Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

AJ readers poll: Profession chooses its RIBA Stirling Prize 2019 winner


The AJ’s readers have plumped for Mikhail Riches’ Goldsmith Street social housing scheme in Norwich to win this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize

The project attracted almost a third of the 1,000 votes in the online poll launched after the six-strong shortlist was announced in July.

Grimshaw’s huge overhaul of London Bridge Station came second in the survey of AJ readers, receiving just over 18 per cent of the vote. 

How AJ readers voted

Last year the prize was controversially won by Foster + Partners’ £1.3 billion European headquarters for media giant Bloomberg in London – a victory that widely divided opinion and was described by Stephen Lawrence Prize winner Anna Liu as a ‘disastrous result’.

Intriguingly, Bloomberg had been the least popular shortlisted building among the AJ’s readers, with MUMA’s Storey’s Field Community Centre and Eddington Nursery the most heavily supported.

The winner of the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize will be announced tomorrow night (Tuesday 8 October) at the Roundhouse in London.

The Architects’ Journal is the professional media partner for the RIBA Stirling Prize


Readers' comments (2)

  • Perhaps the past mismatch between reader predictions/preferences can be explained by the fact that the Stirling Prize jury actually visits the buildings.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • We asked Norwich City council how they financed the Goldsmith Street development, given that the last planning application from April 2017 was for 37 of the 105 dwellings to be for social rent. Since planning approval is dependent upon the financial viability of the scheme, how does a council turn 68 homes for market sale into social rent? The council refused to answer, but a bit of digging into the Norwich Regeneration Company, the council-owned development, management and lettings commercial vehicle, suggested some of the ways.

    Of the 172 properties on the Norwich Regeneration Company's next 'flagship' development, Rayne Park, only 57 will be 'affordable'; and with an undisclosed breakdown of what constitutes that half of these could be for shared ownership, with the remaining 115 properties for market sale. So it's likely that these are cross-subsidising the 105 homes for social rent on Goldsmith Street. Across the two sites that would be something like 115 for market sale, 28 for shared ownership, 27 for affordable rent and 105 for social rent. That's still 38% for social rent, which is far better than we ever get in the London estate demolition schemes for which the rest of the Neave Brown Award nominees have been nominated.

    However, following the privatisation of housing provision by Norwich City council, the Norwich Regeneration Company has introduced new conditions for would-be tenants, the first of which is that they are not claiming benefits. Moreover, Norwich City council also refused to reveal what happened to the previous residents of the 16 bungalows, 10 council flats, 2 wardens houses, and an unspecified number of homes from the Alderman Clarke House care home that they demolished to clear the land for the Goldsmith Street development.

    In its wider context, Goldsmith Street is ahead of the blueprints for social cleansing provided by the disastrous Colville estate redevelopment, where Bridport House, which contains most of the small amount of homes for social rent that have been built so far, has been evacuated of tenants because of fears for their safety; or the Brentford Lock West Keelson Gardens development, whose 25 per cent homes for London Affordable Rent, which on average is 60% higher than social rent, somehow qualifies it for the Neave Brown Award. But as a privatised model of social housing cross-subsidised by market-sale properties and built on demolished council homes, it is a long way from providing a solution to the housing needs of the UK.

    Architects for Social Housing

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.