October 14th 2022

A hat trick of awards for Hackney school & apartment development




Iveta Senasiova

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There was a triple celebration for the Benyon Estate last night after Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road was named the people’s choice for year’s coveted Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2022 Stirling Prize.

The hugely successful community project not only took the People’s Vote for one of the top accolades in UK architecture, it also won the Neave Brown Award for Housing, while the Benyon Estate and developers Thornsett Group were named RIBA Client of the Year.   

The scheme, which combines affordable housing with primary school education on one site, was a joint venture between the Benyon Estate and Thornsett, as well as Hackney New Primary School Trust, and the Education Funding Agency.

Designed by London-based architects Henley Halebrown and built on a former fire station site, the 11-storey development opened in 2019. It is regarded as particularly innovative as the 68 apartments built above the school are reserved for Londoners on low and middle incomes.

Benyon Estate Manager Edward Benyon said the strength of the project has always been in its collaborative nature, and now all of the partners involved could share in this highly prestigious awards success, which was announced at an awards ceremony in London last night.

“The recognition that comes with this most coveted of architectural competitions isn’t just for those involved in its planning and construction, but for all people in the heart of the local community, the school and the residents who make this wonderful development such a vibrant place to be,” said Edward.

“Congratulations should go to each and every one of you for your continued contribution to such a key community hub.” 

The hybrid scheme polled more than one third of the votes cast in the People’s Vote which gives people the chance to pick their winner for the Stirling Prize ahead of the judge’s selection, which this year went to The New Library Magdalene College in Cambridge.

Judges in both the Neave Brown and Client of the Year categories were full of praise for Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road, particularly in terms of the hybrid nature of the scheme.

Kaye Stout, Chair of the Neave Brown jury, which is named after the social housing pioneer and recognises the UK’s best affordable housing, said: “This is a notable architectural response, demonstrating how to effectively combine multiple functions without diminishing the strength of either the educational or residential aspect.”

In awarding the RIBA Client of the Year, Jury Chair Denise Bennetts said: “I thank and congratulate both Thornsett Group Estate PLC and the Benyon Estate for their commitment to addressing the local community’s needs for affordable housing and a primary school. Their resolve and dedication enabled Henley Halebrown to design and deliver visually striking and practical facilities.

Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road has already won a number of awards, including both the RIBA National and Regional Awards for 2022, and the 2021 Brick Award for Urban Regeneration.

The school welcomed its 350 pupils in November 2019 when they were introduced to its state-of-the-art learning space, thanks to the Education Funding Agency.

Currently rated as outstanding by Ofsted, the school is part of the Eko Trust, a multi-academy family of six schools spread across the London Boroughs of Hackney, Newham and Barking and Dagenham. The Trust was set up to ensure a collaborative approach to learning - working with parents to nurture grow and develop their young people, as part of the educational process. 

Photos copyright: Stefan Jakubowski / Benyon Estate