Winner - St Vincent Place - Reiach and Hall/ Oberlanders Architects

Sponsored by national grid property

For 240 years, there was a gap in Edinburgh’s World Heritage Georgian New Town. James Craig’s 18th century vision for the New Town remained incomplete because poor ground conditions and the lack of engineering expertise to tackle them prevented the site from being developed. By the time developer AMA New Town looked at the site in the mid 1990s, the challenges had multiplied. It faced legal challenges in acquiring the land, and had to build between New Town buildings with inadequate foundations and adjacent to the category A listed St Stephen’s Church.

Still, AMA New Town patiently worked at overcoming the obstacles and has delivered a mixed-use scheme of high quality that subtly blends residential and commercial uses. Underground there is a car park of labyrinthine complexity with space for 160 cars. This forms the base for two new terraces running in a crescent with, to the south, housing by Oberlanders Architects and to the north, a residential and commercial block by Reiach and Hall Architects. Running between the two blocks is a landscaped, pedestrianised granite street. The consulting engineer on the project was the Harley Haddow Partnership. At long last, the New Town is complete, and Craig would surely approve of this respectful modern insertion.

Runners up

Highly Commended:

Arsenal regeneration project
Hepher Dixon

Arsenal started with a football stadium, but as the need to relocate existing activities and secure commercial value to pay for infrastructure became clear, it expanded to a complex network of linked projects. The project had to address varied challenges: relocating 70 facilities from the stadium site, responding to issues raised by the community, securing a mix of uses that would work both commercially and in planning terms, and bringing together seven architectural practices to work on different parts of the scheme. Arsenal has emerged from it all ahead on points.

Bristol Harbourside phase 1
Crest Nicholson

The development of the Canons Marsh site in Bristol faced fierce opposition, backed by future RIBA president George Ferguson, and two rejected planning approvals. In response, developer Crest Nicholson, with landowners Bristol council, Lloyds TSB and Second Site, spent 18 months consulting the community to overcome issues. The resulting scheme, designed by Edward Cullinan Architects and Aukett Fitzroy Robinson, respected city view-lines and maximised regeneration benefits. Its first phase delivers 104 homes, a hotel, a mixed leisure and retail complex and a 176,000 ft2 office.

Bulwer Yard
Adams + Collingwood Architects

This Shepherds Bush site could have been considered undevelopable, as it was almost completely landlocked and could only command

back-street industrial rents. But by working with the owner of an abutting high street shop, it was possible to release the site for development and it has now become a Sainsbury’s store. The development was carried out by Bulwer Street Property Company, a joint venture between the landowner and architect Adams + Collingwood, which occupies a new office building also squeezed onto the site.

Pollards Hill
Higgins Construction

Working in partnership with registered social landlord Moat Housing Group, contractor Higgins Construction has transformed the 1000-home Pollards Hill estate in the London borough of Merton. In all, 680 homes have been refurbished and 193 new homes built. Extra refurbishment works have been incorporated into the programme. Impressively, the project has been completed 18 months ahead of target and at £4m less than the original projected cost.