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AY Architects' Montpelier Nursery bags 2013 Stephen Lawrence Prize

AY Architects has won the £5,000 Stephen Lawrence Prize for its nursery in Camden, north London

The £429,000 project saw off competition from two private houses, a housing project, a chapel and a restaurant to win the prestigious prize sponsored by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, which celebrates schemes costing less than £1 million.

Set up in memory of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence, who was setting out on the road to becoming an architect when he was murdered in 1993, the award is intended to encourage fresh talent working with smaller budgets.

Defeated contenders this year were 25 Tanners Hill by Dow Jones Architects, the Chapel of Saint Albert the Great by Simpson & Brown Architects, Church Walk by David Mikhail and Annalie Riches, the Filling Station by Carmody Groarke, and the 2013 Manser Medal winning Slip House by Carl Turner Architects.

In a statement the judges, who included Doreen Lawrence and winner of the 2012 Stephen Lawrence Prize Mary Duggan, said: ‘The architects were key to the vision for the nursery which was delivered without compromise and produces an all-encompassing educational experience.

‘The selection of materials was a key part of the success. The black stained Siberian larch cladding allows the nursery to sit inconspicuously among the treescape and contrasts with the white-washed internal timber against which the playful objects to come to life.’

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Read Sarah Wigglesworth’s building study of Montpelier Nursery (AJ 21.03.13)

Project data

Client Camden Community Nurseries
Structural engineer Price & Myers
Services engineer King Shaw Associates
Contractor Forest Gate Construction
Contract value £429,000
Date of completion April 2012
Gross internal area 136m²

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