Manchester-based Aidan Simpson Architect has been announced as the winner of the Royal Institute of British Architects' 350 Award.
Aidan Simpson, partner of Aidan Simpson Architect, said: "It is an honour to receive this award, particularly as it was the People's Choice Award. RIBA should be commended, firstly for bringing the client and I together. Secondly for creating an award that recognises "grass roots" projects with modest budgets, which are often overlooked. I hope that they will continue to promote the value of architecture and encourage more clients to be innovative and aspirational in their building projects, we are so delighted to have won."
Aidan Simpson Architect was nominated for a private commission built in Mereclough, near Burnley. The brief that the practice was given was to create a single story dwelling, that gave the maximum amount of space and light and was very energy efficient, but more importantly, gave a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.
RIBA's 350 Award is a celebration of architecture projects which are completed on or under a £350,000 budget.
The awards ceremony marked the closing of RIBA North West's Architecture Festival 2010. The festival's line up included a programme called Walk the Front, which involved walking tours and lectures celebrating Liverpool's iconic and ground breaking architecture.
A travelling exhibition called Architruck, which was visited by over 2,400 people throughout the festival in June, brought the 350 People's Choice Award shortlist to different events around the North West region, giving the public the opportunity to have their say on what they thought is good architecture, by voting for their favourite project. RIBA North West said that those who attended Architruck also had the chance to speak with some of the region's most talented structural designers.
Belinda Irlam-Mowbray, director of RIBA North West, added: "The 350 People's Choice Award is a magnificent celebration of the work architects do on a daily basis. Of course, many are involved with huge developments which have been characteristic of the regeneration of the region; what is less well known is how an architect can enhance the pleasure and improve how you interact with your home and use the space you live in day to day.
"The response we have had from the public has been fantastic. Everyone who has been to one of the Architecture Festival 2010 events and voted for the '350 People's Choice Award' came with an opinion and a desire to learn more about what an architect does and why architecture is important. I'm sure we will return next year with a bigger and better festival which will again put the buildings of the North West at the forefront of admiration for the UK's architectural prestige."
The awards ceremony was hosted by Lancaster and Westmoreland Society of Architects at the Heron Corn Mill in Beetham, near Milnthorpe, on 26 June. Members of RIBA North West attended the ceremony as well as representatives from the shortlisted architects and specially invited were the clients of the shortlisted projects.
The other architects and shortlisted projects included:
- OMI Architects, also from Manchester, nominated for The Bridge of Discovery, for Creswell Crags Museum & Heritage Centre in Nottinghamshire.
- Studio Three, based in Liverpool, nominated for its design for the St Anselm's College Food Hub in Birkenhead, Wirral
- Honey Architects, based in Barrow in Cumbria, nominated for its design for the Fisherman's Bridge in Ulpha, The Lake District National Park
- Harrison Pitt Architects, based in Lancashire, nominated for its extension to a private house that was originally a stable block in Lancaster
- Stanton Andrews Architects, based in Clitheroe in Lancashire, was nominated for the renovation of a 1980s 'estate' house in Bolton