The MP for Tottenham told the AJ that he was pleased by the standard of commercial architecture but depressed by the standards of new homes.
'But in housebuilding you see real mediocrity and a complete lack of imagination. This is what people are telling me all the time.
'Against the backdrop of housing towers we need to get this right,' he added. 'That is what we believe in.'
Lammy was speaking at the RIBA at the launch of Laying the Foundations, a document aimed at encouraging teachers to 'use the built environment as a teaching tool'.
For a full transcript of this interview, see next Thursday's AJ.