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16 NEW DEVELOPMENTS


Norwich estate wins RIBA Stirling Prize


he Goldsmith Street development in Norwich has been announced as the winner of the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize. Comprising almost 100 ultra-low energy homes for Norwich City Council, the project is arranged in seven terrace blocks, modelled on the Victorian streets of Norwich’s nearby ‘Golden Triangle’ district. Designed by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley, rows of two-storey


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The development was designed by architects Mikhail Riches and Cathy Hawley to the rigorous Passivhaus energy standard


houses are “bookended” by three-storey flats, each with their own front door, generous lobby space for prams and bikes, and private balcony. The back gardens of the central terraces share a secure ‘ginnel’ (alley- way) for children to play together, and a wide landscaped walkway for communal gatherings runs perpendicularly through the middle of the estate. Parking has been pushed to the outer edges of the development, “ensuring that people own the streets, not their cars,” said RIBA. Energy-wise, Goldsmith Street meets rigorous Passivhaus environmental


standards – “impressive for a dense, mass housing development,” commented RIBA. The ‘passive solar scheme’ is designed to minimise fuel bills for residents (annual energy costs are estimated to be 70 per cent cheaper than for the average household). To maximise solar gain, all homes face south and every wall is over 600 mm thick, and the roofs are angled at 15 degrees to ensure each terrace does not block sunlight from homes in the street behind. Even the smallest details have been meticu- lously considered: letterboxes are built into external porches – rather than the front doors, to reduce any possibility of draughts – and perforated aluminium brise-soleil provide sun shading above windows and doors. The palette of building materials references Norwich’s history, such as


the glossy black roof pantiles – a nod to the city’s Dutch trading links – and the “creamy” clay bricks, which are similar to those found on Victorian terraces nearby. To ensure the windows echoed Victorian proportions but also met the project’s low energy requirements, the architects developed a recessed feature, giving the impression of a much larger opening but limiting the amount of glass. Bespoke steel mesh garden gates and brightly coloured front doors give each home “a strong sense of individuality and ownership,” said RIBA. David Mikhail of Mikhail Riches, commented on the award: “Goldsmith Street’s success is testimony to the vision and leadership of Norwich City Council. We thank them for their commitment and support. They believe that council housing tenants deserve great design.


“It is not often we are appointed to work on a project so closely aligned with what we believe matters; buildings people love and which are low impact. We hope other local authorities will be inspired to deliver beauti- ful homes for people who need them the most, and at an affordable price. “To all the residents – thank you for sharing your enthusiasm, and your homes, with everyone who has visited.”


The annual prize, presented since 1996, is awarded to the UK’s best new building. Goldsmith Street was chosen by the Stirling Prize jury from the following shortlisted projects: • Cork House, Berkshire by architects Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton


• London Bridge Station by architects Grimshaw • Nevill Holt Opera, Leicestershire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects


• The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience, Moray by architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners


• The Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Park by Feilden Fowles Architects WWW.HBDONLINE.CO.UK


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