The prize will be awarded to an individual or organisation that has developed an innovative concept or design for developing successful and sustainable communities.

The prize is to enable the winning entrant to take their idea or design to the next stage in its development. If the idea is an existing concept or design, we want to see how the prize can help maximise its impact for building sustainable communities of the future.

The winning entry will receive £20,000 to support idea development and growth. The winning entry will also have the opportunity to explore piloting the idea with the Clarion Development Team.

Please make sure you read the guidance document before starting your form. Entrants do not need to currently work in the construction or design sector but all entries must demonstrate how their idea will make a positive social impact in the focus areas listed.

The below guidance information will help you shape your application and provide you with a more detailed understanding of how applications will be shortlisted.

Applications for 2021 William Sutton Prize are now closed.

Our shortlist will be announced later this year, and the winners will be announced at our prize giving event early next year.

If you would like to register your interest for 2022, please click below.

2022 William Sutton Prize

Sustainability & Placemaking Guidance Document (downloadable PDF)

Sustainability & Placemaking FAQs (downloadable PDF)

Case Study: 2018 Winner – VeloCity

Watch our video about Velocity, the winner of the William Sutton Prize for Excellence in Social Housing Design and Placemaking in 2018.

VeloCity is comprised of a group of professionals from the built environment sector, with visionary designs for the future of villages and a long-term multi-layered strategy that ensures rural communities benefit from the growth in the Oxford-Cambridge Corridor. The team seek to reimagine and redesign the village for the 21st century, focusing on new higher density housing typologies which promote car free environments and more diverse, self-supported communities. Their design promotes physical activity and an end to car dependency which is in line with the National Policy Planning Framework; encouraging new developments that promote walking and cycling.

Since winning the William Sutton Prize in 2018, the VeloCity team have most recently travelled to Copenhagen to find inspiration for housing typologies they could embrace back in the UK, in particular in rural areas. During the visit, the team reflected on the Danish phenomenon ‘Hygge’ - a word for cosy, safe and harmonious shared experiences; with Danish housing models accommodating the possibility of such experiences particularly well. The trip gave the team a lot to think about and reinforced that there is a need to pause and ask what kind of housing we should want to build for future generations, and what kind of delivery and planning mechanisms can enable such sustainable models.

Petra Marko from the VeloCity team said:

“Since winning the William Sutton Prize, we were able to expand our research on rural development to help bring our VeloCity vision closer to reality. We visited a number of case studies including Byhusene in Copenhagen, and in Denmark, an innovative car-free high density suburban development. We met with experts to develop implementable strategies how we can shift mobility choices in rural areas in the UK from car towards cycling and walking. The backing of the William Sutton Prize - both financial and as patronage - helps us immensely in the process of building partnerships with potential clients to implement our vision for the 21st Century village. The Clarion team also gave us a lot of insight into enabling development, supporting and encouraging us along the way.”

Read about all our finalists from 2018 for inspiration

Case Study: 2019 Winner – Jas Bhalla Architects

Watch our video about Jas Bhalla Architects, the winner of the William Sutton Prize for Placemaking & Affordable Housing Design in 2019.

Jas Bhalla Architects are delivering a radical city-wide planning initiative to encourage high-quality brownfield development along nine key routes in Outer London. One of the major constraints to accelerating the delivery of affordable housing is the identification of available land. The project identifies nine major thoroughfares characterised by low density. If London is to meet its housing targets, the planning system needs to think beyond individual borough boundaries to proactively support the development of under-utilised strategic brownfield land.

The Team aims to create a new policy approach for the nine identified routes to change the thinking about the transformation of these routes as holistic “places”. It’s only by thinking strategically that these zones can deliver well designed homes, a better public realm, improved transport services and new community facilities.

Jas Bhalla, Founder of Jas Bhalla Architects, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have won The William Sutton Prize and it’s really special to see that such a big organisation is making space and time to talk about alternative ideas and look at ways of improving people’s lives. Winning will not only give us access to a lot of insight and support from Clarion, but the profile and recognition of the Prize will also help open doors to conversations with councils and the GLA.”

Case study: 2020 Winner Ecomotive and SNUG Homes

Ecomotive and SNUG Homes took home The 2020 William Sutton Prize for Placemaking and Affordable Housing Design for their proposal for a construction and training hub in Bristol that will enable residents to co-produce eco-friendly, modular housing in response to local needs.

The project will also provide apprenticeship, volunteering and employment opportunities, as well as self-build training and support for community-led housing initiatives. The aim is to use the £20,000 prize fund to scale up a pilot project established in the Lockleaze area of Bristol in 2019.

Watch the 2021 case study video for Ecomotive and SNUG Homes

Anna Hope, Director of Ecomotive and SNUG Homes, said: “Winning the William Sutton prize has given us a massive boost - not only by raising the profile of our project but also through giving us the opportunity to collaborate with professionals from the Clarion team to scale up our plans and increase our social impact. We would recommend anyone with projects or ideas in the field of affordable and sustainable housing to apply for this award - which is unique in its scope, vision and the practical support available to help turn ideas into reality.”

Read The William Sutton Prize Terms and Conditions