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Southwark becomes first London council to set its own framework for architects to promote good design in the public sector

30 October 2019

A London council has become the first to set up a framework of architects it can call on to design hundreds of new council homes and wider regeneration schemes in the borough – with the unique aim of promoting and encouraging small and emerging practices in particular to promote innovative new design.

Southwark Council – in a unique partnership with the London Housing Consortium - has developed its own Architects Design Framework, which will be made up of the larger, well-known firms as well as smaller, more local but pioneering new architects.

Cllr Leo Pollak, Cabinet member for New Homes, Great Estates and Social Regeneration, said: “Southwark is on a journey towards building 11,000 new council homes within a generation, and as we are expanding and accelerating our programme we are also bringing on new sites on existing land, as well as buying up small and large sites for new housing estates.  We want to put the message out that there are really great opportunities for designers who want to help shape the future built environment of Southwark, across at least 50 new sites over the coming years.

“We also want with this framework to elevate the expectations and status of public sector design by making explicit our commitment to good design throughout the process, from how we write site briefs, to how we bring the influence of residents into the design process, to how we follow through on the details with contractors. Our hope is this framework will provide a springboard for a new race to the top in public sector design and I would encourage all architects - large and small, young and old - to be a part of it.”

The new Southwark Framework takes a different approach to the normal procurement frameworks. Instead of asking non-design-related questions and setting thresholds that can exclude some smaller firms, Southwark’s Framework pitches itself to architects of all sizes and experience, and deliberately sets low financial thresholds, focusing on value for money.

The new Framework is set to come into effect from April 2020 and will be available for all London Councils to access.

 

Page last updated: 30 October 2019