Barretts Grove: Stokey house with ‘wicker basket’ balconies is bookies’ choice for UK’s best new building award

Barretts Grove by Amin Taha + Groupwork

Barretts Grove by Amin Taha + Groupwork - Credit: Tim Soar

Bet your bottom dollar on this home in Stoke Newington, now the bookies’ favourite to win RIBA’s prestigious Stirling Prize.

Barretts Grove by Amin Taha + Groupwork

Barretts Grove by Amin Taha + Groupwork - Credit: Tim Soar

The block of six flats in Barrett’s Grove, off Stoke Newington High Street, is William Hill’s favourite to take home RIBA’s prestigious Stirling Prize for the best new building of 2017 in October. The bookmaker is offering odds of 3/1 on the project designed by Groupwork + Amin Taha, announced today as one of six buildings shortlisted for the award.

RIBA President, Jane Duncan said: “Through careful use of a tactile palette of materials including brick, timber and wicker, Barrett’s Grove has injected an extraordinary small development of delightful, warm homes into an otherwise ordinary street in north London.”

The building was one of eight winners of a RIBA London Regional Award in May and now faces tough competition from five national competitors, half of which are visitor destinations, and half of which are deemed “intelligent responses to challenging urban sites”.

Completed in May 2016, Barrett’s Grove had a contract value of £1,270,000, and was commended by the Regional Award Jury for its simplicity of form, wise use of space, and “fairy-tale materials of brick, wood and straw” – most obviously, the balconies formed from wicker baskets that jut out the facade of the building in a stepped fashion.

Barretts Grove by Amin Taha + Groupwork

Barretts Grove by Amin Taha + Groupwork - Credit: Tim Soar

“The staggered hit-and-miss brick skin of the façade makes a larger-than-usual pattern, which fits the tallness of the overall building,” reads the jury’s report.

Barrett’s Grove measures 635 square metres in total and includes flats with big square windows facing Barrett’s Grove itself.

The building marks the first appearance of Clerkenwell-based Groupwork + Amin Taha on the shortlist, whereas fellow competitor Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners took home the award in both 2006 and 2009.

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Named after architect James Stirling, winner of the 1980 Royal Gold Medal, the award is given to the UK building deemed to have made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year.

Barretts Grove by Amin Taha + Groupwork

Barretts Grove by Amin Taha + Groupwork - Credit: Tim Soar

Buildings are judged on criteria such as originality, sustainability and their capacity to stimulate people inside.

“This year’s shortlisted schemes show exceptionally creative, beautifully considered and carefully detailed buildings that have made every single penny count,” added Ms Duncan. “Commissioned at the end of the recession, they are an accolade to a creative profession at the top of its game. Each of these outstanding projects has transformed their local area and delights those who are lucky enough to visit, live, study or work in them.”

The winner of the 22nd RIBA Stirling Prize will be announced on October 31 at the Camden Roundhouse.

Hot competition for the north London development is The British Museum World Conservation and Exhibi

Hot competition for the north London development is The British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners who won the Stirling Prize in both 2006 and 2009. - Credit: Joas Souza

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