RIBA names Goldsmith Street as winner of inaugural Neave Brown Award for Housing

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the winner of the very first Neave Brown Award for Housing.

Goldsmith Street, a highly energy-efficient council housing development in Norwich designed by Mikhail Riches Architects with Cathy Hawley, is the recipient of the RIBA’s new housing award, named in honour of the late architect, Neave Brown (1929 – 2018).

Goldsmith Street provides almost 100 homes for Norwich City Council. The finely-detailed houses and flats have been arranged in seven terrace blocks, creating a strong and sustainable new community. In order to meet rigorous ‘Passivhaus’ environmental standards, every home has been impeccably designed and detailed to seamlessly incorporate an array of sustainability measures. These range from heat recovery mechanical ventilation systems and triple glazing to innovations like garden-wall letterboxes to reduce energy loss.

Chair of the Jury Ben Derbyshire, said:

“Goldsmith Street is an exemplar for social housing. Over ten years in the making, the architects, working with the City Council have shown impressive sensitivity and prowess at every stage of the process.  The result is not just a highly-desirable new neighbourhood for Norwich, but homes of the highest-quality and most exacting environmental standards. That the outcome appears so naturally at ease in its context requires skill and determination belied by the scheme’s apparent simplicity.”

“The UK urgently needs more ambition and creativity to drive the housing revolution that is needed, and Goldsmith Street shows us how it can be done.”

“Neave Brown was a pioneer in social housing who sought to improve the lives of people and communities – we are very proud to have selected what we believe is a fitting tribute to his memory.”