative high quality development, with an appropriate density of accommodation that can be built, will be financially viable within social housing constraints and have the potential to enrich the neighbouring community. The five short-listed practices (in alphabetical order) are as follows:

– Letts Wheeler Architects
– Maccreanor Lavington Architects
– Make Architects
– Riches Hawley Mikhail Architects
– Shedkm Architects

Members of the Jury Panel commented:
“I am really excited about this development on the site of my former home and especially that in the current climate, higher environmental standards are being considered as it is important for residents that bills are kept low. I hope that the new scheme will create a wonderful community for Norwich.”
(Grace Watson, former resident of Greyhound Opening)

“We are excited by the calibre of the architects who want to work with us to create wonderful new homes at Greyhound Opening. We look forward to seeing their clever ideas for how the site can be developed and are confident that the winning architect will produce a scheme for us that sets a new standard for affordable housing across the City.”
(Ben Webster, Norwich City Council Design Quality Manager)

“This should be an excellent built project one day. There is a very strong and experienced team of local authority, housing associations, project manager and contractor already in place. They want the magic ingredient a good architect can bring and team members were very thorough in their contribution to choosing who that might be. Importantly, they also expect their architect to resource the scheme properly and are willing to pay for that.”
(Clare Wright, RIBA Architect Adviser)

The short-listed practices will be invited to develop design proposals for the 1.2hectare Greyhound Opening site and present them to the Jury Panel at a final interview in late January 2009.


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