Who doesn’t love a suburban home? Our competition invites architects to rethink the typology for the 21st century
Suburbia, that early 20th century typology, still holds a fascination for the architect, despite the rise of the larger metropolis and megalopolis. Even in our modern world, the aspirational middle-class values it embodies retain their draw. History has charted suburbia as a battleground for artistic movements –from Mod to punk and now bedroom-generated electronic music; and that’s tracked by competing architectural styles: arts and crafts, neo-vernacular, modernism... even post-modernism.
Now we are asking architects to rethink suburbia with a design for a one-off house which expresses the needs and aspirations of its occupants and is highly creative with a wide range of lintel features. These styles have stood the test of time. From the first inter-war estate housing to the rise of the archetypal 1950s semi-through to the toy-town developments of the 80s that characterised the free-market expansionism of Thatcher’s Britain, the utilitarian nature, flexibility and potential for expansion of suburban housing endured.
With such potential for the individual to put their stamp on their home over its long life, the suburban house reflects the lives of its occupants. Mass-produced by default, over time it embodies the potential to express its owners’ taste in the most curious ways – a kind of architecture without architects.
Inspired by this our competition, Spanning Suburbia, in conjunction with the UK’s largest steel lintel manufacturer, IG Lintels, invites architects to offer us their own vision with a design for a 21st century suburban family villa – whatever that might constitute; perhaps non-nuclear, online, atomised!
-Chair Jan-Carlos Kucharek, Senior Editor, RIBA Journal & Editor PiP
- Adam Nathaniel Furman, artist and designer with works held in the collections of the Design Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Abet Laminati Museum and more.
- Taro Tsuruta of Tsuruta Architects, experienced Japanese architect who gained his diploma from the Architectural Association. The practice has enjoyed critical acclaim for House of Trace – a radically different approach to home redevelopment, which won the RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize in 2016.
- Derrick McFarland, Managing Director, Keystone Group and representing our competition partner IG Lintels.
- Gothic arch
- Parabolic arch
- Bullseye window
- Apex arch
- Segmental arch
- Semi-circular arch
- Sun lounge
- Corner windows
- Square bay windows
- Splayed bay windows
- Glazed apexes
- Brick feature details
- Site plan and critical images of the chosen site
- Plans of the villa, including north point
- Elevations and a key section
- Axonometric or 3D visualisation showing lintel construction methodology
- Optional supplementary images you consider helpful
Winning entries will be published in the September 2019 issue of the RIBA Journal.
- The jury’s decision is final
- No correspondence will be entered into by the organisers or judges regarding feedback on entries
- The competition winner and commended participants will be notified in writing
- Please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for entry: 11:59 pm, 17 May 2019.
Hotline: 01633 486 486
Further online information