Housing for a better world

Housing for a better world

Open call for expressions of interest

Architecture competition seeking ideas for housing for a better world. Please download the full brief here.

Why we have set up this competition

The coronavirus pandemic has brought many issues across UK society into sharp focus, from the climate emergency to widespread inequality. As we begin to consider how we could create a better future for everyone, we have partnered with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust to launch a design competition on creating housing for a better world.

Our homes are central to our daily lives – now more so than ever – and can help to address issues surrounding health, sustainability and diversity. As such, we’re looking for creative ideas for how our homes can improve all three for residents and wider communities.

Together with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, we believe that the built environment should be designed by the people who live in it, celebrating and giving voice to people from every background.

Croydon is one of the most diverse boroughs in London. We are therefore looking for architectural practices that have a commitment to diversity through existing staff or planned diversifying action so that the winning practice’s design team reflects the rich cultural heritage of our local population.

The brief

We’re looking for bold and thought provoking ideas to explore how housing design could change in support of a better world. Brick By Brick is committed to providing properly designed affordable homes for people living in Croydon that add value to communities and existing neighbourhoods.

Your ideas should address the following:

  • Croydon is an extremely diverse borough with a mix of communities and rich cultural heritage. How can we create housing and developments that respond to local issues, cultures and concerns and that best meet the needs of local communities?
  • Brick By Brick is committed to becoming a ‘One Planet Leader’ in housing development. As part of this our homes need to work towards being carbon zero and be part of the built environment in a way that provides wider ecological benefits for residents and the local community. How do we continue to deliver affordable housing that is environmentally responsible?
  • The current health pandemic means our homes are working harder to support our everyday lives. How could they be designed to better serve our everyday needs? How can we make sure they facilitate health and wellbeing whilst also being places to work and learn?

We want the best design for local communities, but it also needs to be feasible for local delivery. Your submission should focus on an outer London location such as Croydon and address the realities of delivering housing across multiple sites of varying scales, identifying efficient ways to deliver viable schemes. This should ideally take into account organisational structures, such as planning and procurement, that steer the delivery of housing.


This competition is open to all UK-based practices. We particularly welcome submissions from recently-formed practices, and practices with leaders and staff from diverse backgrounds.