The winners of this year’s Housing Design Awards, announced yesterday, range from tall blocks of flats to low-rise terraces. Martin Spring reports on the latest exemplars of high-density urban housing

This year’s Housing Design Awards feature six inspired permutations of high-density blocks of flats on brownfield sites and a zig-zagging sheltered housing scheme. But the overall winner is a family housing scheme in Cambridge.

Accordia, which comprises 379 mixed-tenure homes, has 47 dwellings per hectare yet accommodates generous public and private spaces. Three architects have produced a variety of compatible building forms from semi-detached villas to a long flat four-storey terrace.

Credit: Tim Crocker

Feilden Clegg Bradley designed the row of three-storey mews houses (pictured here), with terraces on first and second floors. Elsewhere, the four-storey terrace houses designed by Maccreanor Lavington have narrow elongated plans incorporating a garage, small courtyard at ground level and roof terrace.

And the rest of the winners are…

Winner: Burton Place, Castlefield, Manchester

In its high-density setting, this 7-storey strip of 90 back-to-back flats thrives thanks to its louvred timber shutters. With the shutters folded aside, the living rooms and bedrooms open up wide to the outside world through their glazed walls, but when closed the shutters give privacy while still admitting daylight and fresh air.

  • Architect Glenn Howells Architects
  • Developer/builder Urban Splash

Winner: Crown Street Buildings, Leeds

This five-storey block of 57 apartments over a commercial ground floor is set alight by cladding panels of glazed lava that grade in colour from cobalt blue through acid green to bright yellow. Access decks lining the internal courtyard give the flats privacy by passing a couple of meters away from their external walls.

  • Architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
  • Developer Welbeck Land
  • Contractor Allenbuild North East.

Winner: Great Turnstile House, central London

Ten private flats have been packed solid into a six-storey block over offices off the narrowest of London alleyways. Daylight infiltrates the central communal stairwell through a small recess that rises up between the two stacks of flats, and the stairwell returns the complement by throwing light into the alleyway at night.

  • Architect Mary Thum Architects
  • Developer Cube City Properties
  • Contactor Mansell Construction Services

Winner: Latitude House, London NW1

This block of 12 luxury apartments has the elegance and beautiful tailoring to match its exclusive setting near Regents Park. The block steps back from the street where its triangular site widens, while its front façade is subtly modulated so that rectangular limestone panels and windows vary in width to suit living rooms and bedrooms.

  • Architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
  • Developer Robert Beecham
  • Contractor Gilmac Building Services

Large housebuilder winner: Chapel, Southampton

The large housebuilder award has been won by 174 dwellings where the affordable homes hold their own against double their number or sale. All the flats and townhouses are dual aspect and have either gardens or balconies, and they are arranged in three courtyard bocks that step up from three to five storeys.

  • Architect Chetwood
  • Developers Swathling Housing Society, Persimmon Homes
  • Contactor Persimmon Homes

Small housebuilder winner: Abbotts Wharf, London E14

The small housebuilder award is won by four blocks of 201 homes ranged along a workaday canal near London docklands. A full mix of tenures from key worker, market rent, shared ownership and outright sale is masked by elegant glass and steel balconies shared by all. White rendered walls are counterpointed by splashes of orange, yellow and puce.

  • Architect Jestico & Whiles
  • Developers East Thames Housing Group, Telford Homes
  • Contractor Telford Homes

Housing Corporation award Colliers Gardens, Bristol

The Housing Corporation award is won by a sheltered housing scheme that makes its elderly residents feel they still live at home. The 50 extra care flats are arranged in strips that zig-zag across a winding two-storey pedestrian spine containing communal facilities. The flats are reached by carpeted hallways and look out on to shared gardens.

  • Architect Penoyre & Prasad
  • Developer Brunelcare
  • Contractor John Sisk & Son

Project team

  • architects Feilden Clegg Bradley, Maccreanor Lavington, Alison Brooks
  • developer Countryside Properties
  • contractor Kajima Construction Europe