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AJ Architecture Awards 2019 winner: Housing (up to £10m)

Graeme Nicholls Architects has won Housing Project (up to £10 million) at the AJ Architecture Awards for its Ashtree Road scheme

Ashtree Road is a small residential development in Pollokshaws, Glasgow, containing 24 two-bedroom flats. One judge described it as an ‘unselfconscious scheme that is likely to change the quality of local development going forward’. 

The low-budget project cost £1,300 per m2 and is aimed at midmarket rent. The judges felt that, within quite a tricky context, it had a ‘lot of pride’ as well as demonstrating ‘persistence in an area subjected to a degree of development flux’. 

The housing consists of two blocks, drawing references from both the ‘tenement’ and ‘villa’ typologies found on adjacent streets. A black concrete facing brick has been specified for all elevations with tall punched offset windows as a nod to historic Glaswegian tenement windows. The concept of ‘weaving’ manifests itself in several aspects of the scheme – from the pattern of windows to the upper-floor balustrades. This has created a strong aesthetic narrative driver for the project, which the judges commended. ‘What has been delivered is its original intentions,’ they said.

Overall, the judges were impressed by the ‘well-resolved’ and ‘thoughtful’ scheme, one of the largest projects the emerging practice has worked on to date. They said the architects had ‘made key decisions at an early stage while retaining the importance of the project’s narrative through contextual and historical precedents’.  They added: ‘There’s enormous impact to come as a result of this scheme.’  

Shortlist

  • Dora Carr Close by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
  • Signal Townhouses by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
  • Marklake Court by Bell Phillips Architects
  • Finchley Road Apartments by Douglas and King Architects 
  • McGrath Road by Peter Barber Architects
  • Aikin Villas by Stephen Taylor Architects

Judges

  • Colm Lacey, managing director and chief executive, Brick by Brick
  • Maggie Mullan, director, Maggie Mullan Architects
  • Nick Willson, director, Nick Willson Architects 

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