Letchworth Garden City

Founded in 1903, Letchworth Garden City was the brainchild of social reformer Ebenezer Howard, whose vision was to improve people’s lives by combining the best of living and working in the town and country. 

In 2018 RIBA launched a competition which sought master plans for the proposed residential development of a 45 hectare site to the north of the existing Garden City.

Our entry imagined a high-quality residential development that is both sympathetic to and celebratory of the history of the area and the Garden City Movement in particular.

Our design is anchored by 5 well understood house types: cottage, semi-detached house, row house, 1 bedroom flat and 2 bedroom flat.

Using these component parts, we have created a series of urban situations which synthesise those already found in Letchworth Garden City in order to create distinct areas with identifiable character within the masterplan - tree lined boulevards, avenues, lanes and so on. Creating stepped street frontages also alludes to the existing condition and allows us to frame views of key buildings, junctions and important civic spaces.

Block Size:Key to our design is the consistent block depth across all of our housing types. This provides a strong urban structure to the blocks, but also allows for the mix of housing to adapt to market demand if required.

Flexibility: In order to create a sustainable neighbourhood which can adapt to suit the changing needs of residents over their lifetime, we have ‘built-in’ flexibility in each of the house and apartment types, both by including architectural devices that allow them to be used in different ways, and also by making it easy for them to be extended or adapted in the future.

  • Location: Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire

  • Client: Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation/ RIBA

  • Size: 900 units

  • Status: Competition