HUDG is a small voluntary organization, which exists to encourage and support improved design standards in the built environment (see About). We are promoting a two- stage housing design competition with two separate themes.

The primary aim of the competition is to draw out some local creativity and explore the notion of how greater design distinctiveness can benefit the locality, as opposed to adopting a dumbed-down could-be-anywhere design approach, which seems to happen so often. We would, however, hope that competitors would avoid the too easy referencing of the Old Town’s net huts. A secondary aim is to encourage debate about design and especially how we determine what is good design. Thirdly, we fully intend to find a scheme that could be built, subject to available funding and any necessary permissions.

Theme 1: Gateway Houses

People hold different understandings of ‘their’ Hastings, which often equates to the neighbourhood they know best. And because of the way towns develop over time, neighbourhood and even town edges become blurred. There may be some value then in identifying what might be termed gateways to the town. Obviously, a distinctive attempt has been made to do this with the placement of a fishing boat outside Hastings station, while at Warrior Square station there is now a very attractive, though less obviously noticeable, mosaic. But surely in a town with so much distinctive architecture, which is one reason so many people visit, can we not have some local distinctiveness at the main road entry points into the town?

There are three of these:

One on the A21 as it enters the town from the north adjacent to the A21 by the Westfield Lane junction.

Secondly on the A259 East near the Mill Lane/Rye Road junction.

Thirdly on the A259 West near the Bexleigh Road west junction with Bexhill Road.

All three boundaries are currently marked by small insignificant mosaic signs declaring Hastings to be the birthplace of television. Blink and you’ll miss them.

The idea is that the proposed gateway sites should be close to the borough boundaries identified above, but with the precise location being the choice of the entrant. We might think of these as a sort of modern day toll-house marking entry to the Borough, without the imposition of an entry charge!

Theme 2: HasHouses

The provision of accommodation for the homeless should be high on our agenda once CV-19 is beaten back. So, this section of the competition is looking for ideas and locations to begin to find possible solutions to this problem. The brief here is to design a small, easily mobile or demountable unit for one person, or possibly two if space can be used creatively. Any solution must contain basic hygiene and cooking facilities while exhibiting some sustainability measures. Site choice is up to the designer but some practical understanding of potential connection to services is required (or not, if an alternative workable solution is demonstrated).

Both themes will be in the form of a two-stage competition: concept and location first, followed by detailed design to include an outline specification and cost plan. We would like to encourage submissions from a wide audience including professional designers, artists and craftspeople, with a special category for children (under 15 years of age), who can draw on adult assistance in Stage 2.  All entrants, other than children, must be able to demonstrate practical and cost awareness in stage two. Entries from children will be limited to concept ideas, which if any prove potentially practical, will be further developed in conjunction with an allocated professional advisor if needed.

Stage one submissions should be presented on a single A3 sheet.

Stage two submissions should be presented on two A3 sheets plus one A4 sheet with cost and outline specification.

A jpeg image of your submission should be made digitally to HUDG via the Contact Form on this website. Please ensure you include your name at the bottom right hand corner of each sheet submitted. It is intended that a public exhibition of submissions will be held once lock-down has ended and it is safe to do so.

The competition jury will comprise 3 members of HUDG and a local artist, a craftsperson and lay-person i.e 6 in all. The latter may be a Councillor if one has the time and interest.

Prizes will be:

Stage 1 : 1st place £150, 2nd £100, 3rd £50.

Stage 2 : 1st place £500, 2nd £250, 3rd £125.

In addition to the cash prizes a special prize will be awarded to the most imaginative child submission.

The proposed timescale for the competition is:

Stage 1 entries to be submitted by 31st August 2020.

Judging to be completed by 30th September.

Stage 2 entries to be submitted by 30 November 2020.

Judging to be completed by 31st December 2020.

HUDG reserve the right not to award a prize, if the entries are deemed impractical or otherwise inappropriate. Copyright will rest with the author but HUDG reserve the right to publish any entry on their website or in the press without payment of any fee.