“Highly-intelligent” 333 Kingsland Road named UK’s best affordable housing

333 Kingsland Road named UK's best affordable housing

Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road in London, which was designed by local architecture studio Henley Halebrown, has won RIBA‘s Neave Brown Award for Housing.

The hybrid project containing a school and 68 apartments for not-for-profit housing charity Dolphin Living, was named this year’s winner at a ceremony in London.

Neave Brown Award-winning 333 Kingsland Road in Hackney
333 Kingsland Road has won this year’s Neave Brown Award for Housing

Awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to the best affordable housing project in the UK, the Neave Brown Award for Housing is named in honour of social housing pioneer Neave Brown, who died in 2018.

“Not only does the project provide social value to this inner-city neighbourhood, it responds to a complex brief with architectural ambition and sets an extremely high standard for urban design,” said chair of the award jury Kaye Stout.

“When Neave Brown accepted the RIBA Gold Medal, he said ‘we weren’t so much doing housing, as making part of the city’, and this project does just that.”

Red housing tower in London won the Neave Brown Award
It contains 68 apartments

Located on the busy Kingsland Road in Hackney, the development consists of an 11-storey tower and a three-storey school that are both clad in earthy-red coloured bricks.

The residential high-rise, named 333 Kingsland Road, contains shops at its base that are fronted with concrete columns.

These columns continue up the building to define the apartments’ balconies, while at the top of the building a communal roof terrace is wrapped in an open colonnade.

The judges praised Henley Halebrown for effectively combining multiple functions on the tight site.

Colonnade below 333 Kingsland Road housing
A colonnade runs around the ground floor

“This is a notable architectural response, demonstrating how to effectively combine multiple functions without diminishing the strength of either the educational or residential aspect,” said Stout.

“Here, Henley Halebrown delivered high-quality affordable housing that stimulates and delights residents, visitors and passers-by. The robust design is thoughtfully detailed throughout.”

Interior of 333 Kingsland Road by Henley Halebrown
Apartments have large balconies

“This is a highly-intelligent response to providing critical social infrastructure – a thoughtful and generous set of spaces for residents and the local community to live, learn and play in,” added former RIBA president Simon Allford.

“The educational and residential elements are elegantly engaged in a single composition – an architectural essay in designing an important city corner that engages with the public realm.”

Exterior of Hackney New Primary School
Hackney New Primary School also forms part of the scheme

Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road beat Kiln Place by Peter Barber Architects and Lovedon Fields by John Pardey Architects to win the award.

The school and housing scheme is also shortlisted for this year’s Stirling Prize, which will be announced later this evening.

Last year the Neave Brown Award for Housing was won by Peter Barber Architects for its McGrath Road scheme in east London.

The photography is by Nick Kane.

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