The Sunday Times British Homes Awards challenge you to design an exceptional house that can be built offsite at scale.
Supported by James Brokenshire, the housing secretary, we want to rebrand offsite housebuilding to showcase what good looks like. It is the Brexit-proof answer to Britain’s housing crisis: better quality homes, built faster – without scarce bricklayers that often come from Europe. But how can those homes be beautiful, not boxy?
In this single-stage, open competition, we invite architects to submit designs for a visionary house type that can be meaningfully built in a factory. It can include any type of offsite construction, from modular units or pods to panelised systems or large prefab components.
Whether its style references the past or is uncompromisingly of the present, 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.