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RIBA Award Winners 2011 – Campus

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A strong year for campus architecture with expressive, modernist projects by architects familiar to the RIBA Awards

Britain has yet to follow the American model of hiring superstars for key buildings; rather, there is a sense here of established pedigree practices comfortably flexing their design muscles in a sector willing to explore new ideas.

Níall McLaughlin Architects’ ‘part bi-plane, part aircraft hangar’ Centre for Competitive Creative Design and Foreign Office Architects’ Ravensbourne College - a monolithic slab clad with thousands of unique interlocking tiles - catch the eye, but Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s City of Westminster College could end up winning the Stirling Prize.

Centre for Competitive Creative Design, Cranfield University
Niall McLaughlin Architects

Client Cranfield University
Contract value £1.2 million, £4,000/m²
Citation The Centre for Competitive Creative Design at Cranfield University in Bedfordshire is a building of two halves, split horizontally just below the eaves. The lower half is a rationally planned box centred around a main teaching space. The top half is a complex juxtaposition of beams and roof planes that appear to be part bi-plane and part aircraft hangar.
Region East
See AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk

Trafford College Learning Resource Centre
Stephenson Bell Architects

Client Trafford College
Contract value £25 million, £2,790/m²
Citation Generous volumes, a simple organisation and a commitment to strategic design and detail describe this Altrincham college. The centre’s beautifully detailed teaching spaces lend light through generous windows to light-filled corridors. Public rooms have carefully shaded picture windows, clerestories that throw light deep into the plan.
Region North West
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Ravensbourne College, Foreign Office Architects

Client Ravensbourne College in partnership with Meridian Delta
Contract value £43 million, £2,000/m2
Citation The design blurs the internal arrangements behind a homogenous facade at this south London college specialising in digital media and design. Internally, a split-level section is separated by the atria and reconnected by bridges and floor trays. The voids sporadically connect, but bottom out at different levels, informing a clear hierarchy and creating real spatial drama.
Region London
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City of Westminster College
schmidt hammer lassen architects

Client City of Westminster College
Contract value £67.7 million, £2,821/m²
Citation This new, flagship Paddington Green campus, akin to an ocean liner
with strong horizontal lines, consolidates accommodation from several sites into one building. Remarkably, given its location, scale, footprint and height - seven storeys - it achieves great composure, and provides a light, calm and welcoming environment using a sparse, cool materials palette.
Region London
See AJS April10 and AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk

Newton and Arkwright Buildings, Nottingham Trent University
Hopkins Architects

Client Nottingham Trent University
Contract value £90 million, £2,886/m²
Citation The project involves the skilful renovation of two historic buildings to create a contemporary university facility, and the transition between new and old is seamless. The restoration work aimed to re-use as much ofthe building fabric as possible, exposing ceilings, facades and internal elevations that had been obscured for years.
Region East Midlands
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Heating Infrastructure Project, University of Liverpool
Levitt Bernstein

Client University of Liverpool
Contract value £22 million, £20,754/m²
Citation This building continues the noble architectural tradition of boiler houses as urban monuments. The compact structure has an articulated roof form that cleverly makes reference to its listed neighbours while concealing the chillers. Its elegantly conceived and executed fish-scale skin articulates the otherwise blank facades and provides cross-ventilation.
Region North West
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Charles Carter Building, Lancaster University
John McAslan + Partners

Client Lancaster University
Contract value £6.5 million, £1,627/m²
Citation Simple architecture that cleverly combines a colonnade, giant orders, deep recesses and flush seamless detail. Externally the single-minded pursuit of the possibilities of contemporary brick technology is complemented internally by exposing the concrete frame. These two materials give the building a sense of grandeur and permanence that is all too rare in the educational buildings of today.
Region North West
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Bideford College
NPS South West

Client Devon County Council
Contract value Not disclosed
Citation This school, on a steeply sloping site, has a clear, legible plan which responds to a complicated brief. Classroom wings are in parallel blocks alongside the main building - an indoor/outdoor space with dining hall and winter garden. There are secluded spaces where pupils congregate and a long open assembly space. Region South West
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Kendrew Quadrangle, St John’s College, University of Oxford
MJP Architects

Client St John’s College
Contract value Not disclosed
Citation With its covered cloisters, glazed common-room roofs, student rooms and external terraces, this building blurs the definitions of inside and out. The environmental agenda - building orientation, excellent insulation, solar and geothermal energy, biomass boilers, heat recovery, and low-energy lighting and controls - is achieved without compromising the architecture.
Region South
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University of Glamorgan Students’ Union
Rio Architects

Client University of Glamorgan Estates Department
Contract value £4 million, £1,600/m²
Citation Despite the physical constraints of a steeply sloping site, the architects have created a fully inclusive students’ union with external terrace areas which are pleasing to explore. The internal accommodation provides everything students require, while the palette of materials has been used in a simple and clear manner.
Region Wales
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Heslington East Masterplan, University of York

Client University of York
Contract value Not disclosed
Citation The movement of pedestrians and cyclists - not cars - through a series of vistas, routes, edges and shortcuts dominates the landscape strategy. The success of the masterplan, which will eventually double the size of the university, is in the subtlety of these spaces, and in the arrangement of the buildings which creates protective microclimates.
Region Yorkshire
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Life Sciences Building, University of Southampton

Client University of Southampton
Contract value £35 million, £3,500/m²
Citation Each part of the building is rationally and efficiently laid out with views across the atrium and into various other functions. But it is the irregular spaces between elements, together with the half-levels formed by taller laboratory spaces, which make this building memorable. The building works well environmentally and, equally important, acoustically.
Region South
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City Campus, University of Wales, Newport

Client University of Wales, Newport
Contract value £25.2 million, £2,016/m²
Citation Part of the University of Wales’ masterplan to create a new campus on the River Usk, this 12,500m² building houses facilities for business, technology, art, design and media disciplines under one roof. The campus is part of a major redevelopment of Newport’s city centre. The building’s well-considered plan fluidly knits together its diverse uses in a positive manner.
Region Wales
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Cardiff School of Management, University of Wales institute, Cardiff

Client University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
Contract value £13.1 million, £1,627/m²
Citation Flanking a large atrium, this new management school provides cleanly and elegantly detailed internal spaces arranged in two distinct elements. Within a conservation area and adjacent to Llandaff Cathedral, the building has a blue Staffordshire brick-clad base with the upper levels clad in pre-oxidised copper.
Region wales
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WISE Building, Centre for Alternative Technology
Pat Borer and David Lea Architects

Client Centre for Alternative Technology
Contract value £4.5 million, £2,250/m²
Citation Constructed from low embodied-energy materials - such as glulam timber frame, hemcrete walls, rammed earth and cork - WISE is a delightful new teaching base for the Centre for Alternative Technology. Today the word sustainability is often glibly used; this project not only lives up to the centre’s mission, but does so with a quiet confidence.
Region Wales
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Speirs Locks Studios, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
Malcolm Fraser Architects

Client The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
Contract value £3.2 million, £934/m²
Citation A strongly detailed transformation with an industrial aesthetic. Four nondescript 1980s portal-frame buildings have been skilfully and economically recast as an important new cultural asset for Glasgow. It has also has been re-roofed, while new windows and profiled cladding further enhance its energy efficiency.
Region Scotland
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