The residential building designed by Amin Taha + Groupwork has won numerous awards. It is one of the 75 award winners at the International Architecture Awards presented by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies in Athens. And it already has two RIBA awards: the RIBA London Award 2017 and the RIBA National Award 2017; on October 31 we will find out whether it will also win the RIBA Stirling Prize, for the project is one of six finalists competing for Britain’s most important architecture award.
Amin Taha + Groupwork’s building brings to mind the archetype of the house: red brick, sloped roof, and square windows: a common type of home in this Victorian neighbourhood, made from the same material as the red brick Edwardian elementary school nearby. The only concession to this extreme synthesis of forms and materials appears in the balconies, which are covered with wicker and jut out from the red brick wall to become the element characterising the project. Inside, the architects’ extreme synthesis and simplification translates into use of a single cladding material on all the walls, floors and ceilings: wood. A choice that underlines the material qualities of the home and cuts the cost of construction and maintenance of the apartments.