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Granary Building scoops Mayor’s top prize for planning excellence in London

A 19th century granary store that has been spectacularly transformed into a university for the arts has scooped London mayor Boris Johnson’s Award for Planning Excellence at the London Planning Awards.

The Granary Building, which dates from 1851 and once managed the distribution of grain at the height of the Victorian industrial boom, has been converted into a vibrant 39,000m² campus for the University of the Arts London.

Johnson awarded the prize jointly to the London Borough of Camden, English Heritage, architects firm Stanton Williams and developers Argent, in recognition of the careful renovation of the historic Grade II listed building to provide teaching, library and workshop space in the heart of Kings Cross. 

“The Granary Building is a stunning development that embraces the past while looking to the future,” said Johnson. “The transition from a depository of Victorian grain, to a university where the seeds of artistic ideas sprout, has been handled with great sensitivity and flair. It has brought an enlightened focus to the wholesale regeneration of the surrounding area and is a project that matches my own vision for London.”

The annual London Planning Awards, jointly run by the Mayor, London First, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and London Councils, were created to recognise planning professionals and organisations that have made a vital contribution to the capital in making it a better place to live, work, do business and visit.

Other winners of top awards included: retail and office development One New Change in the City; St Paul’s Way Trust School, Tower Hamlets; Highbury Gardens housing development, Islington; Margaret McMillan Park, Lewisham; the ‘Arsenal on the move’ regeneration project, Islington and St Pancras Chambers refurbishment in Camden.

Full list of winning and commended entries

1. Best Built Project – sponsored by CB Richard Ellis 

Winner: One New Change – submitted by Land Securities, with Jean Nouvel and Sidell Gibson. 

Commended: Sammy Ofer Wing, National Maritime Museum, submitted by Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, together with the National Maritime Museum, CF Moller Architects, Purcell Miller Tritton, Churchman Landscape Architects and Malcolm Reading Consultants.

2. Best Built Project - Community Scale Scheme. Sponsored by Land Securities.

Winner: St Paul’s Way Trust School - submitted by Astudio, with Bouygues UK and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

3. Best Conceptual Project – sponsored by Berwin Leighton Paisner.

Winner: Walthamstow Wetlands – submitted by the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

4. Best New Place to Live – sponsored by Ardmore Group. 

Winner: Highbury Gardens – submitted by First Base and the Homes and Communities Agency.

Commended: Triscott House - submitted by KKM Architects, with the London Borough of Hillingdon, the Homes and Communities Agency and Breyer Group.

5. Best New Public Space – sponsored by Hogan Lovells. 

Winner: Margaret McMillan Park – submitted by the London Borough of Lewisham and The Landscape Group. 

6. Best Built Project – Five Years On – sponsored by GVA. 

Winner: Arsenal On The Move – submitted by Savills Planning, together with Arsenal Football Club, Anthony Green & Spencer and Populas Architects.

Commended: The Home Office Building – submitted by Bouygues UK, together with Ecovert (EFM), Infrared Capital Partners Ltd, Terry Farrell & Partners. 

7. Best Historic Building Management – sponsored by English Heritage.

Winner: St Pancras Chambers - submitted by the London Borough of Camden, with English Heritage and RHWL.



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