Goldsmith Street in Norwich wins Britain's top architecture prize

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-09 21:35:39|Editor: xuxin
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LONDON, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on Tuesday named the Goldsmith Street in the English city of Norwich, as the winner of the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize.

The traditional British terraced houses with a 21st-century twist won the street this year's Stirling Prize, one of the top prizes in architecture.

The annual prize since 1996 is awarded to Britain's best new building.

Designed by architects Mikhail Riches and Cathy Hawley, Goldsmith Street is comprised of almost 100 ultra low-energy homes for Norwich City Council.

In contrast to the higher-rise apartment blocks dominating the surrounding area, Goldsmith Street is arranged in seven terrace blocks, modeled on the Victorian streets of the city's nearby Golden Triangle district.

Rows of two-storey houses are bookended by three-storey flats, each with their own front door, generous lobby space for prams and bikes, and a private balcony.

The back gardens of the central terraces share a secure alleyway where children can play together. A wide landscaped walkway for communal gatherings runs perpendicularly through the middle of the estate.

Parking has been pushed to the outer edges of the development, ensuring that people own the streets, not their cars.

The estate has a passive solar scheme, designed to minimize fuel bills for residents, with annual energy costs are estimated to be 70 percent cheaper than for the average household.

The judges, in their citation, said: "Goldsmith Street is a modest masterpiece. It is a high-quality architecture in its purest most environmentally and socially-conscious form. Behind restrained creamy facades are impeccably-detailed, highly sustainable homes -- an incredible achievement for a development of this scale."

They said the desirable, spacious, low-energy properties should be the norm for all social housing.

"Goldsmith Street is a ground-breaking project and an outstanding contribution to British architecture," they said.

RIBA President Alan Jones said at the award ceremony Tuesday night: "Faced with a global climate emergency, the worst housing crisis for generations and crippling local authority cuts, Goldsmith Street is a beacon of hope. It is commended not just as a transformative social housing scheme and eco-development, but a pioneering exemplar for other local authorities to follow."