The Royal Institute of British Architects has named Lighthouse Children’s Home by Conrad Koslowsky Architects as winner of the Stephen Lawrence Prize 2023.
In a leafy Southwest London suburb, this previously derelict 1920s house has been transformed into an arts and craft-style six-bedroom care home; the first created by the Lighthouse Pedagogy Trust.
The panel praised the research that has informed features such as the sensitive consideration of the soundscape, flexible furniture layouts and shared living spaces, all with two exits to avoid feelings of entrapment.
Of the transformation, Matthew Goldschmied, Jury Chair and Managing Trustee of the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, said: “Architectural resourcefulness and ingenuity has transformed the critical and overwhelming pressures faced by looked-after children into opportunities. Everything has been carefully designed to improve the welfare, safety, comfort, health, self-esteem, and growth of its occupants. Each intervention is exhaustively researched and rigorously detailed to create something truly beautiful and harmonious.
The Lighthouse Children’s Home demonstrates the therapeutic potential of thoughtfully designed environments. Aesthetic coherence unites the spaces here, setting the scene for stories of hope to unfold. The young lives this building touches will undoubtedly be supported by its comfort and restorative power.”
RIBA President Muyiwa Oki, said: “This is a highly intelligent and considered response to a very complex and sensitive brief. Conrad Koslowsky Architects and Lighthouse Pedagogy Trust are to be commended for their close collaboration, holistic approach, and the exceptional results that have been delivered as a result.”
This year’s jury also included architecture student, Adefunmilayo Adebi, who joined on behalf of the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, and will go on to receive mentoring from the winning project architect. Of the project, she commented: “This exceptional project showcases how design can remove social barriers, whilst providing highly functional and attractive spaces for users. It sets the stage for buildings that create the conditions for connected and healthy communities, shaping a precedent for other designers like me to follow.”
Along with Adefunmilayo, the 2023 Stephen Lawrence Prize jury comprised: Managing Trustee of the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, Matthew Goldschmied (Chair); Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE; and winner of the 2022 Stephen Lawrence Prize and co-founder at Surman Weston, Percy Weston.
This year, for the first time, the Stephen Lawrence Prize celebrates new talent by exclusively recognising projects led by an early career project architect - typically someone who has qualified within five years prior to the project’s completion date. As in previous years, the Stephen Lawrence Prize shortlist was selected from winners of the UK RIBA Regional Awards. Project Architects – including their year of qualification – were identified at the point of entry.
Now in its 25th year, the Stephen Lawrence Prize was founded in 1998 by Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE and Marco Goldschmied, in memory of Stephen Lawrence, an aspiring architect who was tragically murdered in a racist attack in 1993.
The Stephen Lawrence Prize is in partnership with the Marco Goldschmied Foundation.
RIBA Stirling Prize and Stephen Lawrence Prize 2023 winners' talk
Join the 2023 winners of the RIBA Stirling Prize and Stephen Lawrence Prize as they come together in a unique evening to share the stories behind their prize-winning buildings. Book your tickets for this event on 9 November at 66 Portland Place, London.