Housing is not so dead after all, as is demonstrated by this range of impressive nominees - and the even more impressive winner

British Gypsum
Sponsored by British Gypsum

This award was open to housebuilders, developers or architects who have completed a large development in the UK of at least 20 new units in 2008.


  • Adelaide Wharf

The judges described all projects in this tough category as “amazing”, but the eventual winner, Adelaide Wharf by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris in Hackney, really is something special. It is the first scheme to be delivered as part of English Partnerships' London-Wide Initiative, with a mix of privately owned and rented apartments that have no visible difference between tenures. The partnership between AHMM, First Base and Bovis Lend Lease has produced an attractive scheme with a strong, colourful identity that was described by the judges as “like an insurance policy for the future”. High quality durable finishes and careful consideration for the spaces between dwellings should make this a fantastic place to live - a fitting tribute to a brilliantly well-run scheme that came in 20% under time and 20% under budget thanks to the use of efficient construction technologies.

Highly commended

  • Block 3: Tarling Estate

This eye-catching east London regeneration scheme - S333 Architecture + Urbanism's first UK project - is a great example of how clever design can produce large, affordable family homes in a small area. The architect makes a virtue of the wedge-shaped site to deliver the full range of homes, with opportunities for bolt-ons such as terraces, patios and balconies. The living space of each property can be opened up to create a large indoor/outdoor room in summertime - and it's all been delivered for no more than a standard social housing construction budget.


  • City Point, Brighton

This 247-home scheme at City Point has spearheaded the regeneration of Brighton's New England Quarter, which has transformed a former railway works into an exciting social hub. The scheme, by Barratt Southern Counties and the Raven Group, has an 11-storey tower, which has become a landmark. Furthermore, an integrated travel plan, including pedestrian walkways, cycleways and bus routes, has made cars virtually obsolete.

  • City Quarter, London

Berkeley Homes has sold 90% of the apartments on this London scheme, which has everything from one-bedroom apartments and penthouses to a quarter-size replica of Big Ben. The replica clock tower sits atop the restored, grade II-listed Sugar House, a landmark granite building that provides a classic contrast to the contemporary design. The project is built around a stunning water garden.

  • Geoff Marsh Court, London

Pocket Living's first housing development, built in collaboration with Mace, offers high-quality private housing to key workers for 25% less than market prices. Its strategy is to buy up small sites that are below the threshold for affordable housing, and would otherwise be developed for private sale. It's certainly a hit with the punters - agent Savills says it was its fastest selling development of the year.

  • Rotunda, Birmingham

With its Rotunda development, Urban Splash has returned a once-great sixties icon to its former status, and ended a period of almost two decades during which its presence was a sad reminder of Birmingham's past glories. It adapted the building's circular shape to a smart set of apartments, while retaining the grade-II listed structure's character.

  • Stonebridge Hillside Hub, London

The final stage of a masterplan by Edward Cullinan Architects to regenerate a once notorious council estate in north-west London, Stonebridge Hillside Hub includes a range of amenities for the community, including a primary care centre, a community centre, a mixture of shared ownership and private apartments and a supermarket. The Siberian larch cladding gives the scheme a high-quality textured look, and large windows mean the homes in this once bleak area is now flooded with daylight.

  • The Glass House, Maidenhead

This major mixed-use redevelopment project in Maidenhead has completely transformed an area of tired land and dated buildings. A collaboration between Barratt Thames Valley and Sainsbury's, the bold seven-story landmark building forms a new beacon for the town centre, with distinctive oval-shaped and glass-clad stairwells adding to the scheme's appeal. The glazed balconies also give protection from traffic noise, which means this development is not only stylish but an oasis of calm.