Goldsmith Street is an exemplar development by Norwich City Council and the winner of The RIBA Stirling Prize 2019. It re-imagines the Victorian terraced street for the twenty-first century and sets new standards for social housing in the UK. This pioneering scheme forms part of the Council’s city-wide investment in modern, affordable homes for the people of Norwich. Designed by Mikhail Riches Architects and constructed by R G Carter, Goldsmith Street is one of the UK’s largest Passivhaus developments, offering sustainable urban living within 15 minutes’ walk of central Norwich.
Goldsmith Street is a much needed 100% social housing scheme in the heart of Norwich. The project overcame site constraints, technical and financial challenges to deliver much need social housing for the people of Norwich. The original estate was part of the Second World War rebuilding effort. In 1960 this site became a retirement village with a residential care home, sheltered housing bungalows and flats, alongside light industrial works such as a timber yard, joinery works and later a furniture factory which introduced jobs into the area. In more recent times the care home became redundant and the sheltered housing bungalows were very small and no longer met modern day standards.
The project emerged out of extensive community consultation with people from the area surrounding Goldsmith Street being involved from an early stage. Letters were sent to about 400 homes around the community and the residents most likely to effected by the works were invited to share their opinions on the proposed development. Following consultation with the residents of the sheltered housing in 2007 the Council took the decision to decommission the bungalows, flats and purchase the vacant residential care home from the Council in order to redevelop the area.
Goldsmith Street is an outstanding development, which has quite rightly received attention from both the local and national press. Its unique and sustainable design, sets new standards for social housing in the UK. This is the future of social housing, and R G Carter have been delighted to be involved.