Laura Sharman 09 October 2019

Norwich council estate wins top architecture prize

Norwich council estate wins top architecture prize image

A council estate in Norwich has been named as the UK’s best new building.

Goldsmith Street, which is made up of nearly 100 ultra low-energy homes, has won the 2019 Stirling Prize from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Designed by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley for Norwich City Council, the scheme meets rigorous Passivhaus environmental standards, cutting annual energy bills by 70%.

The scheme has been hailed as a ‘beacon of hope’ for social housing.

Julia Barfield, who chaired the judging panel, said: ‘Goldsmith Street is a modest masterpiece. It is high-quality architecture in its purest most environmentally and socially-conscious form. Behind restrained creamy façades are impeccably-detailed, highly sustainable homes – an incredible achievement for a development of this scale.

‘This is proper social housing, over ten years in the making, delivered by an ambitious and thoughtful council. These desirable, spacious, low-energy properties should be the norm for all council housing.’

Cllr Gail Harris, Norwich City Council’s cabinet member for social housing, said: ‘Winning this prestigious award shows that it is possible to build fantastic new council homes, despite the challenges posed by central government cuts and restrictions around Right to Buy receipts.’

Photo: ©Tim Crocker

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