News / Architecture

RIBA launches Neave Brown Award for affordable housing

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Alexandra Road Estate, designed by Neave Brown (Photo by Martin Charles, via RIBA Collections)

The Royal Institute of British Architects has launched an exciting new award aimed at recognising the best in contemporary British housing projects, named after one of the discipline’s most respected and revered figures.

The Neave Brown Award for Housing was announced by RIBA yesterday, with a shortlist to follow on Thursday 25 July 2019, and a prize-giving ceremony which will take place as part of the Institute’s RIBA Stirling Prize ceremony in October this year.

Described by RIBA as, “a socially-motivated, modernist architect,” Neave was best known for designing various housing estates, largely in Camden. The most celebrated of these — at least here in 2019 — is Alexandra Road, “a street-based alternative,” to the predominant high-rise estates that ruled the city’s skylines then and now. His work often “placed an emphasis on communal spaces and shared facilities,” with the creation of “capacious and generous rooms for occupants,” a primary concern.

The new award is open to architects who have already picked up a 2019 RIBA Regional Award, undertaken a project of “ten or more homes completed and occupied between 1 November 2016 and 1 February 2019,” and have also ensured that at least a third of those houses be deemed both “affordable” and able to “demonstrate evidence of meeting the challenge of housing affordability.”

Put simply, it recognises the best new example of affordable housing in the UK, and as such is a fitting tribute to one of the most socially-conscious architects of our time.

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Alexandra Road Estate, designed by Neave Brown (Photo by Martin Charles, via RIBA Collections)

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Alexandra Road Estate, designed by Neave Brown (Photo by Martin Eric Firley, via RIBA Collections)

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Alexandra Road Estate, designed by Neave Brown (Photo by Martin Charles, via RIBA Collections)