Architecture competition "London Affordable Housing Challenge" Green award winners - White Arkitekter

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the Green prize of our “London Affordable Housing Challenge” competition - David Saand, Simone de Bergh, Björn Vestlund and Jay Williams from Sweden!

David Saand, Simone de Bergh, Björn Vestlund and Jay Williams from Sweden

White Arkitekter is an interdisciplinary practice for architecture, urban design, landscape architecture and interior design. Embedded in our work is a commitment to sustainability in all its forms, underpinned by practice-based research. From the founding in 1951 in Gothenburg we have now grown into a collective of 900 employees organized in networks across 13 offices in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom. We work with clients, communities and consultants to create inclusive, resilient architecture that inspires sustainable ways of life.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where company/individuals have been involved?

White Arkitekter works with a large variety of projects, from urban planning and interior architecture, to healthcare and housing. Projects include the masterplan for new Kiruna, a Swedish city that is being relocated two miles east, the Climate Innovation District in Leeds, The Royal Pavilion in Southend and Skellefteå Cultural Centre, to name a few. Projects we are currently working on include the regeneration of Barking’s Gascoigne East estate and the White Rock Park & Bohemia masterplan in Hastings.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

We believe culture shapes design, and in turn, design shapes culture. Therefore, we strive to design inclusive places for human well-being which are rooted in context still celebrating our Scandinavian design heritage. Our interdisciplinary, curious and, most of all, Scandinavian approach aims for a contemporary design seamlessly integrated in its context. Today the role of the architect is as important when sensitivity and reflection are being lost and replaced with ratio. As architects we have the skills to visualize ideas and concepts, to make the future visible. With that we can inspire and motivate new developments.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Vision competitions give a freedom to develop or rethink our ideas. It gives opportunities to take another position and point of view which changes how we see things in a new way and boosts our creativity. But our motivation is not only intrinsic, at the same time we want to share our knowledge and our research by participating in vision competitions.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

What is important is to question oneself when deciding on participation, how the process will develop you and your vision on the profession. Is this development leading in the right direction, giving more focus or is it just a distraction? Participating should always contribute to your own development.

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