East London affordable housing complex wins Neave Brown Award for Housing

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road
by Henley Halebrown as
the winner of the Neave Brown Award for Housing 2022.

Given in honour of social housing pioneer, Neave Brown (1926-2018), the
annual award recognises the UK’s best new affordable housing.

Located on London’s Kingsland Road, this hybrid scheme skilfully combines a
community-led school with 68 apartments on a compact urban site. The
deliberately dense housing – which includes 68 rented homes, 50% of which are
offered below market rates – frees up the maximum footprint for the school,
whilst also providing a substantial baffle from noise and emissions from the
neighbouring busy road.

The development is owned by an affordable housing charity which primarily
focuses on housing key workers. 333 Kingsland Road operates a tenure blind
arrangement, whereby 50% of apartments are available below the average market

Orientation, natural ventilation and light have been carefully considered
and prioritised to create spacious, bright apartments. On each of the main
floors, eight homes are clustered around a central octagonal stair. Windows are
deliberately large to optimise views across the capital, and all residents have
access to a communal roof terrace. Below, as the building meets the ground, a
welcoming colonnade generously extends the pavement and provides access to the
new commercial units, completing an impressive, multi-faceted urban complex.

Chair of the Neave Brown Award for Housing jury, Kaye Stout, said: “This is a notable
architectural response, demonstrating how to effectively combine multiple
functions without diminishing the strength of either the educational or
residential aspect. Here, Henley Halebrown deliver high-quality affordable
housing that stimulates and delights residents, visitors and passers-by. The
robust design is thoughtfully detailed throughout. Not only does it provide
social value to this inner-city neighbourhood, it responds to a complex brief
with architectural ambition and sets an extremely high standard for urban
design. When Neave Brown accepted the RIBA Gold Medal, he said ‘… we weren’t so
much doing housing, as making part of the city’, and this project does just

RIBA President Simon Allford
said: “This is a highly-intelligent response to providing critical social
infrastructure – a thoughtful and generous set of spaces for residents and the
local community to live, learn and play in. The educational and residential
elements are elegantly engaged in a single composition – an architectural essay
in designing an important city corner that engages with the public realm.”

The 2022 Neave Brown Award for Housing jury was chaired by previous winner,
Partner at Pollard Thomas Edwards, Kaye
Stout; Architect and Development Manager at Meridian Water
(Enfield Council), Yemi Aladerun;
and Neave Brown family representative, Professor
David Porter.

RIBA named The Hackney
School of Food as the winner of the Stephen Lawrence Prize 2022.

The annual Prize was established in 1998 in memory of Stephen Lawrence, a teenager
who was on his way to becoming an architect when he was tragically murdered in
a racist attack in 1993. Supported and founded by the Marco Goldschmied
Foundation, it aims to encourage new architectural talent, celebrating and
rewarding projects with a construction budget of less than £1 million.

Previously a derelict school keeper’s house and garage, The Hackney School
of Food provides a unique service in the area: an inspiring place to teach
children how to grow, cook and eat food, whilst also serving as a crucial
community hub.

Due to limited space and budget, Surman Weston looked to retrofit the
existing building to realise the client’s vision. Whilst externally, the house
appears unchanged, inside it is transformed by the removal of the first floor
to create an impressive double-height space. Outside, the derelict gardens have
been overhauled to provide vegetable patches, greenhouses and outdoor cooking
and eating spaces, forming part of the welcoming oasis for children to learn
all about food.

Meanwhile, RIBA also named Thornsett
Group Plc and the Benyon Estate as RIBA Client of the Year 2022. The
annual RIBA award recognises exemplar clients who champion and commission
outstanding architecture.

The joint clients commissioned Henley Halebrown to create Hackney New
Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road in 2015 – a project that has since been
upheld for its significant contribution to the East London community as a piece
of social infrastructure.


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