Britain’s best new building 2019 winner.
Goldsmith Street wins RIBA Stirling Prize
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize Awards took place on Tuesday 8 October at London’s iconic
Roundhouse to celebrate the very best of new British architecture.
The Social Housing Project of 105 high energy-efficient homes in Goldsmith Street Norwich, designed by Mikhail Riches to
Passivhaus standards for Norwich City Council has won the UK’s highest architectural accolade for the best new building 2019.
On 18 July 2019, six projects were shortlisted for this coveted award. The projects were judged against a range of criteria
including: design vision, innovation, originality, accessibility and sustainability, the capacity to stimulate, engage and delight
occupants and visitors, how fit the building is for its purpose and the level of client satisfaction.
The city of Norwich held an international RIBA Competition 12 years ago, to select architects and the right scheme for the site,
which architects Mikhail Riches won. The journey has not been easy with recession and ecomonic downturn these proved to be
challenging times, however the team remained focused in keeping their aim of creating a highly sustainable community.
Each dwelling has its own front door, with enough lobby space for prams and bikes, and a private balcony. The back gardens of
the central terraces share a secure ‘ginnel’ – a regional word for alleyway – for children to play together, and a wide landscaped
walkway for communal gatherings runs through the middle of the estate.
Although the layout has a traceable link with the English housing tradition, the rest of the project is very modern in its conception.
Crest Nelskamp black gloss clay pantiles, mitred as they go from a roof covering to a wall covering, perforated metal brise
soleil, and the new detailing associated with energy conscious design are wholly contemporary. The brick is also contemporary,
a mix of the two brick types Crest’s Belgravia Buff Multi and Grosvenor Multi, now called the Crest Goldsmith Blend created
a bespoke and unique blend, with characteristic intentional white efflorescence colouration, set in a mews or small terrace layout.
To be certified Passivhaus, the windows had to be smaller than the proportion in a Georgian or Victorian terrace, so the architects
have used a set-back panel around the windows to give an enlarged feel, and panels of textured brick have been introduced into
the main elevations, again to balance the feel of the fenestration along the terrace. Bringing the reduced energy consumption
associated with Passivhaus to mass housing is a great achievement, and one that has taken a large amount of effort and care by
the architects. Overall judges described Goldsmith Street as an “exemplary project”.
Arnold van Huet managing director of Crest would like to congratulate Mikhail Riches on winning this prestigious award. The
Crest team were delighted to provide expert advice on this innovative project. The partnership created high quality facing bricks
and a bespoke roofing system that flows without interruption continuously from eave to ridge, for the mix of 45 houses and 60 flats
on this exciting development.
The project has picked up many other awards over the last few months which include:
RIBA East Award 2019, RIBA East Client of the Year 2019 for Norwich City Council,
RIBA East Sustainability Award 2019 and RIBA National Award 2019,
New RIBA Award: Neave Brown award for housing.
The Good Neighbour Award and Overall Winner Award at the Housing Design Awards 2019.