RIBA contest opens for Greengate housing

An architectural competition has been launched to find a design for a family housing project on a 3.6-acre development site in Salford.

The land reserved for the competition is in the Greengate area of Salford across from Harvey Nichols and Manchester Cathedral.

The competition is being organised and managed by RIBA Competitions on behalf of Central Salford urban regeneration company, Salford City Council, Centre for Construction Innovation North West, British Research Establishment, Salford University and NHS Salford.

Nik Puttnam, senior development manager at Central Salford URC, said: "The creation of Media City UK together with the wider regeneration strategy for Central Salford will create a major employment pool. What we need to ensure is that those who work in Salford also choose to live here, so the fact that House 4 Life is taking place on our doorstep is very much in line with what we are aiming to achieve – a highly sustainable community."

The brief is for a "visionary development that will combine innovation and sustainability and respond to existing and anticipated lifestyle, health and educational needs of the community. The aim is to develop new models of family housing close to the city centre that will be capable of accommodating changing housing needs over a lifetime."

The competition is to select a preferred consortium to deliver the House 4 Life project, the consortia being made up of design team, private sector developer, Registered Social Landlord, construction industry and representation from the environmental technologies sector.

Tim Whitehill, of CCINW, commented: "Our decision to support the House 4 Life project forms part of the North West Construction Knowledge Hub. Partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund, this initiative has the main objective of helping SMEs in the construction sector to become more productive, cost-effective and efficient, whilst reducing their environmental impact. As such, we will be working with those SMEs who want to be involved in the House 4 Life but are not yet part of a consortium and helping them create a route to market."

The competition is open to architect-led design consortia. The deadline for submissions is 10 November 2010 and anyone interested in entering the competition may access the brief on www.salfordhouse4life.com the dedicated website for this competition.

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I’m a bit dissapointed by the jury. For something that is supposed to be a design led/architectural competition there is only one Architect on the jury and a lot of building technology and procurement specialists.

By John Hampson

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