Newcastle architects shortlisted in Home of 2030 competition

A Newcastle architecture practice is one of six finalists in a Government competition that is aiming to find better ways of designing new homes.

MawsonKerr has been shortlists alongside regeneration firm igloo – which is spearheading a number of regeneration schemes in the North East – and sustainability consultants Useful Simple Trust as one of six finalists in the Home of 2030 competition.

The group’s +Home initiative aims to help people bypass traditional housebuilders and develop their own neighbourhoods by having homes made with simple frame structures and standardised components.

The shortlisting is the latest accolade for MawsonKerr, which won the Sunday Times Small House of the Year award in 2018. It has worked on projects that include the new Star and Shadow cinema in Newcastle and the revamp of the city’s Bigg Market.

Each of the six shortlisted companies has won £40,000 to develop their ideas

Will Mawson of MawsonKerr said: “There has never been a more pressing time to tackle the challenges posed by the Home of 2030 competition; the core issues align with what we have been working on at MawsonKerr over the last 10 years and having a platform to explore and challenge outdated and poorly driven models is something that excites us.

“We look forward to working with this talented team in the next phase.”

The Homes of 2030 competition is backed by a number of Government departments, including the Ministry of Housing, Communitities and Local Government, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Department of Health and Social Care. It aims to drive innovation in the provision of affordable, efficient and healthy green homes.

Chris Brown, chair of igloo – which has led major developments at Sunderland Riverside and Ouseburn, in Newcastle, as well as recently being chosen to take on the Stephenson Quarter site – said: “We’re on a crusade to abolish greed-driven identikit development on soulless estates.

“igloo champions citizens and communities against the corporate stranglehold over placemaking in the UK. After Covid-19, people will want their towns and cities back, to make beautiful places where home schooling and working from home is designed in – not an afterthought – and where the climate, nature and community are prioritised over profit.”

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said: “This competition demonstrates the best of British design being brought to bear on a key issue for today, and future generations: delivering homes that are good for the planet and that promote healthy, independent living for older generations.

“The winner of this competition will set the standard for the homes of the future and all six finalists have already made an exciting contribution to the designs we will need in the UK and around the world.”