Pocket Living housing scheme for Wandsworth first time buyers wins prestigious RIBA award

Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2019

An innovative affordable housing scheme aimed at first time buyers in Wandsworth has been named as one of this year’s winners in the prestigious RIBA London awards 2019.

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Pocket Living’s housing scheme in Mapleton Crescent was awarded the prize for its attractive design, high standard of accommodation and pioneering construction method.

The development on the banks of the River Wandle has employed the latest modular construction techniques, which sees completed residential units being fully assembled at a factory in Bedford before being transported to site and installed with cranes.

The use of modular construction on the site has shaved around six months off the tower’s total build time.
The 27-storey development has delivered 53 homes for local first-time buyers to be sold at a discount of at least 20 per cent and 36 two-and-three-bedroom open market Pocket Edition homes. The attractive green ceramic facade gives the tower its finishing touch.

The homes also feature large bike stores with lockers and changing areas, a residents’ lounge and a 23rd floor roof terrace available to all residents.

The council stipulated that 90 per cent of the discounted homes had to be offered to first time buyers from Wandsworth on incomes ranging from as low as £25,000. Prices for these flats began at £225,000.

As well as this latest recognition, the building’s striking design also recently won a New London Architecture Award.

According to the RIBA Judges the project has “set a high benchmark standard for affordable accommodation”.

They added: “It was clear that the client and local council had worked closely together to deliver much needed residential accommodation addressing aspects of the wider housing needs in the borough. This project has set a high benchmark standard for affordable accommodation.

“Pocket Living's product delivers affordable micro-units alongside a smaller proportion of market flats. The quality and level of finishes achieved within the common areas and the flats was a delight to see. The rooftop also provides a generous landscaped communal terrace affording long distance views around London - one can imagine it will be well used and enjoyed by residents in pleasant weather.”

The council’s cabinet member for housing Kim Caddy said: “This is a really exciting and innovative scheme that’s delivered high quality affordable homes for first time buyers in Wandsworth.

“As a nation, it is important we look at new ways of building good quality accommodation for people in housing need. The speedy method of modular construction at this site is used much more widely in Europe and is an intelligent and cost-effective solution in a city like London which needs more new housing and fast.”