And the winner is… congratulations to the RIBA Stirling Prize 2019 winner Goldsmith Street by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley. Awarded to the UK’s best new building, the project for Norwich City Council is made up of almost 100 highly energy-efficient homes and meets rigorous Passivhaus standards.
The scheme comprises rows of two-storey houses are bookended by three-storey flats, each with their own front door, generous lobby space for prams and bikes, and private balconies. The back gardens of the central terraces share a secure alleyway for children to play together, and a wide landscaped walkway for the community runs directly through the middle of the estate. Parking has been pushed to Goldsmith Street’s outer edges, making sure that people, not cars, own the streets.
“We were delighted to see Goldsmith Street win the RIBA Stirling Prize last night. This scheme has been a hot topic in the office, as we strive to make our buildings and communities more sustainable, it is an excellent exemplar of how Passivhaus can be achieved on mass, in a coherent and modern setting for a local authority housing provider” said Lindsay Cruddas, RIBA – accredited Specialist Conservation Architect at Planning & Design.
Remarkably for a dense, mass housing development, Goldsmith Street also meets rigorous Passivhaus standards. A passive solar scheme, designed to minimise fuel bills for residents: annual energy costs are estimated to be 70% cheaper than for the average household. Even the smallest details have been thought about: letterboxes are built into external porches to reduce any possibility of draughts, and perforated aluminium ‘brise-soleils’ provide sun shades above windows and doors.
Goldsmith Street also won the inaugural Neave Brown Award for Housing.
The award, named in honour of the late Neave Brown (1929 – 2018), recognises the best new example of affordable housing in the UK. Projects eligible for the award needed to have won a RIBA Regional Award (Goldsmith Street won in RIBA East); be 10 or more homes completed and occupied between 1 November 2016 and 1 February 2019; and have one third of the housing be affordable and demonstrate evidence of meeting the challenge of housing affordability.
Image: © Tim Crocker