‘Architecture of the everyday’ dominates the 24 projects on the PM’s Better Public Building shortlist, with over half the finalists made up of transport and educational projects
The award is made annually to a new building project of any size and budget commissioned by or on behalf of central or local government or by a grant-aided organisation. The 2008 winner was the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton by Building Design Partnership.
This year, 125 entries have been whittled down to 24 finalists to include bridges, streets, schools and stations revealing how public sector clients are demanding high quality designs.
Those on this year’s shortlist include the Ashford Ring Road Project by Whitelaw Turkington, Wood Lane Station by Ian Ritchie Architects, M6 Extension by Capita Symonds, the Ham flood defence scheme by Atkins and Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College by Nicholas Hare Architects.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown commented: ‘These projects show how creative design can make a real difference to how buildings and places work and can deliver public buildings that the community can take pride in.’
The award, jointly sponsored by CABE, the Office of Government Commerce and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, recognises excellent design but also requires the project to have had an efficient procurement. Outgoing CABE chair John Sorrell commented ‘I think we are reaching a tipping point where a desire for good design is evident in most public building. This is not something you can measure easily. It’s a gradual shift in our procurement culture. I think most clients will no longer accept badly conceived, lowest cost solutions, even in a recession’.
The award is a special category of the British Construction Industry Awards (BCIA) and the winner will be announced at the BCI awards dinner on 14 October.