Design Competition - Readers' choice Award

The Sunday Times Readers' Choice Award

The Sunday Times British Homes Awards challenge you to reinvent the terrace in a new genre, fit for our time. We love our streets of Georgian and Victorian terraces, but progress seems to have stopped: too many new-builds are identikit boxes. With housebuilding at a 10-year high, it’s all the more important to find a new prototype for the most prevalent — and most popular — house type in Britain.

In this single-stage, open competition, we invite architects to submit designs for a terraced house type in a visionary new vernacular for the 21st-century. Whether its style references the past or is uncompromisingly of the present, it must have the qualities that make the Georgian crescents of Bath or the Nash terraces of Regent’s Park still so treasured. 

It should be a home that can be built at the high densities and reasonable costs we need to end our housing crisis. A home can grow with us through every life stage, as more of us work from home or juggle children and grandparents under one roof. And a home that we’d like to live in, as we aspire to a combination of light-filled, open-plan spaces and sanctuaries to retreat to. 

But most importantly, it should be a home that we’d like to look at. Its exterior should be carefully detailed with a strong sense of place — not just to win over any nimby neighbours today, but to leave a visual legacy that our children’s children will love in centuries to come.

Competition format

The judges will shortlist five designs from the open first stage. 

These schemes will be published in The Sunday Times, both in print and online, with the designs accredited to the architect(s). Sunday Times readers will then vote for the shortlisted designs via an online portal. 

The scheme that receives the most votes will be announced as the winner at the presentation of The British Homes Awards on 20 September 2018.

The winning design will receive further publicity in The Sunday Times.

The brief

Type of house 
  • Terraced house type of a minimum of three bedrooms 
  • Height: two storeys or more with options for single storey elements, double height spaces and roof terraces 
  • Adaptability: can be constructed partly as flats 
  • Overall plot maximum dimension: 5m x 20m between party walls. Although the maximum width of each replicated terraced property, as seen from the street, is 5m, some homes can be configured as lateral flats stretching across more than one front. 
  • Density: 75 homes per hectare (predominantly houses, with some flats)
  • Buildable and replicable within reasonable, mid-market cost parameters
  • Meets current UK building regulations and standards

Specification design issues for consideration are: 
  • Aesthetics that are visionary, yet that would integrate well with historical streetscapes and have a similarly strong sense of place
  • Flexible layout that can evolve with changing lifestyle and life-stage needs
  • Light-filled, open living space for the 21st century, combined with smaller spaces to retreat to
  • Appropriateness for and appeal to a wide market 
  • Capacity to easily personalise and add financial value, for example through future extensions
  • Ability to vary external appearance and materials specification for different locations 
  • Compliance with M4 (2) building regulations for accessible and adaptable dwellings
  • Whole life costs, to include construction affordability and service life maintenance 
  • Indoor environment: lighting, acoustics, heating, ventilation, finishes
  • Smart home: intelligent infrastructure, wireless technology and cabling 
  • Renewable and low-carbon technologies 
  • Innovative proposals for how car parking/electric vehicle charging could be provided, as well as other future technology we may not yet know about

Submission requirements

Entries must comprise three elements:

Visual material
  • Drawings must be laid out on a maximum of four A3 sheets, supplied electronically as PDFs and must include:
  • Plan of an indicative development of 20 dwellings, demonstrating how the design would work at a target density of 75 dwellings per hectare.  It should indicate relationships between neighbours, garden space, how overlooking is avoided and distance between habitable rooms
  • Floor plan of a terraced house, with garden plan
  • Floor plan of a property constructed as at least two flats, with garden plan
  • Scaled elevations, showing the look of the home in context. Alternative elevational treatments will be beneficial
  • 3D axonometric

Design statement
  • A design statement of up to 1,000 words, in Word Doc format, should explain:
  • The design
  • Construction 
  • Outstanding features
  • An indication of estimated current build cost

Promotional image
Include at least one good quality computer-generated image (CGI) or artists’ impression, in JPEG format, which best represents the entry. This image(s) will be used by The British Homes Awards to highlight the design in the later stages of the competition, including in The Sunday Times and its online voting portal. 

All three elements must be submitted together to form the entry. Maximum file size for an entry is 50MB.

Material must not be labelled with the name/logo of the entrant, because entries are subject to an initial blind assessment process.

No models will be required. 

Submissions method

Entry is via a two-part process: 

a) Via the online entry system at you will need to upload your design (50MB limit) with written statement and pay the £100 entry fee (payment taken by invoice or credit card).

b) Once you have submitted your design online you will receive a confirmation email. The email will include an entry number. Please include this number on the outside of your post documentation. The competitors design should then be sent via post to: 

Tamsin Ballantyne 
British Homes Awards
Haymarket Events 
69 London Road 
TW1 3QL 

Postal submissions must be received no later than Friday 8 June 2018.

Deadlines and Prices

Design competition entry deadline: 7 June 

Entry fee: £100 +VAT

Website Menu