The WAN Residential Award 2017 celebrates the structural and aesthetic mastery behind some of the world’s most distinctive residential designs. A growing population means a growing need for elegant yet enduring ideas for high-density housing. Our judges singled out these six designs because they rethink the way in which we inhabit spaces and live our lives.
Our industry experts who selected the final six shortlist were: Lotta Nyman, Associate Director at Levitt Bernstein, Carl Vann, Equity Partner at Pollard Thomas Edwards, Andrew Waugh, Director at Waugh Thistleton Architects and Cian Davis, Studio Director at Bates Smart.
Shortlist listed in no particular order:
“I like it. It's a big stage regeneration in Elephant and Castle which is a fairly poor area, but they’re looking to take existing standards and are looking to exceed them. It’s all built from solid timber, it’s all NVHR and has Passivhaus intel standards, it’s quite aspirational.” Andrew Waugh
“I like the fact that they’ve built such a high volume. If they were able to roll out this quality of sustainability generally, then this project becomes quite important.” Cian Davis
“To achieve Passivhaus homes in such a contextual and well-mannered architectural style, is to be highly commended - a zero greenwash appearance. This is successful stripped-back, quiet and appropriate London street architecture, with internal planning which reflects the flexibility and enduring qualities of the period homes they are emulating.” Carl Vann
“They're setting up a little bit of a community and you get to design part of your own building. You can make it very individual, it’s absolutely great!” Lotta Nyman
“I think it's a great model. I think this is a nice way of living. Too often we see the ubiquitous white box which is all kind of done and fitted for you, fitted out to the lowest common denominator, which is sufficiently mundane. This actually gives people the opportunity to be creative and to form their own spaces. I think that it’s really exciting.” Andrew Waugh
“I think it is worth noting that this model is increasingly important. Around the world where housing affordability is a major issue, finding other ways to get people to build together is really important.” Cian Davis
“This is a fascinating typology straddling co-housing, custom build, custom fit-out living. These are not new, but I suspect rarely combined to this extent. The strategic approach to a loose fit core provides the perfect starting point for a variety of fit out approaches, but the USP here is encouraging residents to meet beforehand and develop the building as a group; therefore providing all of the potential of the social 'glue' required to make a sustainable communities from day one. Why isn't there one of these in every city block?!” Carl Vann
“The reason why I quite like this project is that they’ve managed to maximise the opportunity of the site in an inventive way and build a story around it. They also have, maybe uncommonly for New York, some really good outdoor space and they've got a good rhythm to it. It seems to be driving some really quite good living space.” Cian Davis
“I quite like it. I really like the units and the intricate detailing on the facade, elegant.” Lotta Nyman
“The handsome and heavy-weight cladding sits well within the context and successfully achieves the opaque quality described when seen obliquely. These are valid considerations for living in the city, especially lower down. The penthouses are the inventive moment here and add the delight as a result of turning a planning constraint into a positive formal expression.” Carl Vann
“It’s a good and clever option for student housing, making it really dense and welcoming. The whole allotment, they’re using every millimeter, whether it’s letting light in, or using all the roofscape. I quite like the rigour of it as well and the pre-fab element. It’s tight but I think they’ve worked really hard to make the most out of it.” Lotta Nyman
“This project is not only ambitious beyond its programme for student living, but makes a positive contribution to the wider neighbourhood in both in terms of social cohesion and townscape. The arrangement of buildings is contextually rich in scale and grain, with an inventive circulation strategy . It’s the rooftops which give this project its USP, facilitating elevated, but sheltered communal areas and an impressive market garden.” Carl Vann
“I like it aesthetically. The building has large apartments across each floor, but they really maximise the plan in the sense they’ve got a series of large houses stacked on top of each other and I think it works really effectively. There’s also no evidence of external air conditioning units and it does appear that the whole building could be naturally ventilated, taking advantage of it’s height and it’s location, I think that’s really interesting. It has some visual interest without being overwhelming and without being dominating. You’d get a good degree of privacy living in here. It’s not an architecture that’s blithely emulating western high rise architecture, it’s looking to do something a little bit more contextual, idiosyncratic.” Andrew Waugh
“What appears to be an overly complex composition, actually comprises a cleverly repeated plan and elevation module providing carefully organised and human-scaled living and outdoor spaces. The family apartments are provided with a variety of shelter and openness which is then expressed on the dynamic facade.” Carl Vann
“What I like about this is that they've given each bedroom a private little terrace, but the little terraces are facing different directions, so there’s no overlap of them. You’re not getting that repetition of overlooking at all.” Cian Davis
“I think it’s great. What's really exciting about this is that you’ve got a bunch of experts and they’ve gone into a local context where they've identified a problem and rather than just steam rolling in with their own ideas, they’ve talked to the people about how they live, how they build, what the problems are and they’ve really worked with people to form a solution.” Andrew Waugh
“This project demonstrates how tradition and technology can be combined to positively progress a localised vernacular. This achieves more than an impulse to maintain an area's heritage; it provides a way forward to house vulnerable families in a typology which is equally functional, repeatable and joyful!” Carl Vann
“It’s just so really great, it’s exceptional.” Lotta Nyman
WAN AWARDS would like to thank the jury and congratulate all six finalists in the WAN Residential Award 2017.
The winner of this category will be announced on the 28th February 2018 at our prestigious WAN AWARDS 2017 Event.