This year there are less fireworks in this category, which notched up half the Stirling Prize finalists in 2010 - including the winner, Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI museum
Public projects won nearly a fifth of the awards this year; there is a noticeable resourcefulness, a sizeable retrofit contingent and high standards of sustainable design. Some of the work is low-budget, for example Tonkin Liu’s Dover Esplanade, but the quality is impressive: projects such as the Oriel Mostyn Gallery, designed by Ellis Williams Architects, are intended to stand the test of time. Raven Row and the Royal Shakespeare look like Stirling Prize contenders. Felix Mara
Creswell Crags Museum and Education Centre, OMI Architects
Client Creswell Heritage Trust
Contract value £3.8 million, £2,957/m²
Citation Located in Derbyshire on a site with important archaeological finds, this appropriate and sensitive stone and timber building is a ‘gateway to understanding the history and culture of the region’, according to the judges. The structure and content of the building are complementary: issues of ecology and sustainability are addressed in a sensitive manner.
Region East Midlands
Raven Row, 6a Architects
Client Raven Row
Contract value £2.2 million, £1,654/m²
Citation At Raven Row visitors are aware of the previous lives of the building, which dates from 1690. Now, with supreme intelligence, and with subtle intervention and artful invention, it has taken on a new life as a gallery for contemporary art. Wandering through the gallery spaces and connecting stairs, visitors are aware of the ghosts -isolated details - of previous narratives.
New Herbarium, Library, Art and Archive Wing, Kew Gardens
Edward Cullinan Architects
Client Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Contract value £16 million, £3,200/m²
Citation A modern storage facility for the most vulnerable pieces of the 7 million-strong collection of plant specimens and manuscripts. The vaults keep the collection at a constant temperature of 15 degrees centigrade, and use a mechanical air handling and a ground-source heat pump to reduce CO2 emissions. Rated BREEAM ‘Excellent’.
Pasmore Apollo Pavilion, Burns Architects
Client Durham City Council
Contract value £400,000
Citation The Pasmore Apollo Pavilion, originally built as part of Peterlee’s social housing development in 1969, is not so much an important one-off piece as a gathering of bold architectural ideas, manifested in the delightful sculptural form of reinforced concrete. The extensive academic and methodical restoration has been undertaken with a great deal of precision and care.
Region North East
Leighton House Museum, Purcell Miller Tritton
Client Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Contract value Not disclosed
Citation Designed in 1864 to display Lord Leighton’s collection of Islamic tiles, the building had subsequently been extended and used as a school. Having removed much of the ephemera accumulated over the years, Purcell Miller Tritton paid meticulous attention to services, redecoration, lighting and external re-instatements, including the restoration of the rooftop ziggurat.
Millfield House Visitor Centre, Mosedale Gillatt Architects
Client Newcastle City Council
Contract value £1.46 million, £1,521/m²
Citation The visitor centre sits at the focal point of Jesmond Dene’s linear park which has served generations of visiting families. The sedum roof and rainwater collection systems announce the building’s environmental credentials, but the real magic is in its relationship with the existing building and the events that take place in
Region North East
Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres, Bennetts Associates Architects
Client Royal Shakespeare Company
Contract value £60 million, £5,000/m²
Citation The brief called for the retention of Elisabeth Scott’s Grade II*-listed theatre facade and foyer, as well as new theatre facilities. The main auditorium has a Globe-like feel to it, and an exciting atmosphere. The theatre is historic in its references, contemporary in its design; it is a good working theatre, not a precious one.
Region West Midlands
The Apex at the Arc, Hopkins Architects
Client St Edmundsbury Borough Council
Contract value £15 million, £600/m²
Citation The retail-led route to the regeneration of our historic towns requires civic leadership, strong architects and the right choice of development partner. At Bury St Edmunds’ Apex venue and Arc shopping centre, all are in evidence. Twenty-five thousand square metres of retail, 62 flats and a new civic auditorium have all been delivered through a simple masterplan based around a new public square.
Dover Esplanade, Tonkin Liu
Client Kent County Council, Sea Change, DCMS, CABE, Dover Harbour Board and Dover District Council
Contract value £2 million, £333/m²
Citation Dover’s seafront has been transformed with three artworks. Three waves wash up against the beach: the Lifting Wave, a series of concrete ramps and staircases; the Resting Wave, a series of sculptural concrete curves; and a wave of lighting columns, rising and falling like froth on the crest of a wave.
Region South East
Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Ellis Williams Architects
Client Oriel Mostyn Gallery
Contract value £5.1 million, £1,900/m²
Citation Doubling Llandudno’s Oriel Mostyn Gallery in size, Ellis Williams Architects has created three new gallery spaces, including one which faces a street. The cleverly arranged galleries have a quality of light which draws out the texture of the shuttering and softens the museum’s hardness. The building is a confident addition to the Welsh art scene.
See AJ 22.07.10 and AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk
McManus Galleries, Page\Park Architects
Client Dundee City Council
Contract value £9.5 million, £2,013/m²
Citation This new Dundee cultural facility adapts the existing George Gilbert Scott design without losing the integrity of the Grade-A structure, yielding a new entrance, an internal glazed lobby and new circulation, including a boldly contemporary sculptural stairway and lift. A triumph for a city that has excelled in building for the arts.
See AJ 23.09.10 and AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk
Raasay Community Hall, Dualchas Building Design
Client Raasay Community Association
Contract value £900,000, £2,054/m²
Citation The Isle of Raasay in the Inner Hebrides has a small population, but the same needs as any other community: a multi-use centre. Using the site’s slope, Dualchas Building Design has created separate entrances to access the upper and lower halls, while the front elevation glazing ensures users always have a
view of the constantly changing weather, sea and sky.
Centre for Scottish War Blinded, Page\Park Architects
Client Royal Blind
Contract value £2.6 million, £3,346/m²
Citation This new building for the Edinburgh charity is elegant and fit for purpose. A refined materials palette and a sweeping zinc roof suggest a building free of institutional connotations. Rooms are accessed off a single, broad circulation spine, connecting the social, work and rehabilitation spaces of the building. Access to each is differentiated by variations in the colour palette.
UK Centre For Carnival Arts, Ash Sakula Architects
Client UK Centre for Carnival Arts
Contract value £3.9 million, £2,746/m²
Citation The UK Centre for Carnival Arts in Luton, the setting for Europe’s biggest one-day carnival, houses a band training and rehearsal studio, a welding and casting facility and a costume-making workshop, for artists to use to develop their skills. The site planning is simple and straightforward, being conceived as a group ofbuildings focused around a yard. It is the antithesis of the arts centre.
An Gaelaras, O’Donnell + Toumey
Client An Gaeláras
Contract value £2.8 million, £1,414/m²
Citation This Irish language arts and cultural centre in Londonderry is a sculptural intervention with an intriguing vortex plan that draws the visitor inwards and upwards. The facade and internal courtyard are boardmarked
concrete, lending the interior a sense of gravitas that sanctions the use of cheaper materials - such as plywood and painted plaster - elsewhere.
Region Northern Ireland
No.1 Smithery, van Heyningen and Haward Architects
Client Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Imperial War Museum and National Maritime Museum
Contract value £9.5 million, £2,137/m²
Citation A museum within a museum, showcasing the building and the objects it houses. The falling-down majesty of the existing buildings is retained, and new exhibition spaces are highly insulated and airtight. Rendered abstract boxes sit quietly within the Georgian sheds. The space is dedicated to the display of the exhibits.
Region South East