In 2024 The Davidson Prize is calling for inventive solutions to address the housing shortage in the context of climate change.
The theme of this year’s £25,000 Davidson Prize is Rethinking Home – Adapt and Reuse. The brief is asking multidisciplinary collaborative teams to consider how exciting and different new homes can be created from recycling, retrofitting or ‘mining’ existing structures and/or waste building materials.
Established in 2020, The Davidson Prize is a design ideas competition that exists to promote compelling design and visual communication around the theme of home. The competition is open to creative teams that include an architect registered with ARB (UK) or RIAI (Ireland).
The urgent imperatives of climate change and housing shortage are demanding an ambitious rethink of what an ideal home might be. In 2023 the Centre for Cities calculated that in Britain alone the backlog of homes stands at 4.3 million – that’s equivalent to 14 medium-sized cities. But at the same time networks such as the UK Green Building Council are pointing out that approximately 80 per cent of the buildings that will be operating in 2050 have already been built.
It's clear that to achieve net zero while bridging the gap between housing demand and supply, the adaptive reuse of existing structures will be an important part of the solution. But what will the adapted and recycled ideal homes of tomorrow look and feel like? And how will emerging bio-based materials affect the design and spaces of our living environments and neighbourhoods?
Creative teams are being asked to choose any existing non-residential structure/s in the UK or Ireland – from a disused farm building to a high street, an office block to an oil rig – to explore how it could be upcycled, retrofitted and/or mined to provide exemplary sustainable housing for a minimum of five homes.
With the housing shortage disproportionately affecting ‘generation rent’ – the eco-conscious Gen Z and Millennials priced out of the housing market – the 2024 Davidson Prize is asking teams to engage particularly with the housing ideals of people in their early 20s to early 40s.
The Alan Davidson Foundation is delighted to announce that architect and urban designer Amandeep Singh Kalra (Associate Director of Be First) will be chairing this year’s judging panel. Amandeep will be joined by architects Annalie Riches (Co-founder of Mikhail Riches) and Alexander Turner (Co-Founder of Studio MUTT), representing the winning team of the 2023 Davidson Prize. The jury is completed by engineer Duncan Campbell (Director at Atelier Ten), journalist Alice Finney (Design Director at Elle Decoration UK) and business management and marketing consultant Miles Mitchell (Commercial Lead for Total Synergy).
The 2024 Davidson Prize is sponsored by Total Synergy, a global leader in business management software and solutions for Architecture, Engineering and Construction design (AEC) businesses.
Marie Chamillard, Director of the Alan Davidson Foundation, said: “Alan was always looking to the future, and he was true believer in the power of design to make the world a better place. He would have loved the idea of trailblazing with new design ideas to redefine the next generation of sustainable homes.”
Amandeep Singh Kalra, Chair of the 2024 Davidson Prize jury, said: “As 80% of the homes that are going to be here in 2050 already exist, retrofitting our existing building stock is fundamentally essential. Whilst there are several successful residential retrofit projects, there is still a long way to go in how we creatively transform non-residential structures to meet both housing demands and environmental targets. This year’s brief presents an exciting opportunity for teams to think outside of the box within existing structures and create a proposal that has the potential to influence the future home in a building already present.”
Daniel Cran, Chief Operating Officer, Total Synergy, said: “We are thrilled to have partnered with The Davidson Prize 2024. Our 23 year history in is aligned well with supporting innovation and design in the Architecture industry and we look forward to cementing relationships and sharing software services and intelligence that support innovation to the United Kingdom industry. Miles Mitchell, our Commercial Lead UK, is excited to join the judging panel of this prestigious award and align with industry leaders on innovation and design”.
The full brief for the 2024 prize can be found on The Davidson Prize website.
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