The Environmental Prize recognises the most sustainable projects in the capital, with design strategies that minimise environmental impact as well as an efficient use of materials, a low carbon footprint and innovation, and which is selected from across the other categories. A wide range of schemes were assessed, including a sports hall, a farm, restaurant, a market, a mixed use building an energy centre, one office building and two higher education buildings.
Significantly, half of the projects were housing schemes, but many of these ‘New London Vernacular’ schemes were simply doing what really good housing schemes should do in terms of the energy agenda enshrined in the London Plan.
Many adopted a ‘fabric first’ approach to sustainability. The real standouts, though, had an exceptional, pioneering, and innovative energy approach as part of their make-up, expressing joy and an uplifting aura at the same time.
INTERNATIONAL JURY COMMENTS
Monica von Schmalensee: ‘The re-use of buildings is going to be even more important in the future. This is a statement to how you can use heat and transform that into something in the neighbourhood. A very strong message to how we can reuse our energy as part of both cooling and heating’
Benjamin Prosky: ‘It’s great what it does, and also, it looks good. It could do what it does and just be a concrete wall that wasn’t expressive. It’s interesting that they gave it texture and it is a nice object, inserted, that made an effort to make design and aesthetics a part of that, a contribution to the neighbourhood’