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Heneghan Peng’s Greenwich scheme named best town centre project

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Heneghan Peng Architects’ new £76 million architecture school and library building for the University of Greenwich was named as the Best Town Centre Project at the London Planning Awards on Tuesday night (3 February)

The 17,000m² scheme, which opened in September last year, was described as ‘exemplifying the type of diversification town centres and high streets need to strive for to secure their future’.

The judges praised the project for its public accessibility, saying it had led to a ‘significant increase in footfall and vitality to the high street, helping local businesses and creating a truly mixed-use town centre’.

The annual awards are organised by not-for-profit advocacy group London First, with the Mayor of London, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the capital’s councils.

Other winners this year include the Shree Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Brent, which took home the accolade for the  Best Community Lead Project and Levitt Bernstein’s  Vivo and So Stepney housing project in Tower Hamlets, which was named as the  Best New Place to Live.

Full list of winners and citations

The Mayor’s Award for Planning Excellence: Bow Cross by the Swan Housing Association
‘Originally a deprived estate, isolated from the surrounding community with high crime levels and poor quality environment, Bow Cross has been transformed into a traditional street-based neighbourhood where people want to live. The success of the project is made evident by the large number of residents choosing to stay or return to the area, a doubling of tenant applications, and the success of private sales.’

Best New Place to Work: Pill Box, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Refurbished by Workspace Group.
‘The historical industrial 65,000 square feet warehouse was converted to accommodate 90 new and growing businesses employing over 450 people in total. With generous cycling facilities and located only a few minutes walk from Bethnal Green Station it also provides an award winning café and restaurant, events space, flexible workspace, meeting rooms and a gym all carefully designed to encourage collaboration and interaction between tenants to help their businesses grow.’

Pill Box, Bethnal Green

Pill Box, Bethnal Green

Best Community Lead Project: Shree Swaminarayan Mandir temple, in the London Borough of Brent. LTS Architects, Engineers HRW, Max Fordham, Shree Hari Construction, LDA Design, Sutton Vane, Michael Grubb, Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi
‘This project was the manifestation of a vision the local Swaminarayan community have nurtured for 25 years.  The temple was funded and built by the local community, and whilst specific to the local Hindu population, the complex also serves the wider community. The multi-function hall is a bookable resource for local schools and residents, and approximately one third of the site provides subsidised work space for local businesses. The opening of the temple was marked by a parade attended by 2000 local people.

Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury

Best Conceptual Project: The London Underline, developed by Gensler in collaboration with PaveGen Systems and Momentum. 
‘The project proposes the innovative re-use of disused tube tunnels as pedestrian walkways.  In particular, Gensler identified the tunnels between Green Park and Charing Cross Road and between Holborn and Aldwych linking strategic pedestrian destinations and significantly alleviating the pressure on footway and public transport between them.  These underground spaces would be activated by stalls and other commercial and cultural uses helping pay for the project, as well as making them safe and attractive.  Power for the network would be generated by kinetic paving systems – making the whole project self-sustaining.’

Best New Place to Live Vivo & So Stepney, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Designed by Levitt Bernstein, for the East Thames Group and Bellway Homes.
‘The scheme transforms the previously poor quality 2.98 Hector site into a traditional permeable and legible street based development, providing 704 good quality flats and private communal spaces.  50% of the homes are affordable and all are larger than the London Plan space standards.  The site is located within walking distance of the local town centre providing access to schools, shops and other social infrastructure.’

Best New public Space: Clapham Old Town Regeneration Project. Designed by Urban Movement for the London Borough of Lambeth.
‘The project involved the remodelling of the 1960’s gyratory to drastically increase the ratio of footway to carriageway achieving an increase of 35 per cent to 65 per cent in pedestrian space, significantly improving the overall quality of the environment.  Street furniture was rationalised maximising space for pedestrians and minimising visual clutter, crossings were located on key desire lines, and 60 new cycle stands and 102 trees were planted. All this was achieved whilst increasing pedestrian space, reducing traffic speeds and ensuring the funding streams for its long-term management were secured.’

Best Project 5 Years On: Bow Cross, by the Swan Housing Association
‘Originally a deprived estate, isolated from the surrounding community with high crime levels and poor quality environment, Bow Cross has been transformed into a traditional street-based neighbourhood where people want to live. The success of the project is made evident by the large number of residents choosing to stay or return to the area, a doubling of tenant applications, and the success of private sales.’

Best Heritage-led Project: Tottenham Town Hall in the London Borough of Haringey, by bptw and Newlon Housing Trust.
‘The Trust restored the grade II-listed Edwardian Town Hall into a sustainably managed local community business centre with affordable housing to the rear around a courtyard. The scheme managed to turn the previously inaccessible Town Hall into a fully DDA compliant building. A close working relationship with English Heritage meant a thorough restoration took place including replacing tiny terrazzo mosaic tiles in the floor of the Town Hall and recreating the original clock tower on the roof of the previously derelict workshops. Demand from small, start-up businesses is strong and all residential properties are fully let.’

Best Town Centre Project: Stockwell Street, Greenwich.  Designed by Heneghan Peng Architects for Deloitte Real Estate and the University of Greenwich.
‘The project exemplifies the type of diversification town centres and high streets need to strive for to secure their future.  Whilst designed and run by the University, the Stockwell Street building brings a large library, exhibition and educational space and other cultural activities to the heart of town centre. Open to the public, the development has created a significant increase in footfall and vitality to the high street, helping local businesses and creating a truly mixed use town centre.’

London Planning and Development Person of the Year: John Turner, Town Planning Director, Ballymore Group

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