Openstudio Architects wins Taylor Wimpey competition to design new house typology for the future
The ’Infinite House’, a set of contemporary housing prototypes designed by Openstudio Architects, has won Taylor Wimpey’s Project 2020 Open Design competition, held in partnership with RIBA to design a new house typology for the future.
Project 2020 involves exploring and evaluating trends, changes and new innovations in design, architecture, technology, materials and methodology with the aim of shaping, designing and future-proofing the Taylor Wimpey design range for 2020 and beyond, fully reflecting customer lifestyles, needs and expectations.
By 2018, Taylor Wimpey wants to be in a position to build a range of housing prototypes that are “distinctive, aspirational, innovative, pragmatic, cost-effective, land-effective, and capable of high-quality production with design appeal to its future customers”.
Peter Redfern, CEO, Taylor Wimpey said: “Congratulations to Jennifer and the team at Openstudio Architects on winning the Taylor Wimpey Project 2020 Open Design competition. This has been an engaging process, and we have been delighted by the level of interest and the quality of the entries. The standard of the six finalists was very high which made our final decision a difficult one. After meeting the architects much debate was had on the merits of each entry, but ultimately we were impressed by the way in which
Openstudio interpreted the brief, and the simplicity, effectiveness and appeal of the winning designs.”
Openstudio Architects’ Infinite House prototypes are designed to offer maximum flexibility, customisation and cost efficiency, and to maximise levels of natural light and the perception of space. The Infinite House’s external envelope allows it to adapt to suit different contexts without appearing to be a repeated house type, while still maintaining the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of prototyping and serial fabrication.
Jennifer Benningfield, principal of Openstudio Architects, said: “The level of commitment to transforming housing through this competition has impressed us. At all stages Taylor Wimpey was thoughtful, thorough and careful in decision-making. There are many pressures on housing – cost, delivery methods, sustainability and context – but fundamentally a house should provide joy to its inhabitants and fulfilment of their needs. We have focused on the quality of the houses themselves, and particularly on daylight and adaptable planning, in our submission. We believe that our Infinite House project truly offers the flexibility and customisation that home owners are looking for, and we look forward to working with the team at Project 2020 to realise and test the prototypes in the near future.”
The other shortlisted teams were Artform Architects, Manchester; Igor Russo with Flanagan Lawrence, London; More Design, London; Newground Architects, London and Origin 3 Studio, Bristol.
Glenn Howells, RIBA adviser, said: “The Project 2020 competition not only attracted a high number of high-quality entries but prompted a number of innovative and challenging ideas as to how the family house could respond to new technologies and patterns of living.
“Openstudio’s proposals for the Infinite House, however, raised the bar in reconsidering the archetype of the terraced house. This project considered not only the urban implications and technical possibilities for off-site production but also explored how such a house could enrich lives through the quality of climate, space and light.”
Sasha Bhavan, RIBA adviser, added: “Whilst the judges were impressed by the range and quality of submissions, Openstudio’s Infinite House emerged as the clear winner. The depth of research, passion and analytical thinking that they brought to the brief was palpable. The quality of light achieved and the ability of the house to respond to location and orientation through material and plan options was impressive.”