Productive Urban Landscapes

Research and practice around the CPUL design concept

Co-Living in the Countryside by Charles Holland Architects with Quality of Life Foundation, Verity-Jane Keefe, Joseph Zeal-Henry (source: The Davidson Prize / Charles Holland Architects 2022)

A Productive Landscape features in architectural competition shortlist

Congratulations! Our colleague at the University of Brighton, Prof Charles Holland, heads a team that has just been shortlisted for this year’s Davidson Prize which aims to reward transformative architecture of the home.

Charles Holland Architects’ proposal, created in conjunction with the Quality of Life Foundation, Verity-Jane Keefe, and Joseph Zeal-Henry, is titled Co-Living in the Countryside. It seeks to reinvigorate rural communities with a new type of shared communal housing that is focused on wellbeing and less reliant on car ownership. It also aims to address issues including affordability and loneliness. The proposal refers to Andre Viljoen and Katrin Bohn’s Productive (Urban) Landscape ideas.

Charles’ team writes: ‘Rural areas in the UK suffer from a shortage of affordable housing and are overly reliant on a narrow but ubiquitous development model – often leading to atomised communities of single-family units in car-dependent cul-de-sacs.
Co-Living in the Countryside proposes instead a new type of shared, communal housing to re-invigorate rural communities and attract new and more diverse residents. Addressing community, character, governance, affordability, sustainability, employment, health and wellbeing, the design focuses on solutions for a typical site for new housing within the South Downs National Park. In a new model of co-operatively managed and owned co-housing, individual units are connected by shared facilities such as kitchens, dining rooms, offices, studios and gardens.
The idea is that residents share space, resources and household tasks including gardening and childcare, with shared space and facilities for visiting friends, extended family members and social and community use. The design aims to reduce the need for car ownership and the stress and loneliness of commuting by providing shared working spaces and transport.
A new approach to architectural language encourages owner-adaptation, customisation and personal choice as part of the design process. Takings its cue from experimental rural housing such as the plotlands and other self-build communities, the aim is to establish a new, dynamic model of co-living in the countryside.’

Each of the three shortlisted teams will now develop their design ideas and present a two-minute presentation to the jury panel. An overall winner will be announced in June as part of the London Festival of Architecture.


For more information on the shortlisted proposals see here.

For information on Charles Holland Architects see here.

Information on the Davidson Prize is here.

Image: Co-Living in the Countryside by Charles Holland Architects with Quality of Life Foundation, Verity-Jane Keefe, Joseph Zeal-Henry (source: Building Design / Charles Holland Architects 2022)

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* architecture* green infrastructure* landscape* urban designBrighton

Katrin Bohn • 11th April 2022

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