Teams will be asked to create vision for transforming a non-residential building into housing in competition for £10,000 prize

Davidson Prize 2024

This year’s prize will ask teams to persuade buyers and renters that an ideal home is an upcycled existing building

This year’s Davidson Prize will award £10,000 to the team which creates the most compelling case for reusing non-residential buildings as housing.

The fourth annual award will demand an “ambitious rethink” of current assumptions around housing which persuades renters and buyers that an ideal home is an upcycled existing building.

Teams will be asked to choose any existing non-residential structure, from a disused farm building to an office block or an oil rig, to explore how it could be retrofitted or mined to provide at least five sustainable homes.

Submissions, which must be from multi-disciplinary teams with at least one registered architect, will need to demonstrate key organisational, structural and environmental principles while focusing on how typical homes are experienced by the people who live in them.

The brief asks: “What will the adapted and recycled ideal home of tomorrow look and feel like? How will emerging sustainable materials affect the design and tectonics of our living environments and neighbourhoods?”

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Teams will be encouraged to look at innovative sustainable materials such as hempcrete, mycelium and bamboo to reduce the proposed scheme’s carbon impact and integrate recycling where possible.

Entries must be submitted in the form of a “marketing billboard” which clearly communicates the environmental benefits of the proposal and sells the concept directly to target renters and buyers.

Ideas must also demonstrate an awareness of viability and how the project could engage with communities, social enterprises, local authorities and developers.

The jury panel will be chaired by Amandeep Singh Kalra, the associate director of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham’s regeneration company Be First.

He will be joined on the panel by Mikhail Riches co-founder Annalie Riches, Atelier Ten director Duncan Campbell, Elle Decoration UK design editor Alice Finney and Total Synergy commercial lead Miles Mitchell.

The jury will be rounded off by Alex Turner, co-founder of last year’s winner Studio Mutt, which scooped the top prize with Neighbourhood for its concept for a community for people who have experienced homelessness.

The deadline for registration for the two-stage competition is midday on 23 January, with submissions for the first stage due by 6pm on 1 February. 

A selected shortlist of three finalist teams will then be awarded an honorarium of £5,000 to develop their design ideas by 14 May.