Housing association seeks bids from architect-led design teams for Derry social scheme

Peace Bridge and Guild Hall in Derry

Source: Greg Clarke / Flickr

Peace Bridge and Guild Hall in Derry

Northern Irish housing association Radius Homes has announced a call for entries to a design competition to create up to 120 new homes on a site in part of Derry.

The project is earmarked for land adjacent to Sean Dolan’s Gaelic Athletic Association Club in the city’s Creggan area and would “adjoin and fully integrate with” a new sports development set to be delivered for the Gaelic football club.

Radius said that its acquisition of land for housing from the club would help to fund the delivery of an expansion programme that included a large indoor arena for the club and the expansion of an existing sporting pavilion.

Competition documents indicate a project budget for the homes of £10-14 million for the 3.4 ha site, which is on the edge of the city.

Radius said it was seeking a social housing development that would “fully integrate” with the GAC development and provide high quality homes for families and individuals in what was a densely populated area of the city.

Farren Architects' pavilion at Sean Dolan's GAC in the Creggan area of Derry

Source: Farren Architects

Farren Architects’ pavilion at Sean Dolan’s GAC in the Creggan area of Derry

“The design contest should create an innovative, high quality housing offer; one which is intrinsically linked to the sports development and reflects the unique characteristics of the subject lands and their surrounding environs on the city limits while also encompassing our vision of challenging the perception of social housing design and delivery,” it said.

The association also said it wanted proposals that would have a minimum 60-year design life, and which promoted energy conservation, sustainability and ease of maintenance.

“Particular attention should be paid to innovative new concepts, which may improve the design, efficiency and environment of the buildings,” it added.

Local practice Farren Architects has already been hired to design the new sports facilities earmarked for the area and that it was expected the new homes and sports facilities would be the subject of a single planning application, and potentially a single procurement process to deliver onsite works. Farren also designed the club’s existing pavilion, which completed in 2015.

The deisgn competition closes at noon on September 4. Competition documents are available here.