William Sutton Prize shortlist announced after record-breaking applications
The third year of the William Sutton Prize has shortlisted 13 projects for its two categories.
The third year of The William Sutton Prize run by Clarion Housing Group, the UK’s largest provider of affordable housing, has seen a record-breaking 154 applications. Of these, 13 projects have been shortlisted, with many of the finalists’ proposals directly responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Six projects* are shortlisted for The William Sutton Prize for Placemaking and Affordable Housing Design focusing on themes such as modular housing, retrofitting, supported housing and community co-production.
“We’ve seen a record number of applications with many showcasing innovative ideas developed to tackle some of the challenges society is facing due to Covid-19 – it’s inspirational.”
Clare Miller, chief executive of Clarion Housing Group
The shortlist includes projects by Assemble, a multi-disciplinary collective working across architecture, design and art, Editional Studio Ltd, whose founders were featured in AJ’s ‘40 under 40’ which celebrates the UK's most exciting emerging architectural talent, and Space and Motion, a design studio based in South London.
A further seven projects** will compete for The William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation, with the shortlist including projects focusing on issues such as food poverty and education, money management for community networks and family support.
The winners in both categories will be announced at a virtual event at the end of March.
New thinking and creativity
The William Sutton Prize was developed by Clarion Housing Group to celebrate William Sutton’s legacy as a 19th century innovator and philanthropist who bequeathed his fortune to improve the quality of social housing.
It encourages individuals and organisations to present a new concept, service or idea that will benefit social housing residents and communities, with a prize fund of up to £20,000 on offer for each category to help develop the idea and maximise its impact.
The funding is provided by Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group.
In the Prize’s third year, the criteria have been updated to reflect new thinking and creativity and include projects or ideas developed during the coronavirus outbreak with potential for long-term impact.
The winning entries will be determined by a panel led by Clare Miller, group chief executive of Clarion, and including Peter Holbrook CBE, CEO of Social Enterprise UK and Biljana Savic, director of the Academy of Urbanism.
Last year’s winners
In 2019, Fat Macy’s took home The William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation for their proposal to expand their supper clubs and catering events which get young Londoners off the streets and into their own homes whilst providing work experience.
The winner of The William Sutton Prize for Placemaking and Affordable Housing Design in 2019 was Jas Bhalla Architects’ proposal for a planning policy that encourages the transformation of nine main roads in Outer London into dense, urban streets through place-based design guidance.
Reflecting changing needs
Clare Miller, chief executive of Clarion Housing Group, commented:
“When we opened applications for this year’s William Sutton Prize in the midst of a pandemic, we didn’t know what to expect. Several months later, we’ve seen a record number of applications with many showcasing innovative ideas developed to tackle some of the challenges society is facing due to Covid-19 – it’s inspirational."
“My fellow judges and I are looking forward to meeting the creative minds behind our shortlisted projects and deciding on our winners.”
Biljana Savic, director of The Academy of Urbanism, said:
“This is the third year of The William Sutton Prize and I am excited to see the range and quality of proposals on the shortlist for the placemaking and design category. The proposals re-examine in innovative ways the concepts of home and neighbourhood, reflecting the changing lifestyles, societal needs and trends that were already in train and that the Covid crisis accelerated."
“Several of the shortlisted proposals also explore ways of empowering communities through co-creation and self-build models, tackling at the same time the climate change challenge. This is particularly impressive given the constraints around which the participating teams had to work due to the Covid pandemic. I look forward to discussing these inspirational proposals with my fellow judges.”
Peter Holbrook CBE, CEO of Social Enterprise UK, said:
“2020 has forced social enterprises to find new ways to support the communities they are set up to serve, and I look forward to finding out more about the projects in this amazing shortlist that have been set up to tackle the challenges posed by COVID-19 as well as those addressing the growing issue of climate change.”