A team led by Charles Holland Architects has won this year’s Davidson Prize for its concept Co-Living in the Countryside, a rural co-housing development with affordable rent.


Charles Holland Architects, together with research charity the Quality of Life Foundation, artist Verity-Jane Keefe and urbanist and designer Joseph Zeal-Henry of Sound Advice, is the recipient of the £10,000 Davidson Prize. The team was selected as the winner from a shortlist of three proposals considering this year’s theme Co-Living – A New Future?

The concept focuses on the lack of affordable housing in the UK countryside, and the skew towards single-family and car de-pendent homes where housing is available. Co-Living in the Countryside looks at how a site in the South Downs National Park with an ageing demographic could be developed into a timber-framed co-living development, with shared living and work spaces, childcare and car ownership. 

The development in East Sussex would be owned by a community housing association but governed by the community, and profits from the rental homes would be used to maintain and adapt the homes over time. 

“This year’s entrants brought us solutions that ranged from the scale of the city to the scale of the neighbourhood or building, and it’s been fascinating to see how the multi-disciplinary teams combined their skills and expertise to interpret the brief,” said Paul Monaghan, Chair of the 2022 Davidson Prize jury.

“The winning team’s proposal addressed a very real problem that is affordable rental housing in rural locations, and we enjoyed how the team combined owner-adaptation and customisation with a community-based governance model. The judges felt that this proposal best responded to the judging criteria and could envisage it being rolled out around the country.”


The runners up for the prize are Communiversity by Moebius Studio and It Takes a Village by Child-Hood, with the teams drawn from the 14 projects longlisted for the award earlier this year. A People’s Choice prize was awarded to Heta Architects for its concept, Recipro-City, from this list. 


The Davidson Prize was set up last year in honour of the late architect and visualiser Alan Davidson, who died from Motor Neurone Disease in 2018. He set up the Alan Davidson Foundation to help those living with Motor Neurone Disease, but also to support architecture initiatives – like The Davidson Prize ideas competition set up in his memory.

The inaugural award – themed around impact of the pandemic on how we live and work – went to Homeliving, a concept based on the restorative qualities of “forest-bathing”. The concept was developed by a team comprising Alice Britton and Eleanor Greenleaf of creative studio Squint/Opera, alongside Agnieszka Glowacka, Tracy Shum, Agnete Winsnes Astrup, Janicke Sæther from the practice Haptic Architects, the poet LionHeart, Will Worsley of sound studio Coda to Coda and interdisciplinary designer Yaoyao Meng.