Architects internationally given opportunity to “Re-imagine” Letchworth Garden City

The Heritage Foundation officially launched the Re-Imagining the Garden City competition last week.

The Heritage Foundation officially launched the Re-Imagining the Garden City competition last week. Picture: Courtesy of Sir Oliver Heald - Credit: Archant

The Letchworth Heritage Foundation has launched a competition, encouraging architects to put forward ideas for a modern garden city.

The ‘Re-Imagining the Garden City’ competition is open internationally to architect-led design teams and encourages applicants to recapture and repeat the spirit of the garden city in its founding years to meet modern needs.

The need for new homes – which will see an expansion of the town – creates a case study for the competition, and design concepts generated by the winning team will inform the overall masterplan for the build located north of the Grange Recreation Ground.

David Ames, who is responsible for strategic town planning, heritage and environment matters for the Heritage Foundation, said: “This competition is exciting not just for Letchworth, but for the whole of the UK and beyond.

“We believe that there is a huge opportunity to re-imagine some of the design principles of Barry Parker and other early pioneers in the Garden City Movement in order to create new homes in Letchworth that meet the needs for how we live now and in the future.

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“The judging panel brings a huge level of expertise across disciplines, which we hope will challenge individuals and teams to submit ambitious and sustainable solutions which address any number of the social, environmental and financial challenges of the 21st century.

“As well as efficient and sustainable building design, applicants will be encouraged to consider water use and management, together with urban agriculture initiatives.

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“The Foundation hopes that this will help move the debate about new housing away from purely numbers and delivery, to creating beautiful affordable homes in great places where people want to live and work.”

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald chaired the launch of the competition which took place at the House of Commons last Wednesday.

He said: “This is an exciting competition which I hope will produce innovative ideas based on the principles of Ebenezer Howard.

“I welcome the Heritage Foundation’s undertaking to share the winning designs with the people of Letchworth.”

The competition is being run in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects, with the deadline for submissions set for Thursday, December 13.

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