The eco-friendly Goldsmith Street council estate in Norwich has won this year’s prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture. This is the first time that a social housing scheme has won the prize.
Award-winning Landscape Architects BBUK Studio selected Tobermore paving to create streets, pathways and communal areas.
The Royal Institute of British Architects gives out the award each year to the UK’s best new building. Goldsmith Street beat the likes of London Bridge Station, Nevill Holt Opera and Cork house to the highly coveted award.
Harriet Bourne Director at BBUK Landscape Architects commented; ‘’We are delighted with our specification of Tobermore’s paving for the hard-landscaping at Goldsmith Street. Their eco-friendly credentials made them the perfect choice for this innovative project.’’
The architects took inspiration from Victorian terraced houses, with streets created instead of apartment blocks. To encourage a community spirit, the back gardens of the central terraces share a secure play area for children and a walkway for communal gatherings runs through the middle of the estate.
The material choices were inspired by typical materials seen in Norwich and the strong Dutch influence. The brick colour is based on the 19th-century houses nearby. Other materials were chosen for their high thermal performance and low carbon impact.
Tobermore products used include; Tegula Trio in Bracken, Textured Flags in Charcoal, Retro in Bracken and Charcoal (untumbled), Country Kerb in Granite Aggregate and Radii Kerbs.
The judges – who included the architect of last year’s winner Bloomberg London, Michael Jones of Foster and Partners, and architect of the London Eye, Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield – said: ‘Goldsmith Street is a modest masterpiece. It is high-quality architecture in its purest most environmentally and socially-conscious form… These desirable, spacious, low-energy properties should be the norm for all council housing.’ RIBA president and judge Alan Jones, who grew up in a council house, pointed to it as a ‘beacon of hope’.
Tobermore Owner/Managing Director David Henderson said, "Tobermore would like to congratulate Mikhail Riches Architects, Norwich City Council and BBUK Studio and for Goldsmith Street. Tobermore are incredibly proud to have been chosen as the paving supplier for this ground-breaking project.''
“This is an incredibly proud moment for Norwich,” said Norwich City Council, councillor Gail Harris, cabinet member for social housing. “Winning this prestigious award shows that it is possible to build fantastic new council homes, despite the challenges posed by central government cuts and restrictions around right to buy receipts."
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