The project, by Conrad Koslowsky Architects, restored a derelict Arts & Crafts-style care home in London into a warm children's care home for ages 12-17, two care leavers that are 16+, and overnight staff. Accommodations such as en suite bathrooms for each resident and a double kitchen large enough for the household to use considerately are hallmarks of the effort that was put into making the space as friendly and restorative as possible.
Projects in this typology are considered challenging historically, leading the jury to comment that Koslowsky's design could perhaps become a new template for the industry, especially given the increasing appeal of adaptive reuse. A previous jury comment remarked, "At first glance, Lighthouse Children’s Home appears as a visually unassuming project which sits perfectly within its context in suburban South West London. However, upon entering the building, visitors are welcomed by a high-quality interior and a layout that invites curiosity about the surrounding spaces."
Judges remarked on the many stories of residents and their positive outcomes following the home's opening in February of 2022, commenting on their belief that it was "a credit to the architect and client for making it a success for the community."
Jury Chair Matthew Goldschmied added, "Everything has been carefully designed to improve the welfare, safety, comfort, health, self-esteem, and growth of its occupants. Each intervention is exhaustively researched and rigorously detailed to create something truly beautiful and harmonious [...] The Lighthouse Children’s Home demonstrates the therapeutic potential of thoughtfully designed environments."
RIBA’s new President Muyiwa Oki shared, “This is a highly intelligent and considered response to a very complex and sensitive brief. Conrad Koslowsky Architects and Lighthouse Pedagogy Trust are to be commended for their close collaboration, holistic approach, and the exceptional results that have been delivered as a result.”
Adefunmilayo Adebiyi, an architecture student who sat on this year’s jury on behalf of the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, will also partake in a mentorship opportunity with Koslowsky’s. Adebiyi noted, “This exceptional project showcases how design can remove social barriers while providing highly functional and attractive spaces for users. It sets the stage for buildings that create the conditions for connected and healthy communities, shaping a precedent for other designers like me to follow.”
Founded in 2019, the firm beat out five other projects from his year’s shortlist, which was comprised exclusively of early-career architects “aimed at celebrating new architectural talent." Conrad Koslowsky recently garnered recognition as the RIBAJ Rising Star for 2021 and was nominated for the RIBA President's Medal.
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