Living in perfect harmony
The British Homes Awards 2011
The British Homes Awards are now in their fifth year; they continue to inspire designs for tomorrow’s townhouses, apartments and family homes. Supported by British Gas, the awards provide the ideal forum for today’s architects to demonstrate their eco innovations and visions of the future.
How do you design a sustainable, spacious but economic home that complements the much-loved period terraces of our towns yet still establishes its own identity? This was the challenge levied to architects. The need for new housing to be as energy-efficient as possible is paramount, both to ensure minimal impact on the environment and to ensure dependency on fuel is minimal. The architects taking part were encourages to come up with innovative ways of making their designs ecologically sound, as well as creative.
The BHA judges, including British Gas New Markets Managing Director Gearóid Lane, selected five finalists from a record number of entries. These included communal outside terraces, eco wraps on full sides of apartments, underground car parks and modernised Victorian terraces. The winner was the ‘Santiago House’, which was designed to create a strong connection among the community.
The designers say
“The ‘flexible square’ layout defines a communal green space, which includes a children’s play area and trees normally too large for small gardens. The oversized caricatures of traditional sash windows and balconies allow for greenery as part of an inside-outside environment. The rooftop terrace and sun-space transforms what is normally an unused area into a major asset, making efficient use of space for the mass housebuilder.”
Gearóid Lane, Director of British Gas New Energy
“Energy is changing, that’s why we wanted to be involved with the British Homes Awards. The 2011 competition to create a sustainable and innovative townhouse links with all that we’re doing to encourage energy savings and cut carbon emissions via domestic renewable technology.”