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Architect Pitch – The Net Zero Neighbourhood

Partner event
Wed 8 Mar 2023, 18:00 - 20:30

Max Fordham is calling on architects to re-imagine the future of neighbourhoods in the face of the climate and biodiversity emergency.

The environmental engineering firm and its eponymous late founder designed Max Fordham House, the UK’s first net zero residential home in Camden, north London. As part of a retrospective exhibition to celebrate Max and the practice, the firm is inviting architects to build on their founder's legacy by illustrating a vision for the UK's first net zero neighbourhood.

Max Fordham House was a massive step forward for sustainable residential design. The brief is for designs that build on these lessons and address both the need to reduce emissions and contribute to improved well-being in our towns and cities. As a mix of residential, commercial and retail buildings, green and public spaces and supporting infrastructure, the net zero neighbourhood presents the opportunity to create resilient, people-centred places.

The Panel

Seven practices will be shortlisted to pitch their vision to a panel including

Ali Shaw, Max Fordham

Sunand Prasad, Penoyre Prasad

David Stronge, Peabody

Amrita Mahindroo, DROO Architects

Fran Williams, Architects’ Journal


The Pitch will take place on March at the Building Centre as part of the exhibition on Max Fordham’s life and legacy.

The Brief

The pitch presentation should:

  • Be an aspirational design for an urban extension adjacent to an existing development for approximately 500 people
  • Question the status quo and demonstrate inventiveness in approaching the challenges posed by the climate emergency (such as extreme temperatures, energy crisis, droughts etc)
  • Showcase how the design fits into the circular economy
  • Utilise existing buildings and demonstrate how they will be adapted and retrofitted for new uses
  • Explore the opportunities and efficiencies that can happen with economies of scale on a neighbourhood level
  • Be grounded in real world constraints and parameters
  • Illustrate a flair for “beautiful engineering” and elegant design rooted in sustainable design principles

The Prize

The winning architect will be awarded £2,500.  

Applying to the Architect Pitch

If you would like to apply,  please fill in the form by February 15

Successful architects will be contacted by email immediately after the shortlisting stage.

The Pitch may be filmed.

To apply to be in the audience, please go to Ticket Tailor.

A video of the last Architect Pitch can be watched here

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