The Colville Estate designed by Karakusevic Carson Architects and David Chipperfield Architects has been shortlisted alongside Brentford Lock West Keelson Gardens in London by Mae Architects, Eddington Lot 1 in Cambridge, by WilkinsonEyre with Mole Architects, and Goldsmith Street in Norwich by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley.
The Colville Estate in east London is an 18-year-long regeneration program that has recently finished its first phase.
When it is complete half of the homes will be privately owned and half will be available with affordable rents, as part of shared ownership schemes, or as council homes. In total over 100 of the 925 homes will be owned by the local council, who is the client.
Karakusevic Carson Architects is leading the regeneration project. They collaborated with David Chipperfield to design two hexagonal residential towers called Hoxton Press. The 198 homes in the towers are being sold privately to fund the rest of the estate regeneration.
Goldsmith Street by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley is a development of 105 social housing units for Norwich City Council. The project is shortlisted for the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize.
Seven terraced blocks are arranged in four rows, with 14-metre gaps between blocks to provide a sense of space in a high density project. Parking is arranged around the perimeter, so the streets between the houses belong more to pedestrians.
Eddington Lot 1, by WilkinsonEyre with Mole Architects, is part of a new development of 3,000 houses in the Eddington Quarter of Cambridge. It has already won a 2019 RIBA National Award.
The residential units are arranged around a Sainsbury's supermarket and an doctors surgery. Half of the homes in the Eddington Quarter are reserved for workers at the university, which is funding the development, who qualify for subsidised rent.
Brentford Lock West Keelson Gardens, by Mae Architects, is a canalside regeneration masterplan in Brentford currently at the second of three stages. It also won a 2019 RIBA National Award earlier this year.
Blocks, linked by townhouses and bridges, have been given distinctive saw-tooth roofs and brick loggias in a nod to the area's industrial past. Many of the homes in the development are eligible for the UK's Help to Buy scheme, where the government helps first time buyers purchase homes under £600,000.
"We urgently need to build new homes in the UK," said RIBA President Ben Derbyshire on the Neave Brown Award for Housing.
"This shortlist presents four exemplars – innovative, creative and highly desirable new communities in a diverse range of locations and situations. Each one addresses the challenge of housing affordability with impressive thought and innovative design – and are collectively a fitting homage to the legacy of the late, great Neave Brown."
Brown, who was awarded the 2018 RIBA Gold Medal, was a modernist architect with strong social ideals who pioneered high quality low rise yet high density public housing. He build several iconic housing estates in London, including the Alexandra Road Estate in Camden.
In an interview with Dezeen just months before his death he said the "England's most massive major social problem" was its lack of quality social housing.
"We have to deal with the problem as a social problem, because it can't be dealt with by private money," he said.
"We have to face it as a social problem, not as an economic problem for neoliberalism to make money out of. And if we go on doing that, we are going into a future of catastrophe with our eyes wide open."