Winners of the Waltham Forest Design Awards were announced last night in a ceremony at Walthamstow’s Vestry House Museum.
Celebrating design and architecture across the borough, the William Morris Gallery, St Saviour’s C of E Primary School, Leyton shop fronts and a residential development in Higham Hill Road were chosen as winners.
The Guardian, which sponsored the event, sent along reporter Zachary Norman to be part of the judging panel which assessed 22 entries - the largest field ever assembled.
Best residential category winner Higham Hill Road, a two-storey residential scheme built by PRP Architects, was praised as a fresh an innovative build which maximised living space for residents.
Associate Director Peter Lancaric said: “It’s amazing. It’s a great feeling because the competition was stiff, but I’m really chuffed.”
He said because PRP was responsible for delivery and build they were able to retain the quality envisaged from the start without sacrifice.
Improvements to 44 shops fronts in Leyton won in the best public realm category.
The work was recognised for bringing the high street to life.
Jan Kattein, director of Jan Kattein Architects – the firm carrying out the works – said: “It’s really fantastic because high streets are so important.
“They’re where people work and meet and they’re the most sustainable place to shop locally so it’s great that Waltham Forest is investing £10m in their high streets.
“It’s an effective way to put the heart back into communities.”
The expansion of St Saviour’s C of E Primary School from a one- to two-form entry was awarded winner of the non-residential scheme.
Judges said children and staff benefitted from a clear layout in a building which was previously difficult to navigate.
Paul Irons, senior architect at the London branch of NPS Group, said hard work from the architects, the school, the diocese and contractors Kier London and Mansell Ltd paid off.
“It’s one big family and we’ve all come out of the project as friends.”
The restoration and refurbishment of the Grade II* William Morris Gallery won the best heritage category.
Applauded for its impact as a cultural and civic project that has lifted the surrounding area, the Forest Road gallery was said by judges to have instilled pride in residents.
Judges also commended Hammond Court in the residential scheme, Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge and Leyton Technical pub in the heritage scheme and Leyton Links for best public realm scheme.