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Competition: Derry-Londonderry social housing, Northern Ireland

Radius Homes has launched a design contest for a 120-unit social housing scheme in the Creggan area of Derry-Londonderry (Deadline: 14 September)

Open to teams eligible to practise in the UK and capable of delivering the project, the competition will select an architect-led multidisciplinary design team to develop high-quality sustainable homes on part of a suburban site currently used by the Sean Dolan’s Gaelic Athletics Club (GAC).

The £10 million-to-£14 million project will be delivered in partnership with the club, which is working with local practice Farren Architects on proposals to create a new indoor sports facility and expand an existing changing pavilion.

Sean Dolan’s Gaelic Athletics Club

Sean Dolan’s Gaelic Athletics Club

Sean Dolan’s Gaelic Athletics Club

In its brief, Radius Homes says it wants the development to ‘integrate fully with the adjoining Sean Dolan’s GAC site and provide high-quality homes for families and individuals in the densely populated Creggan area of the city.

‘The design contest should create an innovative, high-quality housing offer; one which is intrinsically linked to the sports development and reflects the unique characteristics of the subject lands and their surrounding environs on the city limits while also encompassing our vision of challenging the perception of social housing design and delivery.’

Judges include Radius Homes senior development officer Karen Treharne, Radius Homes director of development Anita Conway, Turley Associates associate director Sam McKee and Radius Homes procurement manager Paul Murtagh.

Sean Dolan’s Gaelic Athletics Club was founded in 1942 and specialises in Gaelic football. It is named after the writer, musician and Irish nationalist Sean Dolan. The club is based on a large suburban site on the western fringes of the historic Northern Ireland city.

The plot currently features a large outdoor playing field, a car park and a landmark new pavilion designed by Farren Architects featuring four changing rooms and a flexible community space.

The competition focuses on an undeveloped 3.4ha plot adjoining the sports club’s facilities which could accommodate up to 120 new homes.

The project is expected to deliver 55 per cent two-bedroom dwellings, 30 per cent three-bedroom dwellings, with the remaining 15 per cent split evenly between one-bedroom, two-bedroom and four-bedroom homes.

An overall winner will be announced on 28 September. 

How to apply


The deadline for applications is midday, 14 September

Contact details

Paul Murtagh
Radius Homes
38 - 52 Lisburn Road

Tel: +44 2890397195

View the contract notice for more information

Wimbledon Stadium Masterplan case study: Q&A with Claire Haywood

The partner at Sheppard Robson discusses lessons learned masterplanning a residential redevelopment of Wimbledon Stadium in south-west London

What is the starting point for a project such as this?

We started with plotting the size of the stadium and shaped the rest of the development around its footprint. The size of the stadium involves a lot of thought and depends on the size of the pitch, amenities, gradient of seating, broadcast facilities and safe site access.

How will your project deliver new housing and sporting facilities on the Wimbledon Stadium Development Site?

In partnership with Galliard Homes and GRA Acquisitions, this planning approval creates 604 new quality homes, 18,000 sq ft [1,700m²] commercial space and fitness facility, and a new stadium for AFC Wimbledon (designed by Wilson Owens Owens), allowing the club to move back to its spiritual home in Plough Lane. The approval allows the club to build a 20,000-seater stadium, with an initial capacity of up to 11,000.

Wimbledon Stadium Masterplan by Sheppard Robson

Wimbledon Stadium Masterplan by Sheppard Robson

Wimbledon Stadium Masterplan by Sheppard Robson

Through careful masterplanning, the development stitches together sporting facilities with the creation of a new major residential quarter, creating a coherent and sustainable project connected to the surrounding community.

Weaving the intensity of sporting use with the creation of a new neighborhood involved establishing a key pedestrian route through the site. The thoroughfare needed to be animated throughout the week and not just on match days: the stadium included retail units that lined the route, creating continual activity that didn’t depend on match days.

Wimbledon Stadium Masterplan by Sheppard Robson

Wimbledon Stadium Masterplan by Sheppard Robson

Wimbledon Stadium Masterplan by Sheppard Robson

How did the architecture respond to the sporting use?

With the intensity of use of sports stadia, noise is an issue, especially when located so close to a residential development. Our plan positioned outdoor amenity space in clusters away from the stadium, as well as creating raised maisonettes that face onto the main thoroughfare to ensure privacy.

What advice would you have to contest participants on regenerating the Sean Dolan GAC site?

AFC Wimbledon is a supporter-owned, family-focused club, so the idea that the ‘football club should be a good neighbour’ was a vital part of the brief. This brought into sharp focus the importance of community when weaving together sport and homes. It is the residents that rely on the development for the vast majority of the week whilst fans will bring it to life on match-days. The sporting experience should be heightened and celebrated but not compromise the quality of the streets and homes for living.

Wimbledon Stadium Masterplan by Sheppard Robson

Wimbledon Stadium Masterplan by Sheppard Robson

Wimbledon Stadium Masterplan by Sheppard Robson

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