The RICS Awards showcase the most inspirational initiatives and developments in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. They celebrate the achievements and successes of RICS professionals and their impact on local communities.
Over 90 of the UK’s most impressive and community beneficial property schemes battled it out for top honours at the RICS Awards 2018, Grand Final, where Woodberry Down in Hackney was recognised as the UK’s Project of the Year, and the best regeneration scheme in the UK.
The prestigious annual contest – hosted by ITV news anchor, Nina Hossain and held at The Brewery in London on Friday 2 November – celebrates the UK’s most inspirational initiatives in the land, property and construction sectors that are having a significant positive impact on the communities they serve.
Category winners from each of the 12 regional RICS Award ceremonies held earlier this year, competed in the Grand Final to win the national accolade in their respective category.
In 2002, a structural assessment undertaken by the London Borough of Hackney (LBH) determined that the existing housing blocks were ‘beyond economic repair’ leading the LBH to identify Woodberry Down as an area for major regeneration. The decline in the estate’s physical fabric was mirrored by significant social issues. The layout of the buildings also contributed to poor security and a lack of useful public space.
Today, thanks to an ongoing comprehensive regeneration project, Woodberry Down is a mixed, balanced and integrated community with over 1,400 new homes delivered to date, along with new amenities. Walking through the 2.61 acres of new parkland – awarded a Green Flag in 2016/17 – it is impossible to tell the difference between private and social housing. High quality facilities such as a new secondary school and community centre, and shops for a range of budgets, continue to be provided. On completion in 2035, 1,890 existing homes will have been replaced by over 5,500 mixed-tenure, new build homes.
RICS judges said the Woodberry Down Project team - Berkeley Homes and Hawkins Brown - have taken on the regeneration of this area with integrity and a genuine desire to improve not just the physical environment, but also residents’ economic aspirations and social wellbeing. From the macro to the micro; the development team responded to practicalities such as the location of power points, and involved children in aspects of the project including identifying outdoor seating.
Yr Ysgwrn is a cultural symbol for the people of Wales. It is a simple 19th century farmstead yet represents the life and achievements of one of Wales’ most famous poets, Ellis Humphrey Evans who is better known by his bardic name Hedd Wyn. The farmhouse at the centre of the site was home to Hedd Wyn until his death in First World War, when he was famously posthumously awarded the prestigious Bard’s Chair at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.
RICS judges were impressed by how tastefully and carefully the team – including Cavendish Bloor, Purcell, Grosvenor Construction - restored the historic farmhouse and artefacts on display including the black chair originally carved in wood by a Belgian WW1 refugee Eugeen Vanfleteren. They felt the scheme takes Yr Ysgwrn to a new level of accessibility and positions it correctly as a site of the highest national importance with international significance.
Sponsored by Denton
White Collar Factory is the result of an eight-year research project and comprises of a six-building complex at Old Street Yard, London including offices, studios, incubator space, restaurants and apartments set around a new piece of public realm, with a sixteen-storey tower at its heart. Together, these 27,200 square metre buildings provide a bold new marker for Old Street as well as creating a new, more permeable section of the city that references the alleys and passageways of the historic urban grain.
RICS judges said the project - delivered by AECOM, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and Multiplex – is an outstanding development, and forms an important part of the national economy. They commented that the advanced specification is very popular with occupiers – who are all of a technology media and telecommunications nature – and that high levels of sustainability have been achieved.
Sponsored by Ibstock Brick
Delivered by Wilmott Dixon, MD Surveying and Corporate Architecture, the Get Busy Living Centre in Melton Mowbray provides rehabilitation services to those with life changing injuries, in a supportive, welcoming and well-equipped environment where they can spend time with their families.
RICS judges applauded the project - which is the aspiration of Matt Hampson, a former under-21 rugby player who was injured in training back in 2005 leaving him paralysed – for keeping the community at the heart of the project whilst working with local supply chain partners to save the foundation over £1million by providing services/materials for free or
Sponsored by Forbo Flooring Systems
The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is the new purpose-built music school and is the first digital conservatoire of the 21st Century. Covering approximately 10,500m2 of lecture and teaching space the conservatoire also boasts 100 rehearsal rooms, a new 500 seat concert hall, intimate 150 seat recital hall, and Birmingham’s only dedicated jazz club and an organ performance space.
RICS judges praised Faithful+Gould, Feilden Clegg Bradley, Galliford Try and Birmingham City University for delivering this ‘world class’ facility with national and international appeal which will attract further investment to the City. This grand project, which has also received the Royal seal of approval, had stiff competition from other entries but in many ways stood ‘head and shoulders’ above other entries.
Sponsored by Arcadis
The £1.86 billion Mersey Gateway Project involved delivering a new six-lane 33m wide toll bridge over the River Mersey in Halton and significantly upgrading the surrounding highway network. Without the new bridge, congestion at the former Silver Jubilee bridge would have worsened to the extreme detriment of the local economy and public services.
RICS judges praised the project team behind the complex infrastructure scheme - including Hugh O’Connor, Knight Architects, Mersey Gateway Crossings Board and Scarisbrick Estates Ltd – for not only removing a notorious congestion black-spot in the North West but making journeys to and from the area far quicker, easier and much more reliable. The judges were also highly impressed with the project’s remarkable economic benefits which are expected to be four times greater than its initial cost.
Sponsored by Hiscox
Fern House – a quality £11.5 million build which was once occupied by Bingley Hospital - provides 49 one and two-bedroom extra-care apartments for elderly people and 30 en-suite Dementia Care rooms together with extensive communal areas. These include a restaurant, hair and beauty salon, assisted spa bathrooms, shop and hobbies room set around a four-storey atrium and beautiful sensory garden.
RICS judges praised the project team behind the complex – including Bardsley Construction, Bernard Williams Associates and Brewster Bye Architects – for creating attractive yet affordable extra-care accommodation that offers access to different levels of care 24-hours a day.
Sponsored by See Brilliance
Woodberry Down in Finsbury Park is one of London’s largest estate regeneration projects providing place-shaping, social and economic change on an inspiring scale. The concepts of placemaking and people sit at the heart of the 30-year development project, which on completion in 2035 will see 1,890 existing homes replaced by over 5,500 mixed-tenure, new build homes. The project team – including Berkeley Homes and Hawkins Brown have delivered 1,479 homes to-date, along with 2.61 acres of award-winning parkland and new amenities.
RICS judges said the residential units are built to generous sizes, and the community centre offers quality social and economic activities, whilst the development has incorporated the neighbouring asset of the wetlands as an educational and recreational resource.
This project comprises a new exhibition telling the story of Chatham Dockyard through the age of sail, accommodated within the redundant Grade I Listed Mast House buildings. The catalyst was the discovery of the remains of an 18th century warship, built at Chatham, under the adjoining Grade II Listed Wheelwrights shop. The project also included adapting this building for public display of the warship and linking this via a new build reception, to form the main entrance for the Dockyard.
RICS judges praised the project team - which included Baynes and Mitchell Architects, Robert Dollin & Co and WW Martin Ltd - for the careful conservation and restoration of the original buildings and for creating what they described as a striking world class visitor attraction.
Celebrating the achievements and successes of RICS professionals and their impact on local communities.
Take a look at our photo gallery our this year's ceremony.