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The MacEwen Award 2017: Longlist

In search for architecture for the common good we bring you 24 projects stuffed full of good things

Last year's MacEwen winner, the repurposed Segal-method building of Oasis Children's Venture, Stockwell, South London.
Last year's MacEwen winner, the repurposed Segal-method building of Oasis Children's Venture, Stockwell, South London. Credit: Matt Atkins.

One of the great things about the MacEwen Award – our annual search for the best examples of architecture for the common good – is that it brings forth localist projects from around the British Isles which do good things in a quiet way, often on rock-bottom budgets, that would very often not make the pages or websites of architecture magazines at all.

One of our ways of describing this is 'more ethics, less aesthetics'.  We’re not interested in style for style’s sake but we ARE very interested in the uses to which the projects are put, and how they came to be. To judge by your response from last year’s award, we know that you are too.  So we are revealing online our 24-strong longlist for this year’s award – amounting to nearly half of the overall entry – which we set before our judges a few weeks ago. Later we will announce the shortlist and finally, in time for our February magazine, our overall winner and commendations.

The longlist ranges far and wide. There are schools with a difference, enlightened rural and urban housing schemes, youth centres, ingenious re-uses of historic or simply abandoned buildings, 'meanwhile uses' on derelict or just previously charmless sites. There are places that make good things out of waste, townscape improvement schemes, rural workshops and shelters, two piers, a health centre and a mobile museum in a converted library truck.

Nothing ties any of these together aesthetically – there is no MacEwen Award 'look'.  But all are places with clear objectives which demonstrably make people’s lives better.  So enjoy the longlist, and thanks from me as one judge to our others – planner Kathy MacEwen, client Iain Tuckett of Coin Street Community Builders, architects Tatiana von Preussen (vPPR) and Steve Tompkins (Haworth Tompkins).    


Inclusive housing

41A Crimscott Street, Bermondsey by Murray Mackeson Associates

Carrowbreck Meadow, Hellesdon, Norfolk by Hamson Barron Smith

The Wintles, Bishops Castle, Shropshire by Pat Borer & David Lea Architects and Keith Critchlow and Associates


Learning and doing

Camden Collective workspace by Architects Co-DB & RARA

Rise, Waterloo by Collective Works

Assemble & Join, Southwark by HTA

The Green, Southwark and Nunhead by AOC Architecture

The Edible Bus Stop, New Covent Garden Market


Social enterprise 

Foodhall Project, Sheffield by Jamie Wilde, Louis Pohl & Samuel Atkinson 

Christ Church Crypt, London by Dow Jones Architects

Clevedon Pier Visitor Centre by O’Leary Goss Architects/Architectural Heritage Fund

The Remakery, Brixton by Architecture for Humanity UK

Hastings Pier by dRMM


Alternative working

Westonbirt Arboretum Store and Mess, Tetbury by Invisible Studio

Comielaw Farm Steading, East Neuk of Fife by Konishi Gaffney

Canning Town Caravanserai, Canning Town


Rural initiatives

Rochester Roundhouse, Northumberland by Newcastle University

The Long House, Holsworthy, Devon by NPS


Young ones

The Point, Tadley by Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt

Mellor Primary School, Stockport by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects

Broadwaters Inclusive Learning Community, Haringey by Gollifer Langston Architects


Hardworking spaces

Mobile Museum, Barking and Dagenham by Verity-Jane Keefe

Nonconformist Chapel, Sheffield by Walker Cunnington Architects

Mini-Holland, Waltham Forest by what if: projects


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