Designed by Victorian architects Joseph & Smithem and one of Europe’s first social housing developments, Affinity Sutton’s Bethnal Green estate in East London celebrates its 100th birthday this year. Originally home to some 400 people, Bethnal Green offered an escape from London’s East End slums and a decent home.
Today we are challenging Part 2 students to Make Bethnal Green by asking them — What would you build on the same site today and how would that design make a positive contribution to the environment?
The Make Bethnal Green Competition will follow a student open ideas format – there is no commitment to necessarily implement any of the design ideas submitted. The anonymous, first phase invites RIBA Part 2 students to consider what they would build on the Bethnal Green site today, taking into account the 21st Century sustainability agenda, modern building techniques and architectural approaches, together with the financial constraints of the affordable housing sector.
A Judging Panel will identify 10 finalists which they feel have responded best to the challenges set out in this Competition Brief. Anonymity will then be lifted with generic and scheme specific feedback provided to each finalist. During the Easter 2010 recess, each finalist will be invited to refine their ideas during a week long placement with one of Affinity Sutton’s framework architect partners.
Each finalist will be randomly assigned to one of the 10 participating architect partners, unless there is a clear geographic advantage of assigning a particular finalist to a specific practice. The placement may also include spending some time with one of Affinity Sutton’s employers agent partners.
Each host practice will be asked to provide feedback on the finalist’s performance during the week-long placement, which will be made available to the Judging Panel to help inform their decision. The Prize Winner will be selected following presentation of design proposals to the Judging Panel at final interview in late April 2010.
At the conclusion of the competition, Affinity Sutton and RIBA will showcase the ideas submitted to Make Bethnal Green via an on-line gallery. Best practice examples may also be incorporated within future editions of Affinity Sutton’s Design Guide. Once anonymity has been lifted, authorship of design ideas will be duly credited and recognised in all such material, publicity etc.