Darbishire Place

Effortless reinterpretation of the traditional

· Credit: Nick Kane

Niall McLaughlin Architects for Peabody

Contract Value: £23M

GIA: 1084m2

This five-storey affordable housing building constructed for Peabody completes a group of six housing blocks in East London surrounding an internal courtyard and represents an effortless reinterpretation of the traditional mansion block form. The majority of the flats are triple aspect with balcony spaces at either end of the floorplate.

  • · Credit: Nick Kane
  • · Credit: Nick Kane
  • · Credit: Nick Kane
  • · Credit: Nick Kane

The central core has an open staircase, unusually arranged to make circulating up through the building particularly enjoyable- the resultant fire lobbies ending up as a handy location for service cupboards and storage for buggies. Flats are simply planned around a central corridor, with internal spaces generous and well-lit; balconies too are spacious.

The judges enjoyed how comfortably the new block sat with the old and how well its variegated pale coloured brickwork sat with the galt bricks of the original buildings. Its deep white window reveals are distinctive yet complementary. In all, the building is an extremely elegant design reinterpreting the essence of the original for the modern day.