07 December 2020

Riverside Sunderland: University Design Challenge

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TRADA is delighted to introduce Riverside Sunderland: University Design Challenge, an exciting competition for both current built environment students and 2020 graduates from across the UK.


In interdisciplinary design teams of 4–8 members, you are invited to produce a masterplan for one area of the Riverside Sunderland development which will include a mixed and vibrant ‘village’ community of around 100 desirable homes with green and open spaces on the riverside site.


This is a thrilling opportunity which also involves the Sunderland City Council and their Riverside Development Team, George Clarke's Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE), the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI), the British Woodworking Federation, and the University Engagement Programme scheme sponsors Timber Trade Federation.


MOBIE founder George Clarke was born in Sunderland. He says:

'This is a really exciting opportunity to rethink the way that housing and communities are designed – a chance for university students to get involved in a live project that will be truly pioneering. Our collective aspiration is that Riverside Sunderland inspires a new way of designing, building and living in homes. That it is a world-class place to live. So we want students to really push the boundaries and inspire us.'


The challenge

Interdisciplinary teams of 4–8 UK-based students and 2020 graduates will collaborate to produce professionally developed and costed masterplans, with designs for a ‘village’ community of housing with green and open spaces that meet or go beyond the RIBA 2030 challenge.


The main material focus and specification for the homes will be timber and timber hybrid systems. Housing typologies will be designed and engineered to be manufactured locally utilising modern methods of construction. Homes must be adaptable to meet the needs of living and working now and in the future.


The schemes must be shown to be carbon neutral, creatively employing sustainable building materials and construction methods, be energy efficient and technologically smart; and emphasise the health and well-being of people, the community, and our planet.


The prizes

Each member of the winning team will receive £250, second place £150, third £100 and fourth £50, with other prizes and commendations to be awarded at the judging panel's discretion. All entries may potentially be published online, in print or as part of an exhibition.


Get involved

Register your interest to receive further details: mobie.org.uk/challenges

Register your team in February 2021: mobie.org.uk/challenges


If your team or university would like to arrange an online meeting to discuss any details with MOBIE, please email their Head of Education Gerry Ruffles: gerry@mobie.org.uk


If you have any questions about Riverside Sunderland: University Design Challenge, please get in touch with Tabitha Binding, TRADA's dedicated university engagement manager, on tbinding@trada.co.uk