An Eco-Friendly Affordable Housing Project Just Won the RIBA Stirling Prize

Goldsmith Street beat out five other shortlisted nominees to scoop the coveted architecture award.

The Royal Institute of British Architects just awarded the 2019 Stirling Prize to Goldsmith Street, a new housing development that provides nearly 100 affordable housing units for the city of Norwich. It features communal gardens, wide alleyways that favor pedestrian safety, sweeping balconies, and an earth-friendly design.

Local firm Mikhail Riches designed the development to meet rigorous Passivhaus environmental standards. It “provides a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling,” according to The Passivhaus Trust.

Goldsmith Street takes on Norwich’s housing crisis with an eco-friendly design centered around communal green spaces.

Goldsmith Street takes on Norwich’s housing crisis with an eco-friendly design centered around communal green spaces. 

Photo: Tim Crocker

Throughout the development, wide pathways and parklets add green space and prioritize pedestrian safety.

Throughout the development, pocket parks add green space and wide pathways prioritize pedestrian safety. 

Photo: Tim Crocker

RIBA president Alan Jones calls the development a “beacon of hope,” as it addresses both the global climate emergency and one of the worst housing crises the area has faced in generations. “It is commended not just as a transformative social housing scheme and eco-development,” he says, “but as a pioneering exemplar for other local authorities to follow.”

Goldsmith Street beat out a $1 million overhaul of London Bridge station, a house made entirely of cork, and an acoustically advanced opera house in Leicestershire, to name a few contenders.

Three-story flats bookend rows of two-story houses, and parking spaces

Three-story flats bookend rows of two-story houses.  

Photo: Tim Crocker

See the full story on Dwell.com: An Eco-Friendly Affordable Housing Project Just Won the RIBA Stirling Prize
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