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Waltham Forest scores RIBA hat-trick

by Natalie Vincent Fri 18 May 2018, 10:08 am

Three developments in Waltham Forest have been awarded prestigious architectural prizes.

Shared workspace Central Parade, housing development Sutherland Road and nature reserve Walthamstow Wetlands on 16 May were all triumphant at the 2018 RIBA London Awards, which celebrates architectural design in the city.

Central Parade was originally home to Waltham Forest Council offices, which dated back to the 1960s. It was refurbished in 2016 by Gort Scott Architects to provide up to 50 Walthamstow-based creative businesses with studios, co-working spaces, as well as an on-site cafe, bakery and an events space.

Sutherland Road was previously occupied by derelict buildings before its transformation into a housing development of 59 affordable homes of mixed tenure, and a doctor surgery. Architect Levitt Bernstein worked with East Thames Housing Group (now part of L&Q) to develop the scheme, which covers 4,800sq m.

Walthamstow Wetlands opened for the first time 150 years to great fanfare in October 2017, with over 5,000 people attending the opening.

Making use of the Walthamstow Reservoir, which had been inaccessible to the public; visitors to the wetlands are now able to take part in activities such as cycling, angling, volunteering and birdwatching.

The former reservoir site was redeveloped with £10.6 million in funding provided by Waltham Forest Council, Thames Water and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Ron Presswell, the council's design and conservation manager, said: "The council is delighted to receive these prestigious awards which recognise and celebrate the importance of good design in all development. We are particularly pleased to see the awards going to such a range of projects within the borough from a major landscape and open space scheme like Walthamstow Wetlands through to heritage and residential projects at Sutherland Road and Central Parade.

"The council is committed to achieving the highest standards of design in all development and in continuing to work collaboratively with its partners to deliver great places for people to experience and enjoy."

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