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BCIA honours best of British

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Last week the winners of the British Construction Industry Awards were announced, awards that recognise overall excellence in all aspects of construction projects.

Organised by The Architects' Journal, New Civil Engineer and Thomas Telford, the awards had an illustrious panel of judges, including the AJ's editorial director, Paul Finch. Projects of greatest architectural distinction are highlighted below. For full details of all winning and commended projects, see the supplement with this week's issue.

BEST PRACTICE Raines Court, London N16 It was no surprise that imaginative client Peabody picked up this award 'for projects which involved processes adopted to understand and meet client needs; supported team working throughout; and maintained continuous improvement drive'. As one of the latest developments of Peabody's innovative approach to making quality affordable in housing, this carefully space-planned project uses prefabricated units from Yorkon.

CREDITS ARCHITECT Allford Hall Monaghan Morris CLIENT The Peabody Trust COST £8.9 million

BUILDING Wolfson Medical School for the University of Glasgow The award for projects valued between £3 million and £50 million went to a building, sitting on an awkward triangular site, that enables Glasgow's approach to medical teaching, which involves simulating real-life medical situations. It is designed around a central courtyard with a structural glass roof that spans up to 15.5m.

CREDITS ARCHITECT Reiach & Hall STRUCTURAL ENGINEER URS Corporation COST £9 million

SMALL BUILDING PROJECT Hoyle Early Years Centre, Bury, Lancs The prize for a building scheme valued at less than £3 million went to this project. It allows an additional 15 children, of an expanded age range, to be accommodated in the facility, which has been extended and totally transformed.

ARCHITECT DSDHA ENGINEER Price & Myers CREDITS CLIENT Bury Metropolitan Council COST £695,000

JUDGES' SPECIAL AWARD New Accommodation Project, GCHQ, Cheltenham For a project of any size, the judges could use their discretion to give an award to any project that they considered to be 'particularly inspirational'. Their choice was this instantly recognisable doughnut-shaped building which, ironically, is one of the least publicly accessible in the country. But it has bucked the trend by managing to achieve quality under a PFI arrangement.

ARCHITECT Gensler STRUCTURAL ENGINEER TPS Consult CREDITS CLIENT GCHQ COST £330 million

REGENERATION Bullring, Birmingham Central Birmingham has certainly been transformed, qualifying it to take the prize for 'a project of any size which has made a significant contribution to the regeneration of an underprivileged area, or the creation of new facilities or accommodation which has made exceptional use of brownfield sites'. While most of the media attention has focused on Future Systems' bobby-dazzling Selfridges store, this is only a relatively small part of a much larger scheme, which replaces the discredited existing Bullring shopping centre, creating an entirely new heart to the city on a 10.4ha site.

CREDITS ARCHITECT Benoy CLIENT Hammerson (The Birmingham Alliance) COST £250 million design and build; £500 million total

CONSERVATION UBS & LSO Music Education Centre, London EC1 The conservation award is for a project designed and executed with respect for original fabric, design and form while making a minimum intervention consistent with safety and structural integrity. The elegant landmark of St Luke's Church in Old Street had been derelict since the Blitz, and had problems ever since its construction to designs by Nicholas Hawksmoor and John James.

Clever engineering and sensitive architecture have brought it back into a valuable, if very different, use.

CREDITS ARCHITECT Levitt Bernstein STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Arup COST £9.8 million

MAJOR PROJECT Channel Tunnel Rail Link Section 1, Kent Rail Link Engineering won the prize for mega schemes, valued at more than £50 million. But although the engineering consortium was the principal designer for this £1.9 billion project, the architect, Wilkinson Eyre, played a major role, designing all the non-station structures. These included a mind-boggling 100 bridges.

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