Roger Stephenson, dRMM and Adam Khan all won national RIBA Awards for architectural excellence at a ceremony on Wednesday evening.
The North West buildings were amongst 59 buildings in the UK and Europe which received RIBA Awards – 50 in the UK and nine in the rest of the EU. The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize, for the best building of the year by a British architect, will be drawn from these RIBA Award winners.
The North West buildings that won RIBA Awards, together with the RIBA's comments, were:
Brockholes Visitor Centre, Preston by Adam Khan Architects
The visitor centre at Brockholes is a cluster of buildings set in a lake on a floating pontoon, which responds to changing water levels in the flood plain. The architect has broken down what is a sizeable scheme into a simple and engaging village of buildings – restaurant, a shop, an exhibition hall, an education centre, and a conference centre – designed to celebrate the natural environment. Each cube or rectangle of accommodation has a barn-like roof creating an animated skyline floating above the lake. What is most impressive is that here is a romantic conceptual idea, underpinned by sustainability, structural integrity, function and detail. A natural ventilation system is discreetly integrated, exploiting the stack effect of the barn-shaped roofs, resulting in a BREEAM excellent rating.
Festival House, Blackpool by dRMM Architects
Blackpool is a town in need of regeneration, and a key to achieving this is building upon the history of the town's identity as a centre for entertainment and vacation. The building provides a restaurant and tourist information centre at promenade level, on the first floor is a registry office, and above that is a wedding ceremony hall with a precisely framed view of Blackpool Tower. The structure consists of pre-fabricated cross-laminated timber panels manufactured off site. This is clad in golden stainless steel shingles above a plinth clad in stepped concrete blocks containing recycled and phosphorescent glass which catches the light. The project has achieved a BREEAM bespoke rating of 'excellent', with very low air permeability and maximised access to daylight reducing energy consumption.
North House, Bowdon, Trafford by Roger Stephenson Architects
North House is a substantial detached family home in a street of impressive Victorian villas and is an example of how an uncompromisingly contemporary house can sit comfortably and calmly in a conservation area and its existence is due to a sympathetic planning officer who recognised on appeal the sensitivity of the composition. Despite the affluent nature of this new family home, there is a modesty about the materials and a subtlety to the technology which together deliver a comfortable and sustainable house. The organisation of the building exploits the topography of the site, producing great views. The house includes accommodation for an elderly relative which is designed to ensure accessibility from the street and also via a ramp to the gardens.
There were also winners announced in the newly created second tier of RIBA North West Seven Cities Awards, formerly known as the Red Rose Awards:
- 9 Devonshire Road, Manchester by Ollier Smurthwaite Architects
- Richard Rose Morton Academy, Carlisle by BDP
- Rigg Beck, Cumbria by Knox Bhavan
- The Moat House, Cheshire by Buttress Fuller Alsop Williams Architects
- Vaugh Steil, Cumbria by O'Neil Associates/O'Neil & Petrie
Angela Brady, RIBA president, said: "For 46 years the RIBA Awards have reflected the health of British architecture. This year's winners show that in spite of a terrible worldwide recession, many exceptional buildings have been, and continue to be, built in the UK and overseas. Winning projects demonstrate that even in constrained times committed clients working with talented architects can achieve architectural excellence.
"These well-designed buildings will add huge value to the lives, prosperity, health and pride of their owners, users and communities and I am delighted with this year's selection. We are promised an interesting RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist."
Winners of RIBA Awards for the North West, North East and Yorkshire were announced at a ceremony at The Queens Hotel, Leeds on Wednesday.