A programme of art, architecture and infrastructure to mark the centenary of the UK’s biggest council housing estate

Valence House Museum

Homes of the Future: Building Becontree 2121


20 July – 12 September 2021

Homes of the Future: Building Becontree 2121 is a community competition open to all young people. Valence House Museum invites participants to design the ultimate cutting-edge house for the Becontree Estate. The project encourages imaginative and creative designs, taking inspiration from the original homes on the estate and their state-of-the-art design. What will your house of 2121 look like?

Valence House received lots of fantastic and creative designs when they asked young people to design the ultimate cutting-edge house for 100 years in the future. Thank you to everyone who entered. Their special guest judge Bill Jennings, former LBBD housing manager and Becontree historian, enjoyed looking through all of the imaginative designs.

Special thank you to the Valence Volunteers who have kindly sponsored the prizes for this competition. The winners in each category will be receiving £50 of Amazon vouchers and everyone who entered the competition will receive a special Becontree mug.

Winners of the Building Becontree 2121 competition.

Sophie (age 6), winner in the 6 and under category

Judges loved how Sophie tackled the issue of limited space for new houses, by building upwards, instead of outwards, to create a colourful multi-story townhouse. The house featured fun slides to move around the different floors and an outdoor hoop for fun and games!

Scarlett (age 7), winner in the 7-11 category

Judges were blown away with how Scarlett’s “Eco” house embraced so many different elements, from solar and lunar panels, to a water collector, windmill and lightning catcher. She also built in a parking space for your flying car and jet packs.

Andreia (age 12), winner in the 12-16 category

Judges were very impressed with how Andreia had embraced a futuristic sleek modern design with lots of geometric shapes. Her design was light and airy with vast expanse of windows, and a large roof terrace.

Valence House Museum is the only surviving manor house in Dagenham. It dates back to medieval times, is still partially surrounded by a moat and has a collection of nearly 30,000 items. The galleries tell the story of Barking and Dagenham and its people throughout the ages. Highlights on display include the Dagenham Idol, (on loan from Colchester and Ipswich Museum) whalebones believed to be from the lower jaw of a Common Greenland Whale and the Fanshawe family portraits, which are one of the best collections of gentry portraits in Britain. Barking and Dagenham Archives and Local Studies Centre is situated in the Visitor Centre at Valence House.