Designed for Living

What makes an affordable house an affordable home?

Walters & Cohen won this RIBA-run competition to develop prototype housing. The competition gave us the opportunity to test our ideas about good quality, contemporary, affordable housing against a real brief. Although not site specific, housing, car parking and private and public open space were designed as a seamless whole within a well considered landscape.

Several flexible housing types of varied sizes were proposed. Each could be extended either by adding a new floor into a double volume space, a new room on the roof, or a conservatory in the garden. The idea of having a double volume component was an important design generator, allowing for small building footprints while providing generous double aspect living space.

We considered requirements such as accessibility, storage, the ability to work from home, bin storage for domestic recycling and storage for bicycles. In a careful response to the brief, we provided a range of inspirational, flexible and practical housing types.


ClientSwaythling Housing Association

Total value£6m

CompletionNov 2002

Area1,200 m2

QSGardiner & Theobald

Structural engineerAKT II

Building ServicesMax Fordham LLP

LandscapeEdward Hutchison Landscape Architects