Stoke Newington, Hackney, London, N16.
Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Other contractors: Wates Construction, Yorkon (modular specialist)
- Housing Design Award 2004 - 'in recognition of its excellence'
- Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Award 2004
- British Construction Industry (BCI) Awards 2004: Best Practice Award
- RIBA Client of the Year Award 2004 - Peabody for 'pioneering work in off-site construction, the realisation of truly sustainable housing, and in particular commissioning this year's RIBA Award-winning Raines Court by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris'
- Architect of the Year Awards: Client of the Year 2004 - Peabody
- Finalist for the Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award.
RIBA Project Award (Housing Design category)
Raines Court, in Stoke Newington, London N16, was the first modular housing development that Peabody offered for sale.
The development features 53 shared ownership flats aimed at local people in Hackney on moderate incomes and key workers, as well as eight live/work units for sale on the open market.
Raines Court was an extended experiment for Peabody into the potential for delivering high quality housing through off-site volumetric construction methods. As Peabody's second modular housing development, it followed on from award-winning Murray Grove, also in Hackney.
Murray Grove was assembled in 1999 and hailed by the government and the construction industry as a breakthrough for innovative house building. It was the UK's first multi-storey modular housing development and with Raines Court, Peabody aimed to drive forward the impetus for innovation and demonstrate improvements in speed and efficiency.
Peabody wanted to prove that modular homes can be just as attractive, well designed and sought after as conventionally built homes. Much of what was achieved with Raines Court was an industry first and it was the largest factory-assembled, affordable housing project in the country at the time.
The site is a former dairy products distribution yard on Northwold Road in Stoke Newington, Hackney, given to Peabody under a unique agreement between Hackney council and Peabody called 'Hackney Now'. The council transferred ownership of seven derelict sites to Peabody for redevelopment into homes for local people and commercial premises.
A typical two-bedroom apartment in the six-storey zinc-clad development comprises of two modules, one with living/dining kitchen and the other with bedrooms and a generous bathroom.
Raines Court consists of 41 two-bedroom flats, 11 three-bedroom flats, and a one-bedroom flat. All the flats were available for shared ownership when they were completed and sold within three weeks.
Prices ranged from £160,000 for the one-bedroom, £210,000 for a two-bedroom and £230,000 for a three-bedroom flat. The eight live/work units on the ground floor were sold for outright sale at £195,000.
The first phase saw 29 steel-framed modules produced in a factory and assembled at the Raines Court site over just five days.
The units were manufactured on Yorkon's high-precision production line in York and came complete with fixtures and fittings, including tiling, kitchens, bathrooms, plumbing and heating.
The modules were transported by lorry to the former dairy products distribution yard on Northwold Road in Stoke Newington in July 2002.
Modules for the second phase arrived on site in August 2002 and the scheme was completed in 2003.
Raines Court pushed forward the use of modular technology by increasing the level of off-site construction and by reducing the number of modules used. Balconies were incorporated into some of the modules in the factory, thereby further reducing work on site. By using fewer but larger modules for the apartments, transport costs were reduced and installation on site was quicker and more efficient. This enabled Peabody to build new affordable homes more quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. However until economies of scale are introduced through the mass production of the modules, the method will be no cheaper to build than traditionally built developments.
Raines Court is another example of Peabody and the project team's approach to innovation in the context of the Egan agenda. It also recognises the need to provide more affordable housing and takes account of recommendations on Brownfield, mixed use development, demonstrated in both the Mayor of London's London Plan and the Urban Task Force report.
Low cost home ownership is a crucial part of the London Borough of Hackney's regeneration strategy as it enables people on moderate incomes to remain within the borough when they might otherwise be priced out. This helps create more balanced communities and contributes to economic regeneration.
Shared ownership housing also fits with the government agenda to bring home ownership within reach of key workers in London. By providing over 50% of affordable homes in this development, Raines Court exceeds the quota of low-cost housing recommended for developments in Mayor Ken Livingstone's London Plan.
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