New Garden Community announcing the shortlist

Five visionary teams have been shortlisted to the second stage of this open competition to masterplan a landmark 9,000-home garden community in Essex....

A total of 30 high quality submissions were received, ranging from well-established firms with international experience and smaller design practices, to organisations making consortia bids. 

The judges were looking to shortlist five teams with the confidence, flair and ambition to take on this important project, teams that would be able to hold the imagination and push forward the debate about garden communities.

In the Stage 1 evaluation process, the judges awarded each of the shortlisted teams scores of over 90%. The shortlisted teams are:

  • Haworth Tompkins and Kjellander Sjoberg with Periscope, Arup, Michael Pawlyn, Grounded_Practice and Connect;
  • Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Baumschlager Eberle Architekten and Jas Bhalla with OP-EN, Arup and Soundings;
  • Velocity (Tibbalds, Mikhail Riches, Petra Marko, Sarah Wigglesworth and Studio Octopi) with BBUK, The Landscape Partnership, Biodiversity by Design, Expedition Engineering and Thomas Matthews;
  • Farrells and Office S&M with Exterior Architecture, Sarah Price Landscape, Hoare Lea and Iceni Projects;
  • Grimshaw and Gbolade Design Studio with Gross Max, Bioregional and ECF.

The challenge facing the competition winner will be to prepare an outline planning application for a diverse new 1,740-acre mixed-tenure community that will evolve over the next two decades. As well as high-quality new housing, the project will provide employment space, a new country park, university expansion, a rapid transport system, retail, leisure and community infrastructure.

The shortlisted teams will be judged on their collaborative approach to the design of a landmark community which recognises the traditions of garden community principles, whilst exploring how these might evolve to create a resilient model for future generations.

The judging panel will include senior representatives from Latimer and partnering organisations, as well as Lord Matthew Taylor – an instrumental figure in garden community policy. Also on the panel is Jonathan Rose from Prior + Partners.  Prior + Partners have been developing the policy framework for the new community on behalf of the local councils.