Low-energy affordable homes win top prize in 
New London Awards 2019

Wednesday 3 July 2019

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The first phase of a Camden masterplan providing 38 affordable and energy-efficient homes is the 2019 Overall Winner of the annual New London Awards, organised by New London Architecture (NLA) and supported by the Mayor of London.

Agar Grove Phase 1a by HawkinsBrown for LB Camden scooped the top prize for its community consultation process, consulting existing residents, stakeholders and statutory bodies at all stages. Phase 1a, completed in May 2018, delivers 38 social rented homes and is the largest of LB Camden’s community investment projects. It was also praised for its use of passive design to reduce energy demands. Once the whole masterplan is complete, the scheme will be the largest Passivhaus development in the UK, with all new homes built achieve a 90 per cent energy bill reduction. The project also picked up the Sustainability Prize, due to energy performance and fuel poverty being at the top of its agenda.

The New London Awards, now in their ninth year, recognise everything from small community projects, green spaces and parks, to major housing schemes and masterplans. Both built and unbuilt winners were announced across 14 categories on Wednesday 3 July at an annual ceremony to over 700 built environment professionals at The Guildhall. 

NLA chairman and New London Awards judge Peter Murray said:“Every project shortlisted in this year’s New London Awards is worthy of celebration. The Awards celebrate the best of London architecture - from housing to shops, from churches to temporary installations. While the judges have selected winners in a range of categories, the whole shortlist highlights the quality of much contemporary architecture in the capital. Over the decade we have been organising the Awards we have seen an ongoing improvement in design; one of the changes we have seen in recent years is a growing involvement of local communities in the design of new housing. While many such projects are still in the pipeline, this will be a key game changer in years to come.”

The full list of winning projects across the 14 categories can be found here. All shortlisted and winning projects will feature in an exhibition at the NLA Galleries at The Building Centre, London WC1, from 26 July-October 2019, and in a special publication from Wednesday 3 July.  

Winner of the new Hidden Hero Prize was 85-year old Nano McCaughan, who was involved form the very start in the Community Land Trust project in Lewisham to build 11 affordable homes, each home sold at a price linked to local wages. She visited many local residents and councils and with her strong determination put together a team to deliver the scheme. The Award was created to recognise individuals that make a significant contribution to the creation of great places, whose efforts often go unseen and unrecognised, yet without them we would not have the city we have today.  

Winner of the prestigious Mayor’s Prize was Chobham Manor in Newham, by AHMM, Haworth Tompkins, Karakusevic Carson Architects, Make, muf architecture/art, Nord and PRP for Chobham Manor LLP (Taylor Wimpey & L&Q) and the London Legacy Development Corporation. The Award is given to the project across all categories which bestreflects The Mayor’s ambition for ‘commissioning quality’ in London, as expressed through his Good Growth by Design programme. Chobham Manor was awarded for its principles: living by the green, designing for families and building communities. 

Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, said: “At Chobham Manor, the London Legacy Development Corporation went above and beyond in demonstrating their commitment to good design and in creating high quality places for London. Quality of life was considered and embedded throughout all stages of the project’s development, delivery and legacy. It is an excellent example of how strategic decision making at an early stage, an ongoing commitment to good design throughout, and the right approach to procurement, engagement and inclusion create developments of which Londoners can be proud.”

The People’s Choice Award, sponsored by the London Festival of Architecture and voted for by Londoners in an online poll, went to The Aga Khan Centre - a place of education, knowledge, cultural exchange and insight into Muslim civilisations. 

The Community Prize, sponsored by ft’work, went to The Granville in Brent by RCKa for LB Brent – which provides affordable workspace to local entrepreneurs, spaces for events, training and charitable activities, and incorporates existing uses including a children’s centre and community kitchen. The project demonstrates what can happen when different parts of the community come together for a common goal: to save a much-loved building and bring it back into full use, while developing local capacity, skills and know-how for the future. The project used a collaborative design process involving six community groups, responding to its social context by clearly addressing a local need, using a well-loved existing building and enhancing an already valuable resource at the heart of the community. 

Mark Allen, CEO of the South Kilburn Trust said: “The South Kilburn Trust is committed to creating a space for local residents, business and organisations, now and for the long term. People tell us that the space matters. We worked closely with RCKa to come up with a concept that would take into account a wide range of uses, for a wide range of people, and the initial feedback is that together we have come up with something that really works”.  

The shortlist was chosen by a group of London expert assessors, with an international panel of architecture and urban design and planning experts from New York, Paris, Copenhagen and Edinburgh naming the winners. 

Also announced at the ceremony was NLA’s ‘New Londoner of the Year’ – presented to John Burns, Chief Executive of Derwent London, for his contribution to the delivery of high-quality design and his dedication to and faith in London, its character, its villages, its emerging businesses, particularly in design and tech, and its people.

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