The Berkeley Group received two honours in this year's Building for Life Awards. Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth and Royal Arsenal in South-East London have been recognised with the national honour, awarded by CABE and the Home Builders Federation.
Gunwharf Quays, Berkeley Homes (Southern) Ltd's multi award winning development which has completely regenerated Portsmouth Harbour over the past decade, was the winner of an award. Royal Arsenal, the extensive regeneration of the historic former munitions site next to the Thames in Woolwich, South East London, also was also honoured with an award.
Berkeley Homes' two accolades this year bring the total number of Building for Life awards won by the Berkeley Group to nine in the last seven years. These wins demonstrate that the principles of quality and innovation in design, sustainable development and the creation of the communities of tomorrow are at the heart of Berkeley's business.
The Building for Life standard is the government-endorsed benchmark for well-designed housing and neighbourhoods in England. It is awarded to new housing projects that demonstrate a commitment to high design standards and good place making.
Tony Pidgley, Managing Director of The Berkeley Group explains:
"Building for Life's commitment to quality in new housing complements what we aim to achieve in each of own regeneration projects. Design excellence is fundamental to the success of any development. By taking into account a site's history, character and environment, we strive to create new communities which have real integrity and will become places where people want to live, work and relax. CABE promotes excellence in all areas of regeneration that will make a lasting difference to our towns and cities and we are very proud to receive these awards."
The two winning projects showcase these principles in practice. At Royal Arsenal, Berkeley Homes has brought back to life one of the biggest concentrations of Grade I and Grade II listed buildings converted for residential use, with over 3,000 residents already living on site. Plans have now been submitted for a new masterplan, which encompasses 3,700 additional homes, as well as retail, commercial and leisure space and the new Crossrail station.
The judging panel, chaired by Wayne Hemingway, felt that Royal Arsenal was a very courageous regeneration project in a deprived area and integrated its historical buildings well. They thought its imaginative, high-quality public spaces benefitted the development and would continue to do so as further phases are built in the coming years.
Gunwharf Quays has been one of the South Coast's great success stories, revitalising Portsmouth's fortunes and putting it firmly on the map as one of the region's prime retail and leisure destinations. Now almost complete, the final element of the development is No.1 Gunwharf Quays, the scheme's crowning glory - a 29 storey tower which is the tallest residential building on the South Coast and sets new standards in quality and design for the area.
The judges felt that this massive regeneration project, that had served to 'rebrand' Portsmouth, was a credit to the tenacity and courage shown by the developer in seeing it through to fruition.
The organisers of the awards programme hope that eventually the Building for Life standard will become embedded into the planning system as a benchmark for design quality, so that more developers will follow Berkeley's lead in making quality design widespread.