Built to impress: 5 of London's best buildings according to experts

A view of the rooftop pitches at Hackney's Britannia Leisure Centre at Shoreditch Park

A view of the rooftop pitches at Hackney's Britannia Leisure Centre at Shoreditch Park - Credit: Hackney Council

Eighteen top building projects from across London have been shortlisted for the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Awards this year. 

The RICS Awards showcase inspirational initiatives and developments in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure.

An expert judging panel will soon be casting their eye over the projects for London's regional awards, the winners of which will be announced virtually in May.

To honour those nominated, we've picked out five schemes from across the capital which have made the cut.

The entries are shortlisted across five categories: Commercial Development, Community Benefit, Heritage, Refurbishment-Revitalisation and Residential. 

1. Hylo on Bunhill Row - Islington

Hylo building in Islington

Hylo building in Islington - Credit: Google Maps

Where: 103-105 Bunhill Row, EC1Y 8LZ

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When: Completed in 2021 by CIT, Acardis and Mace

Category: Commercial Development

Hylo is a £140 million mixed-use development in the Old Street area. The scheme delivers 25,800 sq m of office and retail space, along with 25 social homes across 29 floors. 

2. Britannia Leisure Centre - Hackney

Outside of the new leisure centre in Shoreditch Park. 

Outside of the new leisure centre in Shoreditch Park. - Credit: Sean Pollock Photographer

One of several pools at the newly completed Britannia Leisure Centre in Hackney. 

One of several pools at the newly completed Britannia Leisure Centre in Hackney. - Credit: Hackney council

Where: Pitfield Street, Hackney, N1 5FT

When: Completed in March 2022 by Hackney Council

Category: Community Benefit

Britannia Leisure Centre was built to support health, fitness and mental wellbeing for the Hackney community.

The leisure centre forms part of a wider mixed-use masterplan in Shoreditch Park. 

Alongside a 25m swimming pool, the development boasts training and toddler pools, as well as a gym, a soft play area, courts and pitches, a creche and a café.

3.The Wilds at Barking Riverside - Barking

The Wilds at Barking Riverside

The Wilds at Barking Riverside - Credit: RICSAwards

Where: Northgate Road, Barking, IG11 0SQ

When: Opened in July 2021 by Barking Riverside Limited

Category: Community Benefit

The Wilds at Barking Riverside is a multi-purpose community, ecology and event space.

Delivered by community partnerships, this eco park houses the collection centre for the largest single vacuum waste system in Europe, by Swedish company Envac.

It hosts exhibitions and free programmes while also functioning as a place where the public can learn about the wildlife and environment of the local area.

The Wilds at Barking Riverside

The eco park hosts exhibitions and activities for local people in the Barking area - Credit: Google Maps

4. Agar Grove estate (Phase 1b) - Camden

Agar Grove estate by Mae Architects

Agar Grove estate by Mae Architects - Credit: RICSAwards

Where: Agar Grove, Camden NW1 9TB

When: Completed July 2021 by Mæ Architects, Hawkins/Brown and Grant Associates

Category: Residential

Agar Grove is the largest of Camden Council's community investment projects. The project will ultimately provide 493 affordable homes for new and existing tenants. 

The estate's Phase 1b provides 57 homes to the area. Its sustainable design enables residents to benefit from significant cuts in energy usage and bills, reducing the impact of fuel poverty.

This scheme - informed by resident feedback - was designed with a strong focus on private and public amenity space.

5. 30 Lighterman - Islington

Thirty Lighterman building in Islington

Thirty Lighterman building in Islington - Credit: Google Maps

Where: 30 Wharfdale Road, Kings Cross, N1 9RY

When: Completed in 2008 by Parabola Land

Category: Commercial Development

Located in King's Cross, 30 Lighterman is a 100-year-old four-storey warehouse turned commercial workspace. 

The development is carbon-neutral and built with sustainability, flexibility and community in mind. 

Companies still have the opportunity to enter an additional four categories – to be judged nationally – and have until April 29 to submit their entry.

For further information, and to see the other 13 nominees, visit rics.org/uk/training-events/rics-awards/uk-awards