RIBA Award for McGrath Road Development

A 26-unit town-house style development in East London has won a 2021 RIBA London Regional Award. The McGrath Road shared equity scheme, designed by Peter Barber Architects and built by Mulalley Construction for the London Borough of Newham, combines an unusual traditional European-style square with a typical London terrace.

John Rowan and Partners acted as a key consultant for the scheme, providing cost consultant and employers agent services on the project, which started in 2015 and was completed in 2018.

The result is a double height arcaded frontage building offering a range of 1-3 bed homes, each with top floor living rooms and roof terraces. Its street-based approach encourages the integration of new residents, with no internal communal circulation – and the connection with the street is reinforced by the use of large sections of glazing and generous arched entrances.

Judges praised the project stating “McGrath Road reinterprets well-known housing typologies to generate a novel solution to affordable housing.

Not only should the project be commended, but we also hope it will be used as a useful precedent that will be adopted in London and, indeed, throughout the United Kingdom.”

This was an unusual and exciting project to be a part of, with a design that presents a radical reworking of the city’s traditional back-of-pavement terraces and back-to-back house types,” said Mash Halai, Head of residential development and regeneration at John Rowan and Partners.

We were really pleased to be selected to help deliver this imaginative project, and it’s encouraging to see how the scheme has attracted industry awards for its design and execution.

The project has also now been shortlisted for the Neave Brown Award for Housing 2021. The Neave Brown Award for Housing recognises the best new examples of high-quality, affordable housing in the UK. The award was established in 2019 in honour of socially-motivated modernist architect Neave Brown (1929-2018), best known for designing a series of celebrated London housing estates.

McGrath Road has already won the 2019 Building Excellence Award in the best social affordable new housing development category.

Structural engineers for the project were Cook Associates, the environmental / M&E engineers Whitecode, and the brick manufacturer was Modular Clay Solutions.