Davidson Prize longlist features 16 designs to mitigate homelessness

Building Trust International's Davidson Prize proposal

The longlist for the third annual Davidson Prize has been revealed with concepts across the UK that aim to provide “new kinds of home communities” that help solve issues of housing insecurity.

This year’s longlist comprises work by 16 studios created in response to the 2023 theme Somewhere to Call Home.

A concept by Jas Bhalla Architects is among the longlisted proposals
A concept by Jas Bhalla Architects is among the longlisted proposals

Among the projects longlisted for the Davidson Prize are a design based on workshops held with refugees to envision a self-build community, a scheme that proposes secure housing for domestic abuse survivors and a project that aims to protect care-leavers from homelessness.

The longlisted entries, which were made by 16 teams that included studios Tonkin Liu, Coffey Architects and Jas Bhalla Architects, were judged by a jury including architects Sadie Morgan and Charles Holland.

Studio Mutt proposal for Davidson Prize
Studio Mutt’s proposal is called Holding Hands

“The quality of the shortlisted schemes is testament to the high bar set by all submissions this year,” Morgan said.

“The diversity of themes, depth of research and innovative ideas made deciding a shortlist extremely difficult. Congratulations to those who made it through.”

Coffey Architects has created a proposal for the Davison Prize
Coffey Architects’ proposal is based on workshops with asylum seekers

The teams, each of which had to include at least one architect, were asked to “imagine new kinds of home communities where people who have experienced the trauma of homelessness and housing insecurity are given the time and compassion to settle, recover and find their bearings.”

The resulting designs cover a wide range of locations, including Liverpool, Newham in London, Belfast in Northern Ireland and Newport in Wales.

Building Trust International's Davidson Prize proposal
Building Trust International’s design for the Davidson Prize is located in Newham Council

It is the third edition of the prize, which was established by the Alan Davidson Foundation in 2021 in memory of the Scottish architectural visualiser Alan Davidson, who died from Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2018.

“The sense of commitment and care that came across through all entries to this year’s Prize was overwhelming. Alan would have been very moved,” said director of the Alan Davidson Foundation Marie Chamillard.

“This year’s judges had to make some very difficult decisions to select a longlist of just 16 from the 47 entries.”

Joining Morgan and Holland on the jury were Design Museum’s head of curatorial and interpretation Priya Khanchandani, Enfield Council senior development manager Yemí Aládérun and homelessness charity Shelter‘s director of policy, campaigns and communications Osama Bhutta.

Studio Idir proposal for the Davidson Prize
Studio Idir’s design created a concept for West Belfast’s Mackies site

Three finalists will be shortlisted for the prize and will receive £5,000 each, with the winner receiving £10,000. It will be announced during the London Festival of Architecture in June 2023.

A People’s Choice Award will also be given to the project that receives the most votes from the public vote.

See the longlist in full below:

ArchiSense: Neuronest London
Balaam Murphy, Platform Homes Self-Build, Social Action for Health, Single Parent Rights, Lucie Stroud, Circlus: The Mother’s House
Building Trust International: Carpenters Estate
Duty to Care: Homes on the High Street
Footprint Architects with Hope for Food Charity, Tammy Woodward and Rebecca Smith of WDA: The Talbot Sisters’ Legacy
› Jas Bhalla Architects with All People All Places and Sheffield University: An Unhostile Environment
› Patchwork with Coffee Tots: City Arcade
› Re-Group: ZCD Architects with MKA and Datshiane Navanayagam, Architecture Doing Place, JCLA, Webb Yates Engineers, Charles Jegar: More Not Less
› Rifugio: Switch
› Soft Cities with Coffey Architects, Margaret Ravenscroft, Dion Barrett, Room for Refugees and Vanclaron CIC: Rights of Passage
Studio Idir with Me, Him & Her Design, Peter McKinney and Maura de Mello: Rhiz(h)ome
Studio Mutt and Neighbourhood with The Independence Initiative, Hugh Baird College, Islington Hostel Outreach, Amber Akaunu, Peter O’Neil and Dead Good Poets Society: Helping Hands
Tonkin Liu, Studio Mama, Hildrey Studio and Under One Sky Together with Exmouth Market community: Garden Family
› Tropisms, EcoResponsive Environments, Yasmin Lennon-Chong, Marie-Louise Jones, Elena Tamosiunaite and Focus E15 Campaign: Re-Focus E15
› Wild & Snab: Home Building
› Will King, Hari Kumar Studio, Amnesty Feminists, Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance:  Space for Roots to Grow

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