Once again, it is time for architects from across the UK to submit their entries for the Housing Design Awards before the closing date of 2nd March. This year there is a new addition to the awards as the organisers turn their attention to the growing London housing crisis.
The original awards
The original awards focus on design and social responsibility, awarding prizes to the best in family-friendly, affordable and rented designs, and to the most sensitive to the needs of the ageing population. The most coveted prize, the Mayor of London Award, is given to the design judged the best in London.
The new award
The newest category to be added to the list is the best high-density development built in London. The Housing Design Awards decided upon this addition with support of the London Sustainable Development Commission (LSDC) in the hope that it will boost industry understanding in this area.
Set up by the mayor of London in 2002, the LSDC is responsible for promoting sustainable development within the capital. By implementing this new category, the partnership highlights the importance of research into new high-density projects that are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.
To be in with a chance of winning, entries must tick a number of boxes. Developments must, for example, impress judges with their energy consumption and carbon footprint, and feature smart technology, high-quality design and a dedication to encouraging community links among residents.
There are two parts to the awards: occupied buildings can be entered into the ‘Completed’ category and buildings that are still in the design stages may enter the ‘Projects’ category, provided they have planning permission. Projects at the planning stage have benefited from the use of 3D architectural visualisation, a process by which 3D creatives at companies such as http://www.redandgray.co.uk provide detailed computer generated imagery that allows judges to accurately visualise the finished design. In this way, experimental designs that are yet to be built have an equal chance of winning.
The Housing Design Awards have tackled a variety of topical issues since their creation in 1947, from the battle to rebuild quality housing in post-war Britain to promoting green and sustainable housing today. This new award is likely to inspire new generations of architects to design with density in mind.