AN emergency housing scheme in Colchester has been given a national award.

The housing scheme, in Hargood Close, was designed by Proctor and Matthews for housing association Family Mosaic.

It has been recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for its architectural excellence.

The jury said the scheme had a good combination of craftsmanship as well as giving users dignity.

It also said: “The reinvention of the alms house typology underpins the success of the design strategy that is beautifully executed with brickwork detailing that adds rhythm and texture.”

Louise Todd, RIBA East Regional Director, said: “I’m particularly pleased to see that Family Mosaic’s decision to appoint an architect for its latest housing scheme has been rewarded for producing something out of the ordinary, providing self-contained temporary accommodation and essential support for homeless people in Colchester for years to come.

“It is to be applauded.”

The £3.4million development, which was completed in April 2013, is built around two courtyards.

Its specific use is to temporarily house homeless people.

The project was one 56 in the UK and Europe to be given the accolade.

It is also in the running for the Building of the Year prize.