The expert jurors in the housing category were surprised to note a general slippage in the number and quality of entries this year, attributing this mainly to the COVID-19 situation.
Nevertheless, there was enough on the shortlist to suggest some worthy winners, particularly in providing high quality affordable housing with good neighbourhood settings and access to green areas and services, one of the key issues faced by London at the moment. The panel was also keen to see tall buildings that fit within the London context and which could be ‘beacons’ of how to lead the way, at layouts and outdoor space, again influenced by lockdown, and in the use of innovative techniques and flexibility, being pushed more by the smaller schemes than the medium and large projects.
The expert category assessors were also pleased to note more use of ‘London vernacular’ brick and see housing projects which responded to local context and character, using materials that will endure the test of time and give something back to the city
QUOTES FROM THE INTERNATIONAL JURY
95 Peckham Road
Benjamin Prosky: ‘I felt that the massing, the texture, the rhythm, the long terraces, the courtyard, the way there were these slim units on the back backing up to existing plots - I thought this was a really interesting use of a site and a little more interesting and innovative’
Monica von Schmalensee: ‘It’s quite important, especially in big cities that you have balconies and that you can use the area around the house in a period like this, that we’re living in now’
Unbuilt: Wilmer Place
Andreas Ruby: ‘I think this is an amazing project, because it’s both an urban design statement as well as an architectural design. How it makes the place I think is just quite fabulous. There’s a beautiful balance between outdoor and indoor spaces and obviously an awareness of not only what it means to build a house but also to inform the unbuilt space around it’
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The Housing Programme