A House for Artists by APPARATA Architects has been awarded the RIBA’s 2023 Neave Brown Award for Housing. Awarded each year in honor of modernist architect and social housing pioneer Neave Brown, the award recognized the UK’s best new affordable housing. APPARATA's scheme was chosen from a shortlist of four announced in July.
APPARATA’s scheme is the result of a six-year effort by arts organization Create London to provide affordable accommodation for creative people. The resulting scheme provides dlexible live/work space for 12 artists across five floors. In exchange for a reduced rent, the aritsts deliver free creative programmes for the neighborhood through a street-facing glass-walled community hall and outdoor exhibition space on the ground floor.
Each set of three apartments shares a communal outdoor space inhabited by plants and personal objects. Meanwhile, corridor-free internal arrangements, tall ceilings, and dual-aspect openings “give a feeling of generous space.” Living rooms on one floor can also be joined via double doors in the part walls to form a collective space for optional and flexible shared living opportunities such as parties, childcare, or co-working.
On each floor, apartments contain balconies on either side offering a two-sides, open-air escape strategy that eliminates the need for protected internal corridors. The same approach also removes the need for fixed layouts, freeing up floor plans for modification.
Throughout the interior, the concrete structure is exposed, “offering structural clarity while being a calm and confident presence within its context.” Within apartments, circles and triangles carved into the concrete provide a nod to the surrounding roof forms.
The award is one of several recently announced by RIBA. Last week, the Lighthouse Children’s Home by Conrad Koslowsky Architects was awarded the 2023 Stephen Lawrence Prize, while Mæ's John Morden Centre won the 2023 RIBA Stirling Prize.
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