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Multiple RIBA Awards for British brick architecture

29 Jul 2016

Architects De Rijke Marsh Morgan have won numerous awards for Trafalgar Place including ‘Best New Place to Live’, the ‘Mayor’s Award for Planning Excellence’ and ‘Best Housing Design Award’ at the London Planning Awards and Brick Awards over the past year. It has also recently claimed a residential award at this year’s RIBA London Awards and last month secured a prestigious National RIBA Award as well. Client Lend Lease has been very successful with their flagship housing project, delivered as part of the Elephant and Castle regeneration. This was praised for its “delightful landscaping, transforming the built environment whilst referencing the historic fabric of the neighbourhood.”

The RIBA Awards are the most rigorously judged awards for architectural excellence with winning buildings setting the highest standards for championing exemplary architecture over the past 50 years. It was described by the judges as a “refreshing and successful change from insular housing community design,” with an “outstanding site plan which connects the development to the surrounding context and local community.” 

Brick was selected as the principle façade material and uses a rich combination of MBH PLC’s Freshfield Lane clamp fired Danehill Yellow, Selected Lights, Selected Darks and First Quality Multi bricks to reference the materiality of the neighbouring buildings. Judges also highlighted that, “at junctions between varying brickwork colours, keyed-in corners refer to traditional brickwork methods whilst whimsically playing on proportion and scale. This clever use of brickwork, as well relating to context, gives the new buildings an identity of their own. The subtlety of the brick-work and brick detailing is both beautiful and playful. The quality achieved should be an example for future housing developments.”

Thornset Road by Banham Group, designed by Allies and Morrison Architects, has also been awarded a RIBA London Award. The family-owned business’ new headquarters design is a statement that they are here to stay for another 80 years, and the company has budgeted for an extra 20% of space on this triangular site. Using MBH PLC’s Freshfield Lane Selected Dark bricks throughout the development, they chose to highlight the company name boldly across the façade in permanent brickwork branding.

The building, bound by a road, railway and the river Wandle, is described by the Judges as “a marker of quality and economic rejuvenation in this industrial heartland,” and is situated amongst a plethora of mixed-use buildings. 

The two ‘villas’ that edge the site have an internal area of just over 5000 square meters, allowing for the design to cleverly incorporate the specific and expansive requirements and functions of the Banham operation. The judges stated: “the design composition is worthy of the great Victorian industrial edifices. Quality of space and materiality is remarkable for this type of building.”

Frank Hanna, Joint Chief Executive Officer of MBH PLC said: “As a business we are absolutely delighted to be at the forefront of producing & supplying quality British bricks for these award winning projects. We have no doubt that these outstanding schemes will make a real and positive contribution to the local built environment."

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