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McGrath Road Housing in East London

15 + 14 October 2021

London Borough of Newham estate McGrath Road wins Neave Brown Award for Housing

Thursday 14th of October 2021 – The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announces McGrath Road designed by Peter Barber Architects as the winner of the Neave Brown Award for Housing 2021, which recognises the UK’s best affordable housing.

McGrath Road has received the second Neave Brown Award for Housing, named after social housing pioneer, Neave Brown (1929 – 2018).

2021 Neave Brown Award for Housing

14 Sep 2021

Design: Peter Barber Architects

Location: East London, England, UK

McGrath Road London housing by Peter Barber Architects

McGrath Road Housing

McGrath Road inventively combines a traditional European courtyard typology with a traditional London terrace, setting a new creative benchmark for the future of London’s affordable housing. Twenty-six individual three- and four-storey dual-aspect townhouses, each with its own front door, surround a tree-lined courtyard, giving the development an enhanced sense of community and openness. The scheme’s programmatic rigour is matched by its craftsmanship, which is commendable for design-build procurement route. The design is by Peter Barber Architects

McGrath Road housing design in London England

The jury recognises the significant challenges of delivering affordable housing and so it was refreshing to see that the architects had abandoned the typology of a large residential block linked by shared common corridors. Instead, the development’s courtyard configuration allows each house to have its own sense of identity. The entrances are set under parabolic arches, creating arcaded frontages to the street and the courtyard that help to tie the development together, setting the scene for a vibrant and enjoyable resident community.

McGrath Road London housing by Peter Barber Architects

The use of London stock brick and the understanding of both traditional Victorian window proportions and more intentional arched entrances and secondary folded windows is distinctive and idiosyncratic.

Inside, the houses upturn convention by placing the living room on the top floor to take advantage of the best views. The intermediate floors contain bedrooms, while the dining room and kitchen are at the ground level. Each property benefits from a terrace and a balcony for access to private outdoor space.

McGrath Road London housing design

The project’s density achieves good form factor. The roof accommodates photovoltaic panels which directly benefit the tenants of the block. It meets the Lifetime Homes standard and is BREEAM certified.

McGrath Road reinterprets well-known housing typologies to generate a novel solution to affordable housing. Not only should the project be commended, we hope it will be used as a useful precedent that will be adopted in London and, indeed, throughout the United Kingdom.

2021 Neave Brown Award for Housing Shortlist information received from RIBA 140921

McGrath Road London housing design by Peter Barber Architects

McGrath Road Housing in East London – Building Information

RIBA region: London
Architect practice: Peter Barber Architects

Date of completion: February 2019
Client company name: London Borough of Newham
Project city/town: London
Contract value: Confidential
Internal area: 2,524.00 m²
Cost per m²: Confidential
Contractor company name: Mulalley Construction

Consultants:
Structural Engineers: Cook Associates
Environmental / M&E Engineers: Whitecode
Quantity Surveyor / Cost Consultant: John Rowan and Partners
Brick Manufacturer: Modular Clay Solutions
Employers Agent: John Rowan and Partners

Awards:
• RIBA Regional Award

McGrath Road London by Peter Barber Architects

Photos © Morley von Sternberg

Peter Barber Architects

McGrath Road Housing, East London images / information received 140921 from The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Location: East London, England, United Kingdom

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