A landmark open to the public for the first time in 150 years has been longlisted for an architecture award.

Walthamstow Wetlands has been selected alongside 35 others as one of the finalists for the Riba Journal MacEwen Award 2019.

The prize is for sites that ‘recognise and celebrate architecture for the common good.’

It is in its fourth year and has previously awarded a youth centre in south London, a youth centre in Tadley, Hampshire and Meadow View community care centre outside Matlock in Derbyshire.

Walthamstow Wetlands architect William Mann said: “There are few more rewarding things as an architect than designing something that can be enjoyed by everyone.

“The project has been a long time in the making and has required a lot of care and invention from the design team, as well as real courage and conviction from the client group (LB Waltham Forest, Thames Water, London Wildlife Trust).

“It’s been so interesting to work with this engineered landscape and its rich ecology, and with these robust, crafted Victorian buildings.

“From the start, it always felt like opening this place up to free public access could be a huge benefit to East Londoners – so we’re all delighted that the Wetlands has proved so popular with the public in its first year.

“This longlisting shows that the collaborative work and public benefit haven’t gone unnoticed."

The judges include Julia Barfield, director of Marks Barfield; Yuli Cadney-Toh, architect director of BDP Bristol; Anisha Jogani, Placemaking team leader of Croydon Council; Kathy MacEwen, town planner; and Hugh Pearman, editor of the RIBA Journal.

They will reveal the shortlist on January 14 with commendations on January 25 and the overall winner to be announced on January 29.

Waltham Forest councillor and cabinet member for culture Paul Douglas said: “Walthamstow Wetlands has welcomed thousands of visitors to enjoy Europe’s largest urban wetlands nature reserve and see the rare birds, animals and flowers that thrive there since it opened in October 2017.

“As well as protecting the environment and various habitats, the work we have undertaken with Thames Water and London Wildlife Trust at the wetlands has seen the beautiful Victorian Engine House restored and transformed into a wonderful visitor centre, with a café, viewing platform and education space.

“I’m proud that this effort has been recognised and that Walthamstow Wetlands has been longlisted for the MacEwen Award 2019.

“Huge thanks to our partners at Thames Water, London Wildlife Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Witherford Watson Mann who have been integral to the wetlands’ success. If you haven’t had a chance to visit yet we’d love to welcome you.”