Designing a suburban home for the 21st Century – A RIBA Journal Competition

IG Lintels is excited to launch a new competition for architects in partnership with RIBA Journal.

We are inviting architects to rethink suburbia with a design for a one-off house which expresses the needs and aspirations of its occupants and is highly creative with a wide range of lintel features.

Suburbia has long held a fascination for architects, we want to see your vision for a 21st century suburban family villa using special steel lintels.

The suburban house should reflect the lives of its occupants. Using special lintels to achieve a unique design provides individuals with the potential to put their own stamp on their home over its long life.

Criteria for the competition

The main construction material should be traditional brick or block, and the main structural support for its features should be the steel lintel. Each entry must incorporate at least three of the following features in their designs (entrants will be provided with web links to IG Lintels technical product information and technical telephone support will be available):

• Gothic arch

• Parabolic arch

• Bullseye window

• Apex arch

• Segmental arch

• Semi-circular arch

• Sun lounge

• Corner windows

• Square bay windows

• Splayed bay windows

• Glazed apexes

• Brick Slip Feature Lintels

Using these lintels, the challenge is to create a home that meets the needs of its contemporary occupants; which can be minimalist or highly decorative; restrained or exuberant. Whatever the formal language, thermal comfort and efficiency is a key consideration. Rooms may be functional but must include an abundance of natural light and decorative features.

The Site

Entrants are at liberty to pick their suburban site – but we will want to see evidence of it – as the building will have to respond to the context you have decided on. Why did your fictional residents choose the site?


Judges will be looking for a winning design that is highly creative in its employment of a wide range of lintel features, and which joyfully expresses the needs or aspirations of its occupants. It should be energy efficient, it may be innovative or playful. The winner will be the design that best embodies the utility, contingency, personality and joy that the best suburban homes can manifest.


Entries must include the following and be laid out on no more than two A3 sheets, supplied electronically as pdfs:

• Site plan and critical images of the chosen site

• Plans of the villa, including north point

• Elevations and a key section

• Axonometric or 3D visualisation showing lintel construction methodology

• Optional supplementary images you consider helpful


There will be a cash prize of £2000 for the winner and £500 for each of the three commended entries.

The deadline for entry is 14th May 2019, 11:59pm

Winning entries will be published in the September 2019 issue of the RIBA Journal.

Enter Competition
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Discover IG’s range of Brick Slip Feature Lintels

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