Competition Case Study: Donnybrook Quarter

Competition launched: 2001 Scheme completion: January 2006


Circle 33 Housing Group

Project budget



Competition launched: 2001

Scheme completion: January 2006


Donnybrook Quarter is a low rise, high density street based city quarter located on a prominent site just south of Victoria Park in Hackney built as the conclusion of an Architecture Foundation project to develop new housing types.

The project was the result of an architectural competition run by the AF for housing association Circle 33. The international ‘Innovations in Housing Competition’ launched in 2001 with a specific brief for architects to develop new open plan types for social housing. 140 submissions were received by the AF from which a shortlist of six practices were chosen by an expert jury.

The ultimate winner was Peter Barber Architects who went on to develop its scheme of 40 flats, maisonettes and houses with Circle 33 eventually completing it in 2006. The project subsequently won a series of prestigious awards from the American Institute of Architects and Royal Institute of British Architects.

Peter Barber Architects are now successful and sought-after housing designers with 50 projects currently in progress across London and the UK. The Donnybrook Quarter competition has been highly influential in shaping thinking around using low-rise high density housing to create successful mixed neighbourhoods.