The Re-Imagining the Garden City Design Ideas Competition was launched in October 2018 by the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, working in partnership with the RIBA, Anglian Water, BRE, Homes England, the Town and Country Planning Association and the University of Hertfordshire.
This design ideas competition aimed to discover new designs for a modern Garden City to meet the needs of the 21st Century, whilst recapturing the pioneering spirit that led to the development of the world's first Garden City at Letchworth over a 100 years ago.
The competition sought emerging master plan concepts for a proposed residential development on a 45 Hectare site to the north of Letchworth, which will be the first expansion of the Garden City in a generation. The Competition was open internationally to architect-led design teams, with inter-disciplinary collaboration encouraged, as well as collaboration between practices of different size, expertise and experience. The first phase of the Competition attracted 95 submissions from competitors based in: Australia; France; Germany; India; Iran; Italy; the Netherlands; Poland; Thailand; the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
An Adjudication Panel consisting of representatives from the Partner organisations [as detailed in the Competition Brief that is still available to download] reviewed the anonymous concept proposals and short-listed the four schemes that they felt responded best to the challenges of the wide-ranging and multi-faceted Design Brief. Anonymity was lifted at the second phase of the competition, with short-listed teams invited to develop a more thorough exploration of their design ideas and concept masterplan, which concluded with a presentation to the Adjudication Panel.
The A1 design sheets submitted by the winner and the three other teams short-listed to the second phase of the competition are featured on this on-line web gallery. The web site also features representative publicity images for each of the remaining competition entries submitted to the first phase of the design competition.
The Foundation is successor to First Garden City Limited. It is a community benefit society, owning the freehold of the Letchworth Estate. The Heritage Foundation reinvests surplus from the estate back into the local community through a series of charitable services and grant giving. It also applies a management scheme which seeks to preserve the character and quality of the world’s first garden city.