Press Release: Architect Sadie Morgan named New Londoner of the Year 2017

Wednesday 5 July 2017

Sadie Morgan, founding director of dRMM and member of the National Infrastructure Commission, has been named New Londoner of the Year 2017 at the New London Awards today, a celebration of the very best new architecture and development in the capital.

Organised by New London Architecture (NLA) and supported by the Mayor of London, additional top prizes went to Wickside masterplan in Tower Hamlets by BUJ Architects and Ash Sakula, named Overall Winner; the Central Parade Creative Hub in Waltham Forest by Gort Scott Architects, awarded the Mayor’s Prize; and the Belarusian Memorial Chapel in Woodside Park by Spheron Architects, which won the public vote to take the People’s Choice

From a shortlist of over 150 projects, a total of 31 winning schemes were celebrated across all sectors of London’s built environment, ranging from Housing to Offices, Education to Transport & Infrastructure, and Public Spaces to Masterplans & Area Strategies. Each scheme was selected by a prestigious international jury, advised by London-based experts, for having both the highest design quality and most positive social and economic impacts for London. 

Sadie Morgan was honoured as New Londoner for her work in championing the importance of design at the very highest political level. Alongside reporting directly to the Secretary of State as Chair of the Independent Design Panel for High Speed Two, she is also a commissioner for both the National Infrastructure Commission led by former Cabinet Minister Lord Adonis, and the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission.

Peter Murray, Chairman of New London Architecture said: “Architects, and built environment professionals generally, have not been very good in recent years in helping to set the political agenda. Sadie Morgan is an exception. She has key advisory roles addressing important environmental issues of the day. dRMM were the very first winners of the Pipers Next Generation Award in 2003, and under Sadie’s leadership, have gone on to deliver with the steadfast belief in the importance of design that connects back to people and place.”

Speaking at the ceremony Sadie Morgan said: “When you're surrounded as I am in the roles that I do - I sit on the National Infrastructure Commission, the Thames Estuary Growth Commission, I chair the independent design panel for High Speed 2, and I'm a professor at Westminster - all of those things need an independent voice and a voice that asks government in particular why so often, people and place aren't thought about. 

As a creative industry one thing that we're incredibly good at is thinking about the future because we're innovative and we come at things laterally. Design isn't just about aesthetics, it's about problem solving, and those are the kinds of people that you need really early on in the process, be it policy-making, be it building.

If you integrate design early on it doesn't cost money, it saves money because it helps you anticipate not only the problems but the opportunities. If we can learn to take risks, we can learn to put our head above the parapet, then we will start to reimagine our built environment which is I think one of the most extraordinary opportunities that we have.” 

This year’s Overall Winner, the best of the best, was given to the masterplan for Wickside in Tower Hamlets by BUJ Architects and Ash Sakula, a 3.4 hectare canal-side development on the edge of London’s Olympic Park. Occupying the site of a former refuse yard, the scheme will deliver new creative industry employment and over 470 new dwellings. As central London increasingly risks losing its industrial uses to redevelopment, the scheme was commended by the international jury for creating “a proper piece of city” with a genuine mix of typologies and uses that retains much of the area’s post-industrial character.

The Mayor of London awarded the Mayor’s Prize to Central Parade Creative Hub in Waltham Forest by Gort Scott Architects for LB Waltham Forest, the transformation of a 1960s former council office into a mixed-use creative hub, hosting a variety of independent retail, co-working, studio and exhibition space. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Central Parade is a worthy winner of this award. This former 1960s council office building has been reborn as a unique and valuable new asset for the local community, including much-needed space for people working in the creative industries. I’ve seen first-hand how the project is sensitive to the building’s heritage and I’m confident this is the latest step in the transformation of Walthamstow’s town centre.''

And in conjunction with the London Festival of Architecture, over 4,000 votes were cast over the month of June for the People’s Choice, with the winner awarded to the Belarusian Memorial Chapel in Woodside Park by Spheron Architects. The chapel was built for the Belarusian diaspora community in the UK, dedicated to the memory of victims of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and is the first wooden church built in London since the Great Fire of 1666.

Additional winning schemes all categories included the New Cancer Centre at Guy's Hospital by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Stantec (Ashden Prize for Sustainability); Poplar Baths in Tower Hamlets by Pringle Richards Sharratt (Conservation & Retrofit); The Bartlett School of Architecture by HawkinsBrown (Education); Boxpark, in Croydon by BDP (Meanhwile); and Deptford Market Yard by Pollard Thomas Edwards and Farrer Huxley Associates (Retail).

Download full press release here.


For press, interview requests and image requests contact:
Michelle Haywood, Head of Marketing & Comms, New London Architecture
020 7636 4044

Notes to editors

New London Awards jury members:
Peter Murray, Chairman, New London Architecture
Dominique Alba, Director, l’Atelier Parisien d’Urbanisme
David J Burney, Professor of Planning and Placemaking, Pratt Institute School of Architecture, New York City
Riccardo Marini, Founder, Marini Urbanismo
Monica von Schmalensee, CEO, White Arkitekter

Expert assessors:

Matthew Dearlove, Head of Design, Knight Dragon
Simon Erridge, Director, Bennetts Associates
Kathryn Firth, Urban Design/ Masterplanning Consultant
Emma Foster, Director, Mount Anvil
Tanvir Hassa, Director, Donald Insall
Steve Kennard, Director of Regeneration, Hadley Property Group
Simon Kincaid, Director, Conran + Partners
Rosemarie MacQueen MBE, Consultant / Lecturer
Laura Mazzeo, Partner, Farrells
Jo McCafferty, Director, Levitt Bernstein
Sheila McCusker, Director, MSMR
Sadie Morgan, Co-founding Director, dRMM
Tiffany Neller, Director, EPR
Rob Partridge, Director, AKT II
John Robertson, Principal Director, John Robertson Architects
Rachel Shaw, Director, ArchitecturePLB
Catherine Staniland, Director, New London Architecture
Ziona Strelitz, Founding Director, ZZA Responsive User Environments
Debbie Whitfield, Deputy Chair, New London Architecture
Katie Wood, Director, Operations Consulting, Arup

Sponsor Information:

The New London Awards are supported by the Mayor of London and sponsored by Airflow, AluK, Ashden, Broadgate Estates, designjunction, Internation Fire Consultants Group (IFC Group), Urban Space Management, WICONA; and media partner OnOffice.

More information about the winners and commended schemes can be found here.

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