Hidden Homeless ideas competition

Why are ideas competitions so important for the voluntary sector? Take a look at the 47 thought provoking entries to this competition....

  • Competition winners: Morris + Co
  • Competition winners: Morris + Co

At Colander Associates, we run architectural competitions for a wide variety of clients – wealthy organisations in the private sector, slightly less well off public sector clients and, on occasion, clients from the voluntary sector.  Those in the voluntary sector often have the projects that deserve the most attention and, if realised, projects that are likely to be a catalyst for the most significant improvements to people’s lives.  But, in my experience, these voluntary sector projects are generally woefully poorly funded, however worthy or desperately needed they may be.  Which says something about the topsy-turvey world in which we live.  

This lack of funds can mean that good design – by which I mean, that thing that encompasses great functionality, exceptional attention to detail and awareness of time and budget but which also delivers a special, unmeasurable quality, bringing joy and delight to those who use the finished project – that version of good design, is often set aside, as people grapple to deliver more prosaic and basic aims.  Getting good design up the agenda is tough when, frankly, any solution is better than no solution at all; as a result, it is often ignored.  

  • Second place: RCKa
  • Second place: RCKa
  • Third place: Catja De Haas with Office Ten, Erika Suzuki, Anders Luhr and Rosie Bichard
  • Third place: Catja De Haas with Office Ten, Erika Suzuki, Anders Luhr and Rosie Bichard

And yet, an ideas competition – such as this one, recently organised for Hidden Homeless – can be an amazing catalyst, when funds are limited but commitment is high: it raises awareness of aspirations that might otherwise be deemed too bold to be worth voicing; it draws together talented people to consider solutions; and it allows for early engagement with organisations that might otherwise shy away from commitment.  Crucially, it also ensures that the magic of ‘good design’ can be brought to bear on the interpretation of germinating aspirations so that, if and when the dreams become a reality, the intangible element of ‘delight’ is embedded, from the very start.

That said, you should be under no illusion: architectural competitions for the voluntary sector require considerable effort and goodwill to even get off the ground.  The Hidden Homeless competition for New Horizons was no exception.  From Colander's perspective, it would not have happened without the dogged determination of John McAslan and Heather Macey at John McAslan & Partners who instigated the initiative, and have both shown extraordinary tenacity, backed up with some swift lateral thinking to keep the project alive.

  • Special mention: Adam Khan Architects
  • Special mention: Adam Khan Architects
  • Shortlisted: Amos Goldreich Architecture
  • Shortlisted: Amos Goldreich Architecture
  • Shortlisted: Askew Cavanna
  • Shortlisted: Askew Cavanna
  • Shortlisted: Inside Out
  • Shortlisted: Inside Out
  • Shortlisted: Jonathan Tuckey Design
  • Shortlisted: Jonathan Tuckey Design
  • Shortlisted: Levitt Bernstein
  • Shortlisted: Levitt Bernstein
  • Shortlisted: Mitchell Eley Gould
  • Shortlisted: Mitchell Eley Gould
  • Shortlisted: Nicholas Hare
  • Shortlisted: Nicholas Hare
  • Shortlisted: Patalab Architecture
  • Shortlisted: Patalab Architecture
  • Shortlisted: Studio Yu
  • Shortlisted: Studio Yu
  • Shortlisted: Weston Williamson Partners
  • Shortlisted: Weston Williamson Partners

However, it is one thing to get a competition launched and into the public domain.  It is quite another for it to be as successful as this one has undoubtedly been. 

That success is down to the 47 competitors: to their passion and enthusiasm that delivered amazing, thoughtful and provocative ideas for the jury to consider.  Of course there was a winner but we would like to take a moment to acknowledge all the competitors.  Because of the high standards they set, this competition will attract interest and reverberate way beyond the confines of the competition process.  Already it has got people thinking about how this sort of project can be realised and, who knows, it may even become a reality.

So, I have included all 47 entries to this competition in this journal piece.  We would like to thank all the competitors: because of them, this project has inched a step closer to becoming a reality – and most importantly, towards a reality that has design excellence at its core. 

  • Akira-Yamanaka
  • Akira-Yamanaka
  • Andrew-Hollands
  • Andrew-Hollands
  • Cameron Webster
  • Cameron Webster
  • Carver Haggard
  • Carver Haggard
  • CLTH
  • CLTH
  • Design Engine Architects
  • Design Engine Architects
  • DT Architects
  • DT Architects
  • Elkins
  • Elkins
  • Emina Camdzic
  • Emina Camdzic
  • Gollings Architects
  • Gollings Architects
  • Greta Jonsson
  • Greta Jonsson
  • Harrison Stringfellow
  • Harrison Stringfellow
  • JCPCDR ARCHITECTURE
  • JCPCDR ARCHITECTURE
  • JDDK Architects
  • JDDK Architects
  • Kamal Khuhawar
  • Kamal Khuhawar
  • Kien Pham
  • Kien Pham
  • Maich Swift Architects
  • Maich Swift Architects
  • Norn Studio
  • Norn Studio
  • OV-O
  • OV-O
  • Oxford Architects Llp
  • Oxford Architects Llp
  • Raha Farazmand
  • Raha Farazmand
  • Sandy Lee
  • Sandy Lee
  • Sharan Chandola
  • Sharan Chandola
  • SM Architects
  • SM Architects
  • Sophia Gravina
  • Sophia Gravina
  • Stockwool
  • Stockwool
  • Studio Bark
  • Studio Bark
  • Studio Dub
  • Studio Dub
  • Studio M12
  • The Klassnik Co
  • The Klassnik Co
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Liverpool
  • Xuecheng Wang
  • Xuecheng Wang
  • YN Studio
  • YN Studio