Winners announced for 2021 RIBA North West Awards

Eight projects in Manchester, Liverpool and Cumbria earned the prestigious honour in the 2021 edition of the awards, which are decided by a jury of experts.

Because of the pandemic, the Royal Institute of British Architects jury was unable to visit each building that was shortlisted for the 2020 awards. The 2021 award winners, therefore, are pulled from that 2020 shortlist. That means that going forward the RIBA Awards will be for projects that have been occupied for a year.

The 2021 winners are now being considered for the RIBA National Award, which will be announced on 9 September. If they win a RIBA National Award, the project could earn the RIBA Stirling Prize for best building of the year.

Of the eight winners, three earned special honours in addition to their RIBA North West Award:

Windermere Jetty Museum 2, Carmody Groarke, C Christian Richters Via RIBA

Credit: Christian Richters via RIBA

The RIBA North West Building of the Year Award went to Carmody Groarke’s Windermere Jetty Museum in Cumbria. Construction work finished at the Lakeland Arts project in March 2019. Thomas Armstrong Construction was the lead contractor. Turner & Townsend handled project management and acted as the quantity surveyor and cost consultant. Arup was the structural engineer, as well as environmental and M&E engineer and acoustic engineer for the scheme. Jonathan Cook Landscape Architecture was the landscape architect. Jane Toplis Associates was the access consultant. Lawrence Webster Forrest was the fire engineer. Lucion Services was the health and safety consultant. Other key members of the development team included ecologist Middlemarch Environmental and approved building inspector Butler & Young. Real Studios handled exhibition design. A practice for everyday life was in charge of graphics.

Building: The Halle Location: Ancoats, Manchester Architect: Stephenson Studio

Credit: Daniel Hopkinson via RIBA

The Oglesby Centre at Hallé St Peter’s in Manchester, designed by stephenson hamilton risley STUDIO, was named winner of the RIBA North West Sustainability Award. Work finished on the Hallé Concerts Society scheme in November 2019. HH Smith was the lead contractor. The consultant team included Booth King Partnership as structural engineer, Max Fordham as environmental and M&E engineer, Simon Fenton Partnership as quantity surveyor and cost consultant, and Arup as acoustic engineer. Design Fire Consultants was the fire engineer. Mace handled project management.

Wythenshawe Hall In Wythenshawe, Buttress Architects, C Daniel Hopkinson Via RIBA

Credit: Daniel Hopkinson via RIBA

Buttress Architects earned the RIBA North West Conservation Award for its work on Wythenshawe Hall. Conlon Construction wrapped up work on the Manchester City Council site in November 2019. The project was to restore the grade-two-star-listed building, which dates back to the 16th century. The mansion had been heavily damaged by a 2016 fire. Thomasons was the structural engineer and Mott MacDonald was the environmental engineer. Manchester City Council acted as both quantity surveyor and project manager.

The other five winners are:

Pele Tower House, Woollacott Gilmartin Architects, C Luke White Via RIBA

Credit: Luke White via RIBA

Pele Tower House in Cumbria, designed by Woollacott Gilmartin Architects. This private home incorporates a 14th-century Pele tower into its build. The project was completed in July 2019. Adam Carr Building Contractor handled the construction. The consultant team included John Trippier Archaeology, ecological consultant Lucy Gibson Consulting, structural engineer Reid Jones Partnership, environmental energy consultant Doherty Energy, and historical building conservation consultant Jubb Clews.

Baker Place, OMI Architects, C Paul Karalius Via RIBA

Credit: Paul Karalius via RIBA

Baker Place in Manchester, designed by OMI Architects for One Manchester. Engie finished constructing the residential structure in September 2018. Renaissance was the structural engineer on the project, while Max Fordham was the environmental and M&E engineer. Simon Fenton Partnership was the quantity surveyor. AA Projects handled project management. UBU Design was the landscape architect.

Murrays' Mills, FeIlden Clegg Bradley Studios, C Daniel Hopkinson Via RIBA

Murrays’ Mills, FeIlden Clegg Bradley Studios, c Daniel Hopkinson via RIBA

Murrays’ Mills in Manchester, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios for Manchester Life Development Company. Graham Construction finished work on the site in December 2019. Consultants included Arup on structural, acoustics, environmental and M&E engineering. MAC Consulting was the quantity surveyor and cost consultant. Mace handled project management. Planit-IE was the landscape architect and KMHeritage was the heritage architect. Deloitte was the planning consultant.

Strawberry Field In Liverpool, Hoskins Architects, C Gillian Hayes Via RIBA

Credit: Gillian Hayes Via RIBA

Strawberry Field in Liverpool, designed by Hoskins Architects for the Salvation Army. Robertson North West finished construction work on the site in July 2019. The site was the inspiration for The Beatles song of the same name. Rankinfraser was the landscape architect for the scheme, while Curtins Consulting was the structural engineer. Gleeds was the quantity surveyor and cost consultant.

The Gables In Crosby, DK Architects, C Daniel Hopkinson Via RIBA

Credit: Daniel Hopkinson via RIBA

The Gables in Liverpool, designed by DK Architects for Musker Developments. ICIS Design Limited was the structural engineer for the scheme, which was built by Formby Point Construction. The project was finished in October 2019.

The eight winners were selected from a shortlist of ten projects, which also included BDP’s Alliance Manchester Business School and Sheppard Robson’s Hardman Square Pavilion.

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That’s as strong a prize list as there has been in recent years. Terrific modernist imbued schemes in robust materials at appropriate scale. Worthy winners all.

By Phil Griffin

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