A social housing development in Hackney has picked up an award for good design, one of only three housing association schemes in the whole country honoured for their architecture at this year's awards.
The Peabody Trust's 'Nile Street' scheme will be honoured at the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Awards ceremony tomorrow (June 23) at the London Hilton, marking the end of London Architecture Week 2006.
Designed by architects Munkenbeck + Marshall, the innovative, high density scheme is a showcase for social housing development in inner-city London.
Nile Street provides a total of 175 homes, 128 of them affordable (to rent and to buy) and designed for key workers and those on low or intermediate incomes. The sale of the private flats has served to cross-subsidise the affordable properties in the development. There are also communal and roof gardens as well as a youth centre and a ball court.
Built on the site of a former NCP car park and located just north of Old Street, the location is perfect for key workers, being close to Moorfields Eye Hospital and City of London.
RIBA Awards are only given to buildings that have reached high architectural standards and make a substantial contribution to the local environment. The awards are annual and have been running continuously since 1966.
The RIBA praised the architects, Munkenbeck and Marshall Urbanism, for showing great skill in making a high density building while retaining privacy for individual apartments.
"(At Nile Street) affordable flats for rent are indistinguishable from the other tenures," said the judges. "They have also managed to promote a sense of community by the careful use of shared space. This is place-making at its best."
The awards are nationwide but the three award-winning housing association projects were all from London. Shaftesbury Student Housing – a business initiative of the Shaftesbury Housing Group – received the RIBA accolade for Newington Green Student Housing, as did Circle Anglia for the Donnybrook Quarter scheme in E3.
The 62 RIBA Award winners (54 in the UK and 8 in the EU) form the longlist for The RIBA Stirling Prize, which Channel 4 will televise for the seventh year running on Saturday 14 October 2006.
A spokesperson for the Peabody Trust said: "The Nile Street scheme reflects the belief that a social housing development needs the very highest quality of design in order to be a success.
"We hope that the example of Nile Street will make a significant contribution to meeting London's housing requirements in the future," she added.
Stephen Marshall of architects Munkenbeck + Marshall Urbanism commented: "We are delighted that the Nile Street project has been selected for a RIBA award. Today everybody recognises and expects a sense of style in their lives. This building tries to raise the bar in addressing this expectation".
For further press information, please contact the communications team at the Peabody Trust on 020 7021 4210 or email.