LDA Design is part of a competition-winning team to reimagine the Home of 2030, demonstrating the importance of quality shared spaces to how we will live in the future. The competition was initiated by the UK Government to meet the challenges of an ageing society, the climate emergency and net zero commitments. It was managed by the RIBA.
Minister of State for Housing, Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, announced the joint win with +Home led by Igloo Regeneration and said the entries really showed the way housing in this country can be reimagined.
Winning team, Connector Housing, comprises Openstudio, LDA Design, Hoare Lea and Gardiner & Theobold. In this vision of the future, the home is more than a house, it is a place that nurtures stronger community and a sense of belonging, prioritising health and wellbeing by providing choices and doorstep nature which becomes part of the everyday. Connector Housing offers a layered landscape that connects people to where they live, with inviting neighbourly spaces that inspire group activity and collective responsibility.
Space is important, and there needs to be enough for individuals or families to grow. Each home has private open space (front or back gardens, generous balconies and roof gardens for loft apartments), as well as access to communal gardens of different scales, geometry and character which respond to the needs and interests of the residents. Front yards face shared spaces bringing eyes onto the streets.
For places to thrive there needs to be excellent connectivity. The Connector Housing neighbourhood is built around fast and slow routes: cars and active travel are accommodated for on tree-lined ‘fast’ routes.
A ‘green river’ of slower streets and linear parks between blocks connect into a wider and wilder biodiverse landscape. The masterplan gives every resident the option of taking a more urban street or through nature. Active travel is encouraged and supported and everywhere is pleasantly walkable. Along the centre of the pedestrian-focussed streets, rain gardens manage water runoff in a sustainable, attractive and biodiverse way. There are beautiful and usable lawns, meadows, trees, play equipment, seating and planting close to front doors, bringing residents closer to nature and to each other where they do not share the same communal gardens.
To support a strong sense of community there also needs to be places to gravitate to. Here they include a central plaza, a mobility hub and café, and a makers’ yard and workspaces. The mobility hub has a centralised parking facility keeping most streets car free, as well as cycle parking and a car club.
Connector Housing is about choice, generosity of light and living space, and adaptability – with internal layouts that can flex to needs which change over time. This is a scalable system which will take advantage of the best available materials, construction systems (including off-site construction) and technology. The sample dwelling achieves net-zero carbon operation without any carbon offsets and has been assessed to be thermally comfortable for future climates to 2080 without cooling.
LDA Design’s team was led by Andrew Harland, with Bethany Gale, Mark Williams, Jordan Baldock, Barbara Pyda-Martin, Olga Ivanova and Joanna Asia Milewska.