A vintage year for housing
19 November 2010
Ten exceptional new housing schemes have won a Building for Life award, in a vintage year for housing design.
The schemes have been selected from a record 55 that achieved a Building for Life standard, 50 per cent more than last year. For the first time, well over half of all entries reached the national standard for well designed homes and neighbourhoods.
The winning developments vary from a small self build community in Bristol to a large 1,200 home multi-developer scheme in Bedfordshire. Each has held its own in a difficult commercial climate and has created the kind of housing that local communities would recognise as a genuine asset for their neighbourhood.
Wayne Hemingway, chair of Building for Life, said that the good work of Building for Life over the decade is paying off. ‘We’re finally getting new homes and neighbourhoods that look and work better. And the industry is increasingly using Building for Life to assess design quality – proving that it makes good business sense.’
Ashley Vale in Bristol is the first scheme of its kind to win a Building for Life award and may herald a new era of community build encouraged through changes to the planning system. A mix of scales and architectural styles, and a commitment to environmental sustainability, give it a distinctive identity.
The first phase of St Andrew’s, a high-density development in east London’s Bromley-by-Bow, includes family housing much needed in the area. It benefited from strong community involvement at an early stage, including consultation on the location of the scheme’s main park.
Masterplanning and design codes were crucial to creating successful new communities at the large-scale developments of Fairfield Park in Stotfold, Bedfordshire, and Water Colour in Redhill, Surrey.
Cargo in Plymouth and Stonebridge Hillside Hub in north west London are supporting transformation of deprived areas through housing-led regeneration.
Barking Central, part of a striking larger regeneration programme in Barking, London; Cometa, a delightful 12-home development in an infill site in High Wycombe; the elegant be: Newhall in Essex and Stanmore Place in Harrow, north London with its lovely waterside setting, also received a Building for Life awards.
We will be publishing case studies of the 10 award winners on Wednesday 1 December.