Housing delivery programme appoints prize-winning architect

City of York Council’s programme to deliver 600 homes in the next five years has added another building block with the appointment of a widely-celebrated and multi award-winning architect’s practice.
Following a national competition which saw over 50 entries from leading architectural practices across the country, Mikhail Riches have been appointed to work with the council on the future sites in the Housing Delivery Programme. This signals the latest opportunity for York to influence national house-building practises and standards.

The practice’s reputation for building inspirational housing projects has been recognised at the RIBA National Awards and at the National Housing Awards for a scheme for Norwich City Council, for which they have recently been nominated for the Stirling Prize. The scheme is a 100% Passivhaus development and shows the team’s ability to deliver homes which reduce carbon emissions and energy bills for residents. The prizes also recognise the practice’s ability to create and forge strong new communities by designing with residents and neighbours at their heart.

The practice is working closely with the council to establish a design manual and a public engagement strategy to guide the development process. These will establish the expectations of the programme ahead of any design work or planning submission, to ensure high quality new homes and sustainable new neighbourhoods in York.

Cllr Denise Craghil, executive member for housing, said:

“With this appointment, we’re supporting the council’s commitment to becoming a carbon-neutral city and setting a very high standard for future house building in York. Mikhail Riches are known for their innovation and experience in meeting high environmental standards including comfortable ‘Passivhaus’ homes with extremely low heating costs and attractive neighbourhoods for children, families and older residents.

“I’m looking forward to working with Mikhail Riches to help meet our high aspirations for these 600 homes in York.”

David Mikhail, founding director of Mikhail Riches, said:

“Our appointment by City of York Council affords us an opportunity to partner with a remarkably forward-thinking and dynamic team. We applaud their social and environmental aspirations.

“Our shared values will help transform York and build a footprint to be proud of. Together we’ll provide beautiful, low-energy homes in welcoming neighbourhoods where children have access to safe play.

“We’re now curious to listen and learn about what the people of York think and feel about their future homes.”

To start this design process, people living near Burnholme and the recently-purchased Duncombe Barracks in Clifton will be invited to public engagement events to talk about the local area and what is important to them in relation to these sites. Public engagement on this will start in October.