Skanska Residential selected White Design to be one of six architects on their housing panel. The first phase of the competition attracted submissions from over 30 practices and judged the firm’s compatibility with Skanska Residential. Five questions were asked to elicit values and company culture. A second round, featuring six of the initial applicants, took place over several weeks and involved the firms collaborating with each other to develop a proposal and then role playing for Skanska to understand how designers interacted with a range of typical Skanska customers.
White Design’s proposal was to examine a “day in the life” of four Skanska homeowners through storytelling. The customers were asked to choose their main areas of interest around 6 key themes: Home is Where the Heart Is; The Kitchen Table; A Place for Everything; A Time For Everything; Hide and Seek; and In Touch with Nature. Their responses to the stories were realised in ideas about spaces inside and outside the home and, ultimately, turned into designs that had a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable focus.
Magnus Andersson, president of Skanska Residential UK, said: “We think it’s important to listen first and find out what people need from a new home. We need to focus on better quality products, green solutions and to be recognised as a design focused developer. This is what the competition was all about, finding architects who had a similar ethos to us on customer benefits and who we could work with to deliver our vision.”
Matt Harrison, White Design’s lead Director for Business Development, commented “We really enjoyed the competition and are delighted to be working with Skanska Residential. Their process has ensured a good match between our culture and design ethos and theirs.”