Our design for the Vaux neighbourhood, which forms the first phase of the Riverside Sunderland Masterplan, has won the Best Housing Project Award at the AR Future Projects Awards. The international awards, launched in 2002, celebrate excellence in projects that are yet to complete and the positive contribution they will make to communities around the world. This year's entries were reviewed by Alpa Depani, newly appointed Head of Strategic Planning and Design at Waltham Forest; Chief Design Officer for Los Angeles Christopher Hawthorne and architecture writer and critic Catherine Slessor.
Proctor and Matthews collaborated with Mawson Kerr Architects on the design of the neighbourhood which is set on the edge of the dramatic River Wear gorge. The project will create 91 houses and 41 apartments inspired by the history, topography and rich cultural heritage of Sunderland. The new community is designed around high density living and working with ambitious sustainability targets. The housing is arranged in five clusters creating a series of sheltered mews streets and courtyards; each with a distinctive character.
Three exemplar house types inspired by historic local precedents have been designed to suit 21st century living patterns. The homes will utilise Modern Methods of Construction and a range of sustainable and low carbon technologies (including Passivhaus standards) and renewable energy. All have home working space and private multi-level outdoor amenity space. Parking is located offsite in ‘car barns’ allowing the streets to become the focus of community life.
The judges commented that "By referencing local precedents, the architects bring character to volume housing."