Wirral Metropolitan College was praised for its elegance and involvement of students in the construction process Image: Karl Glenn, BCA Landscape

Peel wins architecture award

Peel’s new base for Wirral Metropolitan College, designed by Glenn Howells, was among five North West winners at the RIBA national awards.

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The other winners from the region were BDP’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, a private house in Cumbria by Bennetts Associates, Mecanoo’s HOME theatre and cinema in Manchester’s First Street, and the National Graphene Institute designed by Jestico + Whiles for University of Manchester.

The shortlist for the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best building of the year will be drawn from the 46 award-winning buildings.

Judges called Peel’s Wirral college ‘elegant’ and an ‘essay in construction’ for its students by instilling the ethic of quality workmanship – over 300 students from the college helped with its construction.

James Whittaker, group development director at Peel, said: “This project demonstrates true collaboration between Peel, the public sector and Wirral Met College – a truly exemplary partnership that shows how regeneration happens. We will continue to work in close partnership with the college to ensure that the students benefit from Wirral Waters – not only in construction but in other areas of their curriculum.”

The 38,000 sq ft college campus is located on the Birkenhead dockland at Wirral Waters, and employed landscape architects, BCA Landscape, and masterplanner Parkinson Inc. When it opened in September it became the first new building within the 500-acre Wirral Waters project.

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Hold the front page, Peel win an architecture award, now that really is big news. Can only assume it was the influence of the public sector partners in this case.

By Sir C Wren