Churchill Gardens the tops but Dome must try harder
The Civic Trust is set to declare Powell and Moya's Churchill Gardens in Pimlico, London, the most outstanding building of the last 40 years. But the trust is also expected to deliver a snub to the Millennium Dome in its 40th anniversary awards round, due to be unveiled in a ceremony at Greenwich's National Maritime Museum tonight.
The trust is expected to celebrate its anniversary by proclaiming Powell and Moya's seminal 1946 housing estate the best of its award winners over the decades, based on views expressed by a panel of judges and those who inhabit the six blocks of inner London flats. Researchers were asked to canvas opinions once 1025 Civic Trust award winners were pared down to a round 100. Churchill Gardens beat the Severn Bridge, Chesterfield Town Centre, Wigan Pier, Corporation of Lloyd's Chatham and the extension to the Theatre Royal in York.
But in the record number of winners the trust is due to unveil tonight there will be an unexpected snub to the Millennium Dome, which entered but must be content with only a commendation. The Richard Rogers-designed project was understood to have drawn opposition from judges who felt that the Dome's after-use should have been better thought out before it was built.
Another controversial move is to give only a commendation to James Stirling Michael Wilford and Associates' No 1 Poultry, which it is understood the judges felt was an inadequate replacement for the listed Mappin and Webb building demolished to make way for it. Alsop Lyall and Stormer and the jle Project Team's North Greenwich Transport interchange was also set for a commendation while Foster and Partners' overground bus section above it is expected to have clinched a main award, as is the practice's Canary Wharf station.
The trust is to make eight special awards and 30 others, which it said was 'a clear indication of a renaissance in British architecture,' since the last time it made 38 awards was in 1971. Hot tips for awards this year include the Jubilee Line Extension in its totality as winner of the Urban Design Award, Stephenson Bell's regeneration of Manchester's Smithfield Buildings for Urban Splash in the Partnership Award and Wharmby Kozdon Architects' Web of Life building at London Zoo in the Sustainability Award. The Civic Trust Centre Vision Award was thought to be on its way to the City of Sunderland and the Napper Partnership for their Park Lane interchange in Sunderland.
Other awards - due to be presented by culture secretary Chris Smith - were set to go to Future Systems' Nat West Media Centre at Lord's, Brindleyplace, the Avery Associates' bfi imax cinema, Michael Hopkins and Partners' William Younger Centre in Edinburgh and Neptune Court in Greenwich, the awards night venue.