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Revamped Camden estate wins top London architecture prize

The redevelopment of a housing estate in Camden in London has won a top architectural award.

The first phase of the Agar Grove project was named the 2019 overall winner of the annual New London Awards, organised by New London Architecture (NLA) and supported by the Mayor of London.

The project claimed the top prize thanks to its community consultation process that involved discussions with current residents, stakeholders and statutory bodies.

Designed for low energy use

Phase 1a was completed in May 2018 and delivered 38 social rented homes.

Once completed, the Agar Grove redevelopment designed by Hawkins Brown will be the biggest Passivhaus project in the UK – Passivhaus means that all new homes are designed for low energy use, high air quality and comfort.

The project also claimed the awards’ Sustainability Prize thanks to its placing of energy performance and fuel poverty at the heart of what it’s doing.

Growing involvement of local communities

Peter Murray, chairman of NLA and awards judge, said: “Every project shortlisted in this year’s New London Awards is worthy of celebration.

“The Awards celebrate the best of London architecture, from housing to shops, from churches to temporary installations.

“One of the changes we have seen in recent years is a growing involvement of local communities in the design of new housing. While many such projects are still in the pipeline, this will be a key game changer in years to come.”

£95m revamp

The Agar Grove estate was built in the 1960s and more recently has become a byword for gangs and urban decline. The £95 million revamp is a rebuild that will deliver a mixture of private and shared ownership properties.

As the flats will be almost completely carbon neutral, that means a 90 percent reduction in energy bills for residents.

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