The award recognizes the best affordable housing developments realized in the UK in the past year. PBA projects dominated the 2021 shortlist with two of the four nominated entries.
The winning design features a 26-unit block with dual aspect openings connecting to the street and central tree-lined courtyard in a radical reimagining of the iconic back-to-back terraced housing typology that was popular in English industrial cities during the early part of the 20th century.
“Intelligent, dynamic, and original — this unique configuration of housing has the McGrath Road community at its heart. It’s an exemplar of high-quality social housing within one of London’s most densely populated boroughs and demonstrates what can — and must — be achieved across the country. It would, I am sure, have been championed by the late, great Neave Brown,” RIBA director Simon Allford said.
The Stratford development joins Mikhail Riches Architects and Cathy Hawley’s Stirling-winning Goldsmith Street development on a list of winners of the relatively new award that was created in 2019 to honor the late housing pioneer.
The jury was chaired by David Mikhail, with Public Practice founder Pooja Agrawal and Mark Swenarton, Neave Brown’s family representative, serving as judges.
“In addition to its sheer inventiveness, this project has made a huge contribution to the wider area,” Mikhail said in the jury report. “The architects have moulded a place of character, both within the scheme and the community it serves. It demonstrates how imaginative street-based architecture can be socially progressive and architecturally engaging — a combination that endears Peter Barber Architects’ work to so many people.”
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