2022 Stirling Prize finalists Henley Halebrown and Mæ vying for social housing gong

Last year’s Stirling Prize finalists Henley Halebrown and Mæ are facing off against each other in another RIBA award shortlist, the Neave Brown prize for housing.

Schemes by the two practices are among four finalists in the running for the award, which is named in honour of modernist architect Neave Brown and recognises new examples of affordable housing in the UK.

Henley Halebrown’s 35-home Taylor & Chatto Courts and Wilmott Court, Frampton Park Estate scheme in North London is up against Mæ ’s Agar Grove phase 1b in Camden.

Also on the shortlist is PRP’s later living scheme New Lodge Community, in Yorkshire, and A House for Artists, an apartment complex in East London by Apparata Architects.

The 2022 Stirling Prize shortlist included Henley Halebrown’s Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road, the winner of last year’s Neave Brown award, and Mæ’s Sands End Arts and Community Centre.

Both schemes lost out to Niall McLaughlin Architects’ Magdalene College library in last year’s award ceremony, held at RIBA’s headquarters at 66 Portland Place in Marylebone.

The winner of the 2023 Neave Brown award will be announced at this year’s Stirling Prize ceremony, which will be held on 19 October at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester.

The shortlist for the housing prize was selected from winners of the 2023 RIBA Regional Awards by a panel of judges including jury chair Alice Brownfield, director at Peter Barber Associates, Maccreanor Lavington associate director Prisca Thielmann, and Aaron Brown, design director at Smith & Brown and son of Neave Brown.

Brownfield said the shortlist illustrated the significant role that social and affordable housing design can play in helping to address wider societal issues.

“From housing design that facilitates a rethinking of traditional rent models, protecting space for creatives in our cities with genuinely flexible and creative co-housing, to highly sustainable council homes and dignified housing for our aging population placed at the heart of a community. The projects evidence how exemplary design can be transformational to people’s lives,” she said.

RIBA president Simon Allford added: “At a time when the cost of living is among the most pressing issues of the day, these examples of affordable housing outline possibilities for a better future. We need more homes, that are better designed in terms of amenity, carbon, context, community and culture – we must focus on them all.  

“Collectively, these schemes help raise the bar for architecture with purpose, showing how forward-thinking design can enrich the lives of both residents and the wider community.”