From historic buildings reborn, to schemes regenerating industrial wastelands, to perfect family homes in the suburbs, Britain’s best housebuilders have been honoured in the Evening Standard’s 2022 New Homes Awards.
The awards are judged by readers and industry experts. Winners ranged from multi-million-pound penthouses to affordable homes for first time buyers to eco homes designed to minimise the cost –financial and environmental – of living.
Congratulations to all our winners.
Grand Prix winner: Battersea Power Station
Best conversion, development of outstanding architectural merit,and best luxury home (by a large developer)
There are some contenders so almighty in scale and ambition that they just sweep the board: think Titanic at the Academy Awards or Beyoncé at the Grammys.
And the £9bn restoration of London’s historic Battersea Power Station coupled with the redevelopment of the 42 acres around it is a housebuilding sensation which picked up no less than four Evening Standard New Homes Awards nods, including the top gong of the night, the Grand Prix.
The accolades are a fitting final chapter to the vexed story of the Grade II* listed power station which was decommissioned in 1983.
Over the years that followed numerous mad-sounding plans were put forward for its reuse, including repurposing it as a theme park, a football stadium, or creating an Eden Project-style eco dome beneath its iconic chimneys.
Eventually, in 2012 the site was sold to a consortium of Malaysian developers and plans to restore the crumbling power station as the centrepiece to a dynamic mixed use scheme evolved.
Key milestones in the project included the opening of its new Northern Line station last year, and the completion of Prospect Place, the statement apartment building by architect Frank Gehry (worthy winner of our architectural merit award), in the spring.
To truly immerse yourself in the power station experience you could pick up one of its “sky villa” penthouses within the power station itself — prices start at £7m.
Alternatively you could buy a one-bedroom flat at Prospect Place for £895,000 (battersea powerstation.co.uk/apartments).
Or, if that is too rich for your blood, the power station’s turbine halls are due open to the public for the first time on October 14 with dozens of new shops, restaurants, and bars, a cinema, plus the chance to ascend a glass elevator to enjoy the views from the top of one of the power station chimneys.
Eco-living: Love Living Homes for Westwood Acres
Around 40 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions come from its homes, and with concerns about global warming increasing, not to mention the cost of living crisis we face this winter, housebuilders who push the envelope when it comes to sustainable building deserve our particular admiration.
The winner of the eco-category at this year’s Evening Standard New Homes Awards is Love Living Homes, for its Westwood Acres scheme. This newly completed shared ownership development of two, three and four-bedroom houses is near the seaside town of Broadstairs, in Kent. These highly insulated properties are modular – they were built in a factory, delivered to the site and then rapidly pieced together – and feature solar panels to generate clean energy and keep household bills low.
Adding to its green credentials, around 8,500 trees have been planted around the site, which has landscaped communal gardens. And because these houses are being sold on a shared ownership basis,it’s another way that they don’t cost the earth.
Prices start at £88,500 for a 30 per cent share of a two-bedroom house (lovelivinghomes.co.uk).
Best first-time buyer homes: Bellway London for Eastside Quarter; Vabel for Vabel Lawrence
London’s army of virgin homeowners are looking for properties that are not only within budget, but also match up to their lifestyle aspirations.
Housebuilders who get it right construct homes that are good value yet don’t stint on style.
The winner of our best first-time buyer home by a small developer is Vabel, for Vabel Lawrence in Seven Sisters, north London.
A modern take on warehouse living, this scheme particularly impressed our judges with its creative, high-quality, design-focused approach.
A new phase of homes at Vabel Lawrence will go on sale early next year. Prices are expected to be £400,000 to £650,000 (vabel.co.uk).
Our other first-time buyer award winner, taking the category for large firms, is Bellway London. Its Eastside Quarter development in Bexleyheath has over 500 contemporary homes on offer, along with an impressive range of on-site residents’ amenities from roof gardens to a gym.
Prices at Eastside Quarter start from £291,000 for a one-bedroom apartment and £380,000 for a two-bedroom flat – far below the average price of a London starter home (bellwaylondon.co.uk).
Best luxury home: Braeburn Estates for The penthouse at Southbank Place
At the pinnacle of the property ladder sit luxury homes. And while their design and specification moves with changing fashion, there is one kind of home that never goes out of style.
The penthouse, with its promise of privacy, exclusivity and fabulous views, is a perennial favourite among ultra-high net worth buyers. On that basis our pick of luxury homes built by small-scale developers had, of course, to be just such an eyrie.
The 10th-floor penthouse at Southbank Place enjoys a particularly amazing location at the former Shell Centre on the South Bank, overlooking the London Eye and the River Thames.
This £17 million property measures a generous 3,778sq ft and has been beautifully decorated with original artwork and bespoke furnishings, while its considered mid-century aesthetic pays homage to the history of its site (southbank-place.com).
Best regeneration project: Berkeley East Thames for Royal Arsenal Riverside
Housebuilding is about more than building houses.
Regeneration schemes create new neighbourhoods, too, with distinct identities and a vibrant feel.
The historic Royal Arsenal at Woolwich had provided the British Army with ammunition and equipment since the 17th century but fell into decline after the Second World War and was closed in 1994.
By 2006 Berkeley East Thames had won planning permission to redesign the site, incorporating its fine historic buildings into a modern £1.2 billion mixed-use riverside quarter, which has been named our best regeneration project. The scale of the Royal Arsenal Riverside development is vast. To date around 3,500 new homes have been completed, with another 1,500 planned by the time the project is set to finish in 2030.
Meanwhile, the whole site is now filling up nicely with shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants.
There is a regular farmers’ market at Major Draper Street, plus a four-acre park and also Woolwich Works, a newly opened riverside arts centre.
And the opening of Crossrail this summer has given residents fast commuter links to the City, Canary Wharf and the West End.
Apartments at Royal Arsenal Riverside start at £540,000 for a one-bedroom home, while two-bedroom apartments are priced from £775,000 (berkeleygroup.co.uk).
Best shared ownership home and best shared ownership development: Peabody for Three Waters
With Help to Buy on its way out, shared ownership will step into the spotlight as the main way for home buyers to beat the deposit trap.
Which is why our shared ownership category in the Evening Standard New Homes Awards is so important.
This year’s winner of both categories is a waterfront enclave in east London where homes start at just £115,500 for a 30 per cent share of a one-bedroom apartment. Three Waters is at the confluence of the River Lea, Bow Creek and Limehouse Cut, a mile south of the Olympic Park. Trains from the nearest station, Bromley-by-Bow, to the City take around 15 minutes. The flats themselves are light and bright, and our judges felt the design of this whole site proves that high-density urban housing can still feel spacious and considered (ThreeWatersso.co.uk).
Best large development: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for Chobham Manor
It has been 10 years since London hosted the Olympic Games and our winning large development is a direct result of that brilliant event.
Chobham Manor is the first of five new neighbourhoods at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at Stratford, and includes around 850 houses and flats plus community facilities, shops (and the Westfield shopping centre and the bars and restaurants of East Village just up the road), and plentiful open space.
Most of the homes at Chobham Manor have been sold, but there are still a dozen one-bedroom flats, priced from £465,000 (chobhammanor.co.uk).
Best apartment: City & Country for 1840 St George’s Gardens
With high ceilings and tall, elegant windows, the winner of the best apartment building looks more like a period home than a brand-new flat The show flat at The 1840 St George’s Gardens is set within a wonderful Victorian former hospital building in Tooting, all fancy brickwork and dramatic towers, overlooking nine acres of private parkland. Light, contemporary interiors make the most of the building’s fine original features, while its calm, timeless vibe caught our judges’ eyes.
Prices at The 1840 St George’s Gardens start at £480,000 for a one-bedroom apartment (cityandcountry.co.uk).
Best retirement development: Riverstone for Riverstone Kensington
Retirement homes don’t have much of a reputation for style – or for fun – but Riverstone Kensington turns preconceptions on their heads.
This is post-65 living, luxury style. Not only do they have an address in the heart of London, but residents of our winning retirement development can relax in gardens designed by Chelsea Flower Show medal winner Andy Sturgeon and hang out at an on-site bar, a cinema and an Italian restaurant. The apartments are decorated in a classically neutral style and residents have access to a gym, spa, espresso bar, library and a games room. Prices at Riverstone Kensington start at £1.15 million (riverstoneliving.com).
Boutique development: Esquire Developments for Manor Farm
Scale, dramatic entertaining spaces and rustic charm have long made the barn conversion a hugely popular country property option.
At Manor Farm the traditional design of Kentish barns has inspired an impressive cluster of authentically designed homes set on the fringes of the village of Cliffe, close to the North Kent coast and six miles from the historic city of Rochester.
Inside, these homes have plenty of character, with exposed beams and bare brick walls, as well as contemporary luxuries like rainfall showers, bespoke kitchens and underfloor heating. They certainly went down well with buyers, as all of these properties have been sold (esquiredevelopments.com).
Best small developments: Vabel for Vabel Chamberlayne; Catalyst for The Folium
Small developments often give buyers the best of both worlds: the mod cons of a brand-new home with the intimacy and privacy of life within a compact enclave.
Two very different schemes got the nod from our judges this year – one offering hip, minimal flats in an ultra-modern new building in a fashionable neighbourhood, and the other bringing homes in a more traditional building in an ultra-leafy London village.
Taking the prize for buildings by small developers is the sold-out Vabel Chamberlayne in Kensal Green. Our judges loved the distinctive architecture of this block, with its veil of metalwork, as well as the spacious, well-designed apartments overlooking courtyard gardens (vabel.co.uk).
Our other winner, built by a large developer, is The Folium, in Muswell Hill. This development of shared ownership apartments and private-sale townhouses is surrounded by green space, with on-site allotments so residents can grow their own food and flowers. Energy to help run the site is provided by solar panels. There are still some one-bedroom apartments available at The Folium, priced at £104,375 for a 25 per cent share of a one-bedroom home (catalyst.homes).
Best London Home: Octagon Bespoke for Highgate House and Nomad Developments for Rosefinch
There is nothing more luxurious than a home built to your precise specifications, and the first of our two winners is just that: a bespoke house in Highgate, north London. This beautifully-crafted property was designed by Militiadou Cook Mitzman architects and built by Octagon Bespoke (octagonbespoke.com). Work on the house with its generous kitchen-living room, featuring 12-metre-wide glass doors leading out to the garden, began at the start of 2019. The finished house also includes a cinema room, study, and five en-suite bedrooms.
Our other winner is in deepest south west London, set by the River Thames at Richmond. Rosefinch House is a 4,000 sq ft Georgian-style property, with a garden leading down to the water. It has its own private mooring and pontoon, perfect for those who love messing around on the water.
Inside the house is light-filled with a Calacatta Arabascato marble island in the bespoke kitchen. The property, sold by Nomad Developments (nomaddevelopments.com), was listed for £5.75m.
Best family home: Barratt London, for New Mill Quarter; Fernham Homes for The Chiddingstone at Rosewood Place; Peabody and Sherry Green for The Scene and The Hill Group for The Cavendish at Knights Park
Family homes have been in huge demand during the pandemic as buyers abandoned small city flats in favour of larger properties with gardens and space to WFH.
This hotly-contested category yielded four winners, in different price brackets.
The best family home priced at up to £750,000 was a well-proportioned modern house set overlooking a central park at New Mill Quarter in Wallington, close to the station and close to the area’s hugely sought after grammar schools. House prices start at £679,995 (barrattlondon.com).
Moving up a notch, to houses priced between £750,000 and £1.5million, our judges’ pick of homes built by small developers was a good-value four-bedroom house in a beautiful High Weald village location, cleverly designed with working from home in mind.
The Chiddingstone, one of the traditional redbrick home designs on offer at the Rosewood Place development in the very pretty village of Matfield, Kent, five miles east of Tunbridge Wells, is priced at £800,000; (fernham-homes.co.uk/our-developments/rosewood-place).
Back in London, our award for best family home by a large housebuilder went to Peabody and Sherry Green for the slick, modern three-bedroom town houses with courtyard gardens set on a mews at The Scene development in Deptford (peabody sales.co.uk; sherrygreenhomes.co.uk). Prices for a three-bedroom house start at £850,000.
At the top end our judges looked all the way to Cambridge to find a winner in the family homes priced over £1.5m. The Cavendish, at Knights Park, a new suburb being built north west of the city, is a five-bedroom detached modern villa, which is highly energy efficient and has plenty of space for entertaining in the open-plan kitchen dining room. Five-bedroom houses at Knights Park are priced from £1,999,950 (knightspark-eddington.co.uk)
Best out of London home: Pentland Homes for The Graphite at Lydden Hills and Thakeham for Villas on the Green.
Moving out of the capital doesn’t mean abandoning contemporary design, as our two winners in this important category amply prove.
Near Dover, in Kent, the hallmark of the Lydden Hills development is its distinctive architecture set in beautiful countryside. The Graphite, with its steeply pitched roofline and walls clad in stone, brick, and timber, is priced from £660,000 for a four-bedroom house. (pentlandhomes.co.uk/developments/lydden-hills)
Our top home in the large developer category is a little further west, in West Sussex’s beautiful High Weald, and is equally innovative. Villas on the Green, in Pease Pottage, were inspired by the style of both traditional Edwardian villas and classic Nordic design. The result, said our judges, are refined houses with wonderful light and views
Prices start at £685,000 (thakeham.com).