RIBA Stirling shortlist 2013 – Newhall Be, Essex
By halving the size of the gardens – creating roof terraces in total equalling the land ‘lost’ – the architects were able to get an extra six houses on to the development. This paid for extras such as full-height windows, dedicated studies and convertible roof spaces – benefits that don’t feature in standard housebuilders’ products.
The 10.5m x 9.5m plot size for the predominantly courtyard houses is a clever manipulation of internal and external space, incorporating simple yet effective detailing, such as the gentle angling of flank walls and balconies to avoid overlooking.
This is a fine achievement in its own right. In the context of much of the UK’s new house building it is truly exceptional.
Newhall Be is in Harlow, north west Essex, on the borders of Hertfordshire, approximately 30 miles from London. The new town was originally built after World War II to ease overcrowding caused by the Blitz during the war.
Architect: Alison Brooks Architects
Client/Contractor: Galliford Try Partnerships/Linden Homes Eastern