The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has named A House for Artists by Apparata Architects as winner of the Neave Brown Award for Housing 2023.
Given in honour of modernist architect and social housing pioneer, Neave Brown (1926-2018), the annual award recognises the UK’s best new affordable housing.
A House for Artists in Barking, East London, is an imaginative response to rising housing costs and a model for community-minded housing design. With 12 homes on the upper floors, the ground floor is a community space, where the artist residents provide a free creative programme for local people in exchange for reduced rent.
Judges praised Apprata for the versatility the flats allow, creating opportunities for flexible live-work spaces and shared living. With communal entrance porticos and street level courtyard encouraging social bonding, residents have reported an improved quality of life that, coupled with the generous light-filled living spaces and studio provision, has enabled the necessary stability to continue their careers in the arts.
The 2023 Neave Brown for Housing jury was chaired by Alice Brownfield, Director at Peter Barber Architects, Prisca Thielmann, Associate Director at Maccreanor Lavington, and Aaron Brown, son of Neave Brown and Design Director at Smith & Brown Ltd.
Jury Chair, Alice Brownfield, said: “A House for Artists offers an ingenious architectural response to the pressing challenge of increasingly unaffordable city living, demonstrating what’s possible when communities are put first.