RCK wins Preston Guild contest

RCK Architects has been selected for the Gateway Goes for Guild social housing competition in Preston.

The London-based practice will work with Community Gateways, Preston's largest housing association to deliver a social housing development in Preston city for occupation in 2012, to coincide with and celebrate Preston Guild 2012.

Preston Guild dates back to the granting of Preston's first Charter by King Henry in 1179. The Guild is Preston's most important and historic event and is held every 20 years. The next Guild is in 2012 with the theme of innovation and creativity.

The competition run by RIBA on behalf of social landlord Community Gateway Association attracted 74 entries to the anonymous open first stage from which a shortlist of four teams were invited to attend an interview.

The other teams selected to take part in the interview stage were Conran & Partners, London, KOSI Architects, Chichester, Original Field of Architecture, Oxford.

In selecting RCK Architects the Jury Panel said: "This was a good team presentation from a practice that has relevant experience of housing in the region and a good balance of skills and past track record of working with registered social landlords. The two lead architects both fit the ethos of Community Gateway and the local community and gave a clear indication that they would listen to the local residents and be comfortable working with them. The presentation was very sincere and the team gave the impression that this would be a special project for them."

The panel praised RCK for the focus on using local consultants and constructors, and the opportunities that the latter would afford for young people in the area to gain apprenticeships and employment.

Dave Warlow, Community Gateways said: ''Throughout the Gateway Goes for Guild competition we have been overwhelmed by the responses and the quality of the submissions sent to us. RCKa have, with their proposal shown a thorough understanding of what CGA was looking for in this project. We look forward to working with them and local residents over the coming months."

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