The Royal Institute of British Architects 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 block – 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 rent.
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 that.”
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 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.