White London wins framework agreement with Be First

Among a total of 75 applications, a consortium led by our London studio is one of eight selected winners of a framework agreement with Be First. As a design framework partner, we will support the ambition to build up to 4,000 new homes in Barking and Dagenham, east London, over the next four years.

Be First’s mission is to accelerate regeneration in Barking and Dagenham borough and aim to ensure 50,000 new homes and 20,000 new jobs created by 2037. Earlier this year the company launched a £35m design framework to seek new architect and design team partners. The consortium that we lead includes Threefold Architects, NOOMA Studio, Civic Engineers, Skelly & Couch and Atelier Ten and was selected by Be First as it “demonstrated the tailored, multi-disciplinary approach required and considered understanding of the character and the culture of the borough”.

We’re committed to developing new high-quality, sustainable, and affordable communities that deliver social value for the people living here in Barking and Dagenham, and the designer framework is central to achieving this ambition.
Jacob Wilson, Head of Design at Be First

– There are a range of significant challenges facing the construction industry, meaning creative thinking is crucial. This framework brings together established teams with micro and small organisations that can combine experience with fresh ideas from small practices to create innovative solutions, continues Jacob Wilson.

The ambition is to develop sustainable projects with attractive, high-quality homes and communities that residents are proud of. It has therefore been important that all partners can develop a deep understanding of Barking and Dagenham.

Gascoigne West Phase 1. Image: Paul Riddle

We are absolutely delighted to be appointed to Be Firsts new framework and humble to be trusted to continue our work we have done over the last five years on the Gascoigne neighbourhood, with Be First and Barking and Dagenham. Through this work we have had the opportunity to get extremely familiar with the local community.
Linda Thiel, Director at White Arkitekter London

– We look forward to working with the great team we have in our consortium. Be First and LBBD have made an impressive progress in delivering affordable housing for local people, and we are excited to be able to continue to contribute to innovative and sustainable designs, responding to the climate crisis and delivering much needed affordable homes for local people in Barking and Dagenham over the coming years, continues Linda Thiel.

Inclusivity and representation
As Barking and Dagenham is one of the most culturally diverse areas in the UK, inclusion and representation are key issues to Be First, and the framework required lead consultant to seek partnership with smaller firms led by under-represented groups that might otherwise have been excluded.

In the selection of framework agreement partners, Be First has therefore also placed great emphasis on equality and diversity. This has resulted in that among the larger practices in the framework agreement, 75 per cent have at least one female at director or partner level and 25 per cent have at least one person of colour at director or partner level. Among the smaller practices included in the framework agreement, 50 per cent are founded by females and 57 per cent by a one person of colour. By working with the Open City Accelerate programme and the London Neighbourhood Scholarship, Be First has placed a strong emphasis on social sustainability.

Read more about our previous projects in the borough here:

Gascoigne West Phase 1

Gascoigne West, London – Phase 2

Gascoigne East, London – Phase 2


Contact person

Linda Thiel

Linda Thiel



+44 203 897 08 12

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