The Evening Standard New Homes Awards champion excellence across the housing spectrum, from first-time buyer flats to big family houses; from factory lofts to dazzling one-off millionaire mansions.
Judged by readers, this year’s winners include everything buyers seek: innovative architecture, skilful interior design, those essential eco-friendly features — and, of course, a huge dollop of glamour.
BEST LONDON HOME
WINNER and GRAND PRIX WINNER: Wittering House, Finsbury Park. Developer/architect: GPad Lond
This modest yet elegant and comfortable two-bedroom house displays all the ingenuity needed to resourcefully create an affordable home with thought and style on a small plot of land.
The development, on the former site of a small derelict garage in north London, will win the approval of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is urging developers to build well on small plots.
Architect Charles Bettes spotted the potential of the pint-sized plot, measuring a mere six metres by seven metres, and set about creating an affordable home for him and his wife, Vicki Lim. Contemporary in design but not jarring, the 829sq ft house is a discreet intervention in a street of Victorian houses.
Set over three levels and clad in handsome brick and bronze, it feels so much larger due to the use of dual-aspect rooms, a lightwell, pocket doors and large windows, plus free-flowing spaces and a courtyard garden.
The sleek, Scandi-style interior is relaxed and calming, with whitewashed oak panelling and resin floors. The project took just 10 months from start to finish, and cost £240,000, excluding the price of the plot, proving that a tasteful, genuinely bespoke house does not necessarily require a big budget.
JOINT WINNER: Monty Python Studios, Camden. Architect: Powell Tuck Associates
From parrot ruminations to lumberjack confessions, some of the best and most surreal Monty Python classic TV comedy sketches were created at Milkwood Studios, Camden. But unlike the famous dead bird, the studio complex has not ceased to be.
Tucked away in a gated courtyard, the buildings, including a 4,000sq ft double-height lateral space, have been transformed into a spectacular single home and office for the owner, who works in the fashion industry.
The architects enhanced the buildings’ raw structure and character by introducing lightwells, glazed links and a roof terrace over the main living space.
Deft bespoke touches include skateboard wheels on a ladder that moves along tall kitchen units, and a table made of railway sleepers.
JOINT WINNER: King Edward VII Estate, Midhurst, West Sussex. Developer: City & Country
Few homes set the heart racing as much as grand apartments carved from magnificent heritage buildings such as historic country mansions and listed Victorian hospitals, convents and colleges in the leafy commuter belt.
King Edward VII Estate, near Midhurst, lies within the South Downs National Park. Built in 1901 as a tuberculosis hospital, the sanatorium has since been hailed as an Arts and Crafts masterpiece and includes a Grade II*-listed chapel with prized stained-glass windows that’s now a community hub for residents.
The listed grounds, designed by acclaimed landscape gardener Gertrude Jekyll, have been reinstated at the estate more than 100 years after they were first conceived and are an early example of “therapeutic gardens”, linking with the buildings and the wider landscape. Prices from £195,000 to £1.45 million.
BEST AFFORDABLE HOMES DEVELOPMENT
WINNER: Victoria Wharf, Ladbroke Grove. Developer: Child Graddon Lewis
Creative architecture on a challenging canalside plot next to a humpback bridge and with a gas main running through the site has yielded 22 much-needed homes. Elegant brickwork and perforated metal cladding lighten the gritty urban location.
WINNER: Dalston Works, Hackney. Developer: Regal London
You wouldn’t know it by staring at this conventional-looking brick-clad apartment scheme overlooking train tracks in Hackney, but it is made of wood and glue.
It is the largest “cross-laminated timber” building in the world. CLT is a pioneering eco-friendly form of construction. The timber frame, prefabricated and assembled on site, acts as carbon storage and effectively makes the building carbon negative. It also improves air quality and cuts noise pollution.
BEST SMALL DEVELOPMENT
JOINT WINNER: 115 Estcourt Road, Fulham. Developer: Hogarth Architects
A retread of a dilapidated end-of-terrace tyre shop, this scheme yielded two warehouse-style apartments, with extra space created by a two-storey roof extension and a basement excavation.
Industrial-chic interiors combine frosted glass walls, polished plaster, concrete and exposed roof rafters alongside slick Bulthaup kitchens. Price: £1 million.
JOINT WINNER: Ancaster Gate, Richmond Hill. Developer: London Square
Richmond is blessed with a unique setting, having a river promenade, the 2,500-acre Royal Park plus a superb vista from its Hill that is protected by an Act of Parliament.
This prestige scheme of homes right at the hill’s summit backs directly on to the park. A listed Georgian mansion has been sensitively split into three houses with elegant curved bay windows, while modern mews-style houses have been built in the gated grounds.
Grand interiors include a pantry, marble-walled bathrooms and a Creston smart home system to control curtains, lighting, heating, audiovisual kit and security. From £2.2 million to £7.25 million.
HOME/DEVELOPMENT OF OUTSTANDING ARCHITECTURAL MERIT
WINNER: Lombard Wharf, Battersea. Developer: Barratt London. Architect: Patel Taylor
This plectrum-shaped tower adds grace and rhythm to the Battersea waterfront. Wraparound balconies rotate by two degrees, enhancing an optical illusion of movement.
Wandsworth planners wanted a landmark building at this twist of the Thames, next to listed Cremorne railway bridge and where a new pedestrian bridge and riverside plaza are earmarked.
Unlike most riverside developments, Lombard Wharf has no discernible front or back. It appears elegant from every aspect — and does not turn its back on the city.
The 134 flats cost from £775,000 to £4.9 million.
BEST LUXURY HOME
WINNER: The Corniche, Albert Embankment. Developer: St James
For more than 20 years, novelist and former Tory politician Jeffrey Archer lived in splendid isolation on Albert Embankment, in a spectacular riverside penthouse offering London’s best view of the Palace of Westminster. But he no longer enjoys a neighbour-free existence.
The Corniche is one of several new glamorous, starchitect-designed apartment blocks. This Foster + Partners tower, influenced by Art Deco, has a bold curvature of bays clad in grey metal, glass and pale concrete.
It’s all about the architecture, from soaring entrance lobby to the sky club at the top of the building.
Our winning flat has a private lift and fills the entire 22nd floor, complete with three rounded roof terraces. The price is £7.3million.
BEST LARGE DEVELOPMENT
JOINT WINNER: Lavender Fields, Uckfield, East Sussex. Developer: Millwood Designer Homes
Millwood specialises in Kentish and Sussex vernacular architecture, where possible using reclaimed materials to give new homes a mature, authentic look.
Red bricks, clay roof tiles and weatherboarding have been used to good effect at this pretty scheme of 39 homes on former farmland. Prices from £365,000 to £1,395,000.
JOINT WINNER: Woodberry Down, Manor House, N4. Developer: Berkeley Homes
Birdwatchers in London no longer need to travel to the Norfolk Broads to spot the elusive bittern, one of the UK’s rarest breeding birds. Instead, twitchers can simply take the Tube to Manor House in the borough of Hackney and walk five minutes through gritty backstreets to a new nature reserve on a giant reservoir that is an integral part of a 5,500-home new neighbourhood called Woodberry Down.
The previously fenced-off reservoir had been off-limits to the public for over 200 years, but spurred by an ambitious plan to transform an adjacent council estate into a smart new address, it has been turned into awesome inner-city wetlands with reed beds and wild flower meadows.
The 64-acre council estate, which through neglect had become so grim it was used as a stand-in for the Warsaw Ghetto in the 1993 film Schindler’s List, is being bulldozed to make way for the new apartments.
Many of the homes face on to the reservoir, which has been upgraded with a new boardwalk, bridges and trim trail for joggers.
A new school, neighbourhood centre and life-long learning campus are part of the project, which will take another 10 years to complete. As well as new homes for council tenants, sharedownership and private flats are for sale, with prices from £550,000 to £1.4million.
BEST REGENERATION PROJECT
WINNER: Kilburn Quarter, NW6. Developer: Network Homes
Caught between fashionable Maida Vale and West Hampstead, for many years cosmopolitan Kilburn has been held back by sprawling council estates and crisscrossing railway lines that created pockets of urban blight.
But now the area, right on the cusp of Zone 1, is on the up. Comprehensive regeneration of South Kilburn council estate has entailed bulldozing Sixties concrete towers and bringing 2,400 new homes for rent, shared ownership and outright sale.
Kilburn Quarter is part of this jigsaw: four low-rise blocks with 229 flats facing a new garden square. Every apartment has a large recessed balcony or a patio-style terrace, and there is underground parking and cycle storage.
Community extras include a new primary school, plus sports and healthcare facilities.
BEST RETIREMENT HOME
WINNER: Carriages, Purley, Surrey. Developer: Pegasus Life
Robust Seventies retro-style architecture defines this project of pensioner homes, close to the old tracks of the Surrey Iron Railway.
BEST OUT-OF-LONDON HOME
JOINT WINNER: Gabriel Square, St Albans. Developer: Meyer Homes
This stylish scheme of 52 townhouses and 28 flats in the cathedral city of St Albans proves design excellence can flourish outside London. Set around a tastefully landscaped square, the project is a refreshing break with the usual commuterland vernacular of neo-Georgian and Tudorbethan lookalikes.
Inspired by “mid-century modern” design principles, the homes have clean-lined, free-flowing spaces with vertical and horizontal connections, all in harmony with the restrained and rhythmic form of the sleek, limestone-clad exterior architecture. White-walled, unfussy interiors are satisfying and comfortable, with bespoke Corian surfaces and light oak timber floors throughout.
Generous-size houses, typically 2,000sqft, incorporate a garden and balconies, an internal courtyard and external spiral staircase plus a secluded roof terrace accessed via a glass box that forms the top of a central lightwell.
Some have an integral garage, others a lower-floor entrance to the underground car park below the garden square. A master bedroom suite on the top floor has full-height glass and feels like a penthouse.
Prices of flats from £635,000. Townhouses are from £1 million.
JOINT WINNER: The Iris at Apollo, Sunbury-on-Thames. Developer: Fairview Homes
Sunbury is less celebrated than neighbours Richmond and Kingston yet enjoys many of their attributes.
Protected by a green buffer zone, it has a pretty riverfront, a Georgian conservation area, acres of playing fields, golf courses, boat clubs, a common and a walled park with art gallery, riding schools and even its own racecourse, Kempton Park.
It also has regular trains into Waterloo and lower property prices. Apollo is a gated development of 24 houses built on the site of a former aircraft components factory, moments from the Thames. Prices from £650,000.
BEST FAMILY HOME
JOINT WINNER: Fitzroy Gate, Old Isleworth. Developer: St James
With the lovely green backdrop of 200-acre Syon Park, Isleworth is a charming mix of old riverside village and modern suburbia. Fitzroy Gate is the redevelopment of a listed convent set in seven acres of gated grounds alongside the Thames.
An ornamental lake with swans is part of new flood defences, and residents have fob access through gates to the upgraded Thames Path.
Heritage buildings have been converted into flats, while 39 new Georgian-style townhouses with gardens face on to parkland.
The winning four-storey, five-bedroom house has a family space with bifolding doors opening on to a garden, while the first-floor drawing room enjoys extra space and light from an elegant terrace. Price, £2million.
JOINT WINNER: King William Court, Hartley Wintney, Hants. Developer: Kirkby Homes
A gated scheme of detached houses in one of Hampshire’s most coveted country villages. From £844,950.
JOINT WINNER: Windsor Meadow, Marden, Kent. Developer: Millwood Designer Homes
A scheme of terrace, semis and detached houses in a prestigious rural setting. The winning four-bedroom detached house costs £730,000.
BEST FIRST-TIME BUY
JOINT WINNER: Alton Court at Copley, Hanwell, W7. Developer: Broadway Living
Help to Buy boosted the popularity of this west London scheme, enabling first-timers to buy a £450,000 two-bedroom flat with a £22,500 deposit.
JOINT WINNER: Amberley Park, Tetbury. Developer, Bewley Homes
This recreated hamlet in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds is a prestigious first step on the ladder for first-time buyers. From £199,950.
JOINT WINNER: Fitzroy Place, Fitzrovia. Developers: Ashby Capital and Aviva Investors
Fitzrovia is a colourful and quirky central London village with a distinct identity, boasting a little bit of Soho, a little bit of Marylebone and a little bit of Bloomsbury, all of which it borders.
Built on the site of former Middlesex Hospital, 235-home Fitzroy Place is the neighbourhood’s best new address.
Our winning apartment is a fabulous duplex penthouse with floor-to-ceiling glass and dual-aspect terraces.
A vast open-plan living space stretches to 21.6 metres and is crowned by a superb architectural marble-and-brass staircase, while a programmable mood lighting system has no fewer than 2,700 Kelvin warm white lamps. Price, £12.75million.
JOINT WINNER: Wellington Row, Wimbledon. Developer: Berkeley Homes
Leafy, smart and prosperous, Wimbledon is the country in London, with a charming village centre and the vast, wonderful common that stretches to Putney Vale and has a golf course running through it.
New housing projects of scale are quite rare, making Wimbledon Hill Park, 94 homes in 25 acres, a smash hit. The walled estate, formerly Atkinson Morley Hospital, mixes classic and contemporary architectural styles.
Wellington Row comprises 28 flats in the restored Victorian hospital. Our winning home is a four-bedroom duplex of 2,083sqft, with double-height ceilings. Price, £2.4million