Goldsmith Street, the city’s ground-breaking development of eco-efficient council homes, was awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize at a ceremony in London on Tuesday night (8 October) .
This is the first time a council housing project has been nominated for the prestigious architectural award, shortlisted alongside the likes of London Bridge Station and Nevill Holt Opera.
As well as being a rare example of new council homes being built in the UK, all 93 homes are built to Passivhaus standards – ultra-low energy buildings which need minimal fuel for heating or cooling. Residents also enjoy the added benefit of up to 70% cheaper fuel bills thanks to the eco-technology.
Designed by architects Mikhail Riches, this scheme is currently one of the largest developments of Passivhaus properties in the country, and has attracted national praise for its innovative design.
Earlier in the evening the development also won the Neave Brown Award for Housing, introduced to recognise the best new example of affordable housing in the UK.
Councillor Gail Harris, Norwich City Council’s cabinet member for social housing, said: “This is an incredibly proud moment for Norwich, our strong history of building social housing and our ambitions to raise environmental standards.
“Winning this prestigious award shows that it is possible to build fantastic new council homes, despite the challenges posed by central government cuts and restrictions around Right to Buy receipts.
“We are incredibly grateful to Mikhail Riches for sharing our vision for these homes, and helping us to create a sustainable community for our residents.”
The 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize judges, chaired by Julia Barfield, said: “Goldsmith Street is a modest masterpiece.
“This is proper social housing, delivered by an ambitious and thoughtful council. These desirable, spacious, low-energy properties should be the norm for all council housing.”
All of the properties have been let through the council’s Home Options scheme on secure tenancies.