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Lineworks Architects entered the competition with Mott MacDonald as an interdisciplinary team. As society ages, we face the challenge of how to cater for the needs of an elderly populous. The House 2030 Design Competition was an ideas competition to formulate how a high density community may look in 2030.

We quickly decided we should not simply focus on the requirements of housing, but also on healthy living approach. Relying simply on state or privately funded care doesn’t propose a sustainable solution. A more symbiotic community solution felt more appropriate. Rather than isolating the older generation into segregated communities relying entirely on staffed care, we propose a co-owned community network solution.

The cluster house evaluates how we may redesign the traditional house module into a set of separate but interdependent units. These would naturally foster stronger social cohesion between neighbours, through the proximity of access routes and the ability to share space. Families may choose to live adjacent to their mothers or fathers, in separate units, which allow grandparents to co-exist with the same building envelope. The principle of owning their own space and providing privacy is still maintained.

The design prioritises a connection to nature to benefit wellbeing and mental health. The green spaces will be designed to feel inclusive, safe and welcoming to all. Research shows that the quality of public open spaces is more important than quantity and that communities with high quality spaces, with good a provision of well-maintained walking paths, shade, irrigated lawn, birdlife, lighting, sporting facilities, playgrounds, and allotments give a better quality of life.


The ‘village square’ principle of the masterplan encourages strong social connections and security. The community would naturally support different social needs. The cluster house offers a very efficient unit per hectare layout and is fully adaptable both within the house through the flexibility of space and expansion of space, and outside of the house in choice of materials and design. The designs shown here represent a 34, 50 and 74 dwellings per hectare developments.