Street of 105 homes hailed as high-quality architecture in its most environmentally and socially conscious form.
One hundred years since the 1919 Addison Act paved the way for the country’s programme of mass council housing, the prize for the best new building in the UK has been awarded to one of the first new council housing projects in a generation.
Goldsmith Street in Norwich represents what has become a rare breed: streets of terraced homes built directly by the council, rented with secure tenancies at fixed social rents. And it’s an architectural marvel, too.
“A modest masterpiece” is how the RIBA Stirling prize judges described the project, designed by London firm Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley, representing “high-quality architecture in its purest most environmentally and socially conscious form”. The 105 creamy-brick homes are designed to stringent Passivhaus environmental standards, meaning energy costs are around 70% cheaper than average. The walls are highly insulated and the roofs are cleverly angled at 15 degrees, to ensure each terrace doesn’t block sunlight from the homes behind, while letterboxes are built into external porches, rather than the front doors, to reduce any possibility of draughts... [+]