Dezeen Magazine

Charles Holland Architects' Co-Living in the Countryside wins 2022 Davidson Prize

A proposal for affordable rental co-housing in rural locations designed by Charles Holland Architects in collaboration with artist Verity-Jane Keefe and Sound Advice founder Joseph Zeal-Henry has won this year's Davidson Prize.

Charles Holland Architects' Co-Living in the Countryside scheme was selected as the winner of the £10,000 prize, which called for projects to respond to the theme of Co-Living – A New Future? by reconsidering current housing models.

Drawing of the Davidson Prize winner Co-Living in the Countryside
Co-Living in the Countryside is a housing model that centres on the sharing of skills and resources

Co-Living in the Countryside is a model that proposes creating affordable, rentable co-housing in rural locations.

The proposal envisioned timber-framed housing blocks that centre on flexible living organisations and incorporate the option of shared facilities including kitchens, dining areas, workshops and childcare spaces.

It is organised around the owner-adaptation and customisation of its homes under community-centred governance. Through its shared facilities, habitants can co-exist while sharing spaces, skills and resources.

The proposal was developed alongside research charity Quality of Life Foundation with input from artist Keefe and Zeal-Henry.

"The winning team's proposal addressed a very real problem that is affordable rental housing in rural locations, and we enjoyed how the team combined owner-adaptation and customisation with a community-based governance model," said chair of the Davidson Prize jury Paul Monaghan.

"The judges felt that this proposal best responded to the judging criteria and could envisage it being rolled out around the country."

Render of Davidson Prize winner housing proposal
The proposal is an affordable housing model

Co-Living in the Countryside was selected as this year's winner by Monaghan alongside architect Mary Duggan, Haptic Architects' Agnieszka Glowacka, Dezeen's editor-at-large Amy Frearson, artist Yinka Ilori and educator and curator Manijeh Verghese.

The Davidson Prize is an annual award that was launched in 2020 by the Alan Davidson Foundation. The prize explores different ways in which the home and housing can be altered through design.

It was launched following the death of its namesake, architectural visualisation pioneer Alan Davidson, who died in 2018 as a result of a motor neurone disease.

Last year, HomeForest was selected as the winner for the inaugural edition of the prize, which is an app that uses smart devices to bring nature into homes.

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