A detached five-bedroom house in the pretty Thames-side village of Wargrave, Berkshire, has scooped first prize in this year’s Evening Standard New Homes Awards.
Award winners were announced on Friday May 13 at a glittering ceremony at The Dorchester Hotel. Judged by Evening Standard readers as well as industry experts, the awards cover ten categories and recognise excellence across the housing spectrum - from first-time buyer flats to millionaires’ mansions.
Wargrave Park, the overall winner, was praised for its “tasteful but practical design that makes it a really efficient family home”. Behind the traditional brick-and-flint exterior is a modern, open-plan interior designed for relaxed family living and entertaining. At ground level, a double-height entrance hall connects with a combined kitchen-family room, drawing and dining rooms, while a galleried staircase leads to five bedrooms (three en-suite) on the first floor.
Tapestry, an 18th-century City warehouse built by the East India Company, was judged best conversion. Transformed into 14 loft apartments, contemporary interiors are set against the building’s listed fabric of vaulted timber ceilings, cast iron columns, exposed brick and cargo doors.
Best new luxury home was won by Silk House, a restored £29 million Nash mansion on Regent Park’s auspicious Outer Circle. With 8,833 sq ft of space over four floors, it has six reception rooms, five bedroom suites, a gym and spa, guest suite, staff quarters, library, home cinema, vault and garage with ram-proof doors.
The Hamptons, a “New England-style” collection of homes in Worcester Park, Surrey, won the prize for best large development.
Built on a former waterworks, the 645-home estate is set among lakes and parklands, and has apartments, Shaker-style cottages and houses with gables, porches and verandas painted in hues of red, blue, white and grey and bordered by white picket fencing. Residents arrive via a tree-lined avenue which opens onto a town square with community hall and clocktower.
Other winners include a former Edwardian school in Barnsbury converted into 80 apartments grouped around a new communal garden square; and a social housing development built on the site of a discredited concrete council estate in Bethnal Green.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS:
EVENING STANDARD NEW HOME OF THE YEAR
All the individual homes and apartments that won awards were in contention to win this coveted title and overall prize.
Winner: Wargrave Park, Wargrave, Berkshire, built by Millgate Homes
A wonderful five-bedroom family home combining practical design with extremely high specifications, stunningly presented and fully justifying its price tag. The visiting judge said he would find it difficult not to give full marks to Wargrave Park.
BEST NEW LUXURY HOME
Winner: Silk House, Cornwall Terrace, in Regent’s Park, by Oakmayne Bespoke
An extraordinary, iconic London home that is out of reach for everyone but the super-rich. It is one of just eight homes created inside a Grade I-listed Nash terrace in Regent’s Park, and is currently on the market for £30 million. The judges said the developer had done the building justice in this amazing conversion.
Highly commended: Mole Hill on the St George’s Hill Estate, Weybridge in Surrey, by Octagon Developments
BEST NEW FAMILY HOME WITH UP TO FIVE OR MORE BEDROOMS
SMALL DEVELOPERS (build fewer than 100 homes a year)
Winner: Plot one at Wargrave Park, Wargrave in Berkshire, built by Millgate Homes
Described as “stunning” by the judge who visited. It has a £1.5 million price tag, but justifies that with a combination of high specification and practical design that makes it a really efficient five-bedroom family home.
Highly commended: Millwood Designer Homes for The Belfry, Cooden, East Sussex
LARGE DEVELOPERS (build more than 100 homes a year)
Winner: Halstead Place, Halstead, Kent, by Ward Homes
A family home that the reader judges said had “kerb appeal”: it is a bit more architecturally interesting than most homes of this size on the market, as well as being well constructed. The judge who visited was also enchanted by the development’s “sylvan” setting.
Highly commended: The Baroque, Priory Gardens, Monks Risborough in Buckinghamshire, built by Croudace Homes Group
BEST NEW FAMILY HOME WITH UP TO THREE BEDROOMS
Winner: Acacia Lodge, The Green, in Royston, Hertfordshire, by Marchfield Homes
With a distinctive character, Acacia Lodge is well built and detailed, and is an “oasis” in the middle of this Hertfordshire market town. It was described as a “little gem” by the judge who visited.
Highly commended: Swale Park, Thanet Way in Whitsable, Kent, by Weston Homes
BEST NEW STARTER HOME
Winner: Explore Living South East for New Meridian Village, Ramsgate in Kent
It’s affordable, attractive and stylish, and very well-linked to the town centre.
Highly commended: Vellum Court in Walthamstow, built by Telford Homes
Winner: The Old Hospital, Maidstone, Kent, by Higgins Homes
Right in the centre of town, this apartment in a new block built as part of the conversion of an old hospital, works well as a starter home. The external design is innovative, and compliments the original buildings rather than competing – or worse still being a pastiche.
Highly commended: Hawkins Wharf, in Colchester, Essex, built by Weston Homes
BEST NEW APARTMENT
Winner: The Penthouse, Austen House, Winchester, by Beechcroft Developments
This penthouse is in a converted Victorian library in the centre of a Hampshire town, and has a range of interesting design features. All the reader judges said they had a soft spot for this apartment.
Highly commended: The Penthouse at The Pier, Ingress Park, Greenhithe, Kent, built by Crest Nicholson Eastern
Special commendation: 10 Queen Anne Street, London W1, built by Artesian
Winner: Tapestry Building, London EC2, by Westlin
The conversion of this Grade I-listed, 18th-century warehouse in the heart of the City has respected the building’s history and its “industrial aesthetic”, but the apartments themselves are modern and stylish.
Highly commended: 50 Hallam Street, London, W1, by Amazon Properties
Special commendation: Beaufort House for 22 Sussex Square in Brighton
Winner: Mount Anvil for Barnsbury Place, Islington
A unanimous choice, with all the reader judges saying they would like to live there. It is an attractive development of houses and apartments that has been built on the site of an Edwardian school, with many of the original features retained, including tiles, stairs and the carved “boys” and “girls” entrance signs.
Highly commended: Old St Michaels, Braintree, Essex, by City & Country Group
BEST NEW DEVELOPMENT IN THE RETIREMENT LIVING SECTOR
Winner: Richmond Villages for Richmond Letcombe Regis, Oxfordshire
A totally self-contained development that has all the amenities you could need on the site. It is made up of houses and apartments, and is ideal for the “active elderly”, with facilities including a swimming pool, yoga and pilates classes, a nature reserve and a shop.
Highly commended: Frenchlands Gate, East Horsley, Surrey, built by Beechcroft Developments
AFFORDABLE: BEST NEW FAMILY HOME
Winner: Greengate House, Plaistow, London, by L&Q
The judges were extremely impressed by the look of the house that has won the top award in this category, which they said would raise the standard of housing in the area. It has been built for local hospital workers, and is very close to the O2, Canary Wharf and what the judges described as the “trendy” parts of East London.
Highly commended: 7 Dufours Place, London, W1, built by Octavia Housing and Soho Housing Association
AFFORDABLE: BEST NEW DEVELOPMENTS
Winner: Tower Hamlets Community Housing and Karakusevic Carson Architects for Claredale Street, Bethnal Green
The winning development scored extremely highly on almost all the judging criteria, and was described as “a place you want to walk into and take a second look”. It is well laid out, sympathetic to the local neighbourhood and has “a lot more design for its budget” than comparable schemes.
Highly commended: Falcon Works in Southwark, by Alan Camp Architects & Hexagon
Winner: Roden Court, Hornsey Lane, London N6, built by One Housing Group
This development is arranged around a beautifully-landscaped park, and built to a very high standard. Tenants have been decanted from an old social housing development and, as the judges said, “If this was my new home I’d be very happy”.
Highly commended: The Silk Gardens, Parmiter Street, Bethnal Green, by Family Mosaic
BEST REGENERATION PROJECT
Winner: The Square, Eastgate, Chichester by Seaward Properties
Bringing new life to a run-down part of a Sussex town centre, this development has been built on the site of a disused snooker hall and an old fish paste factory, and creates a new link between communities in the town centre.
Highly commended: Kinetica, at Dalston Road, Hackney by Telford Homes
Special commendation: Jeremiah Smith House, Marsh Farm, Luton, by VE Parrott (Oakley) and Aldwyck Housing Group)
BEST NEW SMALL DEVELOPMENT
Winner: The Mews, Bridgewater Road, Weybridge, Surrey, by Consero London
A select development of nine houses, built within their own private, landscaped grounds. It combines traditional style and modern finishes very well, and is ideal for the “London-country” set.
Highly commended: St Peters Green, Chislehurst, Kent, built by Asprey Homes
BEST NEW LARGE DEVELOPMENT
Winner: The Hamptons, Worcerster Park, Surrey, by St James Developments
“Absolutely lovely” according to the judge who visited. It has a safe, rural feel, despite being only 30 minutes from the centre of London, and an exceptional community ethos, enhanced by facilities including a free gym, children’s play area and crèche. From an architectural perspective you could be in New Hampshire, but you are, in fact, in the London Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames.
Highly commended: One Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, by Project Grande (Guernsey)