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Kilburn Nightingale Architects wins AJ Small Projects 2013 Sustainability Award

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Kilburn Nightingale Architects’ £37,145 visitor centre has won this year’s AJ Small Projects Award

The £1,000 AJ Small Projects Sustainability Prize was awarded to Kilburn Nightingale Architects for its £37,145 visitor centre in the Ruwenzori Mountains of Uganda.

The judging panel, was chaired by AJ editor Christine Murray and featured sustainability editor Hattie Hartman, Alison Brookes, Cathedral Group’s Martyn Evans, John Boxall of Jackson Coles and Paul Reed from competition sponsor Marley Eternit.

The project was praised by the judges for its use of local materials which included eucalyptus poles and bricks and cement made from cowdung and mud.

Described as ‘formally inventive’, the 150m² visitor centre and washroom facility was celebrated for its ‘simple elegance’ and ‘interesting internal spaces’.

The AJ Small Projects Awards has been sponsored by Marley Eternit for three year’s running. An exhibition of all the 24 shortlisted schemes takes place at the NLA Building Centre in London until 28 February 2013.

All 229 entries to the awards can be seen in the AJ Buildings Library, complete with photographs, drawings and details.

Description of Kilburn Nightingale Architects’ visitor centre

The latest buildings completed for the Ruwenzori Sculpture Foundation comprise a small gallery/café building and visitor toilets. These form part of a longer term project including an art foundry, studios for visiting artists, housing and a clinic for the local community on a rural site in the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains in Uganda.

The gallery building is a simple enclosure built with eucalyptus framing anchored to the ground and braced by a shipping container (which had been used to bring foundry equipment to the site). The walls to both gallery and toilets are of locally fired bricks with murram mortar and mud render. Roofs are recycled 44 gallon drums on a eucalyptus structure.

The resulting buildings are a first phase in an ambitious ensemble of buildings that has already started to bring visitors and employment, as well as a new engagement in art and sculpture, to this remote corner of Africa.

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