New Homes Design Awards 2008
The Evening Standard New Homes Awards recognise excellence across the housing spectrum, from starter homes to luxury riverside apartments and mansions for the super-rich. Judged by readers from a shortlist of 159 properties, this year’s winners have all the qualities that keep London and the South-East ahead in the global property stakes — creative design and style, eco-friendly innovation and value for money. David Spittles reports
House of the year and best family home of five bedrooms or more
Warnborourgh House, Woodham Park, Woking, Surrey, by Millgate Homes
This is one of nine detached homes in a select gated estate backing on to Basingstoke Canal in a remarkably tranquil setting. The house’s internal layout is aimed at relaxed family living and entertaining on a grand scale.
A large, welcoming reception hall sets the scene and leads to an open-plan kitchen and family room extending the entire width of the property and connecting to an elegant conservatory. Two sets of French doors open on to the garden, designed by a Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winner. Upstairs are five bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, which are perfect “nests” for all family members.
Creature comforts include a handmade oak kitchen with all mod cons by designer Mark Wilkinson and a Bang & Olufsen home entertainment system.
Prices from £1 million. For more information, call 01932 355382.
Best new conversion
Kingsway Square, Battersea, SW11, by St James Homes
This splendid listed Victorian building started life in 1894 as the Battersea Polytechnic Institute, later Westminster Kingsway College.
Under the eagle eye of English Heritage, it has been transformed into 205 apartments, including double-height spaces with exquisite period features. Layouts differ because of the individuality of the building. The old library, with oak panelling and stained-glass windows, is earmarked as a members’ dining club, a fashionable new venue for SW11.
Flats in the latest phase cost from £320,000. Call 0870 850 7674.
The Galleries, Brentwood, Essex, by City & Country Residential
City & Country specialises in heritage conversions. As its name suggests, the company acquires historic buildings — hospitals, mills, barns, mansions and warehouses — in rural and semi-rural locations. Out of these it creates “country cool” new homes by keeping the raw beauty of the original structure and using contemporary interior design worthy of a city loft.
The Galleries is a Victorian asylum in Brentwood, Essex, that is being redeveloped into a prestige community of 131 apartments and houses set around cloistered courtyards and landscaped gardens. The painstaking restoration has uncovered decorative stonework, Gothic arched windows, cast-iron columns, oak staircases, mouldings and fireplaces, all of which have been retained.
No two homes are the same. Even the deconsecrated chapel is to become a special triple-height, 2,500sq ft residence. Prices start at £225,000. For more information, call 01277 202122.
Best new apartment
Apartment One, Douces Manor, West Malling, Kent, by Beechcroft Homes
Beechcroft has created six elegant apartments in the main house and 18 new courtyard homes using bricks reclaimed from original outbuildings on the 12-acre estate. Prices start at £625,000. For more information, call 01732 873078.
16 Cliveden Village, Taplow, Buckinghamshire, by Countryside Properties
In a secluded corner of the Cliveden estate, an “age-exclusive” development of 135 homes — a mix of two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom houses. Buyers are mainly the “NONY — not old, not young” generation. Hence the modern design. From £350,000, call 01628 668835.
Best new starter home
The Keller, Water Colour, Redhill, Surrey, by Linden Homes
Compact and value-for-money two-bedroom, two-bathroom terrace house of 788 sq ft, with open-plan kitchen/living area and sliding double doors on to the garden. All sold.
Best new small development
The Collection, St John’s Wood, NW8, by Oakmayne Properties and Vanderbilt
This “limited edition” of modern town houses has been created on the site of the original Saatchi Gallery in St John’s Wood. Space and light are the main architectural qualities, with an accent on privacy and security.
The houses have crisply rendered façades and cathedral-size bronze entrance doors with fingerprint recognition. The terrace is softened by a contoured communal garden.
Glazed internal courtyards allow light in. Room layouts have been carefully thought through and interiors are superbly finished with marble and walnut.
Each house has its own underground garage with direct access into the house. There are roof terraces, too. Prices started at £2.5 million. All sold.
Cliffsend Meadows, near Ramsgate, Kent, by Millwood Designer Homes
A delightful collection of 34 Kentish-style homes ranging from new-build cottages to converted barns and an original oast house. Prices range from £255,000 to £750,000. All sold.
Best new large development
Battersea Reach, York Road, SW8, by St George Homes
A cluster of riverside apartment blocks of ocean liner-like design rise dramatically over the Thames at Battersea. More than 1,000 homes are being built at the 13-acre site, which has a new riverside promenade with pavement cafés, bars, boutiques and galleries. Prices start at £399,950. For more information, call 020 7978 4141.
Best new luxury home
Willow House, Oxshott, Surrey, by Consero Homes
Niche developer Consero Homes built this huge 7,000sq ft trophy house in this exclusive and private spot tucked away down a leafy lane in affluent Oxshott.
The area is famous for tycoons owning flashy gin palaces but Willow House has taste. It is a high-specification home with a traditional-style exterior and informal internal layout, including limestone staircase, open-plan, white-lacquered Boffi kitchen, cinema room and master bedroom suite with bespoke his and her’s dressing rooms. It also has an office space and gym above
a detached triple garage.
A “captain of industry” snapped up the £3.25 million home, which was also viewed by several Chelsea footballers because of its proximity to the club’s Cobham training ground. For more information, call 01483 458875.
Best new family home with up to four bedrooms
The Burchfield, Water Colour, Redhill, Surrey, by Linden Homes
This showpiece regeneration site is an example of what planners and architects call New Urbanism. A former sand quarry has been transformed into an eco-friendly community of 500 homes overlooking lagoons and a nature reserve — 67 acres in total. With car-free zones, cycle paths, nature trails and designated children’s play areas, it is ideal for families.
Linden is building a mixture of properties — from starter homes to big detached houses in a new village. The Burchfield is a three-storey house priced at £465,000. Call 0845 260 6606.
Best new affordable homes development
Oyster Court, Elephant & Castle, SE17, by Oakmayne Properties and Shared Horizons
This eye-catching apartment block is part of a larger scheme in one of London’s regeneration hotspots, Elephant & Castle. The sleek architecture mixes cladding with crisp white render and needlepoint edges. Large balconies project out like an open chest of drawers. All homes were sold on a shared-ownership basis.
Best family home with up to three bedrooms
Temple 1, The Manor, Herringswell, Suffolk, by City & Country Residential
Herringswell Manor in Suffolk is an Edwardian estate with a colourful history that includes a spell in the Eighties when it was owned by the Bhagwan Shree Sect. It has an idyllic eight-acre setting, with ancient woodland, fields and lawns, about six miles from Newmarket.
City & Country is converting the listed manor and redeveloping a collection of outbuildings — 52 homes in total. Prices start at £199,995 for a one-bedroom flat. Call 01279 818900.
The Sommer, Water Colour, Redhill, Surrey, by Linden Homes
“Conventional on the outside but totally unexpected inside,” was our judges’ verdict of this light-filled, three-bedroom house with double-height conservatory at the rear. All sold.
Image gallery: fifteen hot London homes under £250,000