Commissioning authority: Cass Sculpture Foundation
Principal designer: Studio Downie Architects
Principal contractor: Ceecom Construction
Award for a building scheme valued at under £3 million. Sponsored by The Architects’ Journal.
The Cass Foundation provides a new home for British sculpture, set in a wooded estate
of outstanding natural beauty – a world-class centre for sculpture.
The visionary client has got fantastic value for an extraordinarily low cost of £760,000, thanks to an inspired design and delivery team. Despite a rapidly changing brief and rapid design process, it has ended up with a building of exceptionally high quality.
Genuine partnership between the client, architect and other stakeholders, including the local authorities and landowners, enabled the project to succeed. The team carefully balanced the needs of the design with the sensitivities of the South Downs landscape, set within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The solid reinforcedconcrete and blockwork structure contrasts with the landscape, and the timber fins reflect the woodland setting. The sedum roof works withthe surrounding grass slopes, and concrete fingers help to encourage new planting.
By using a small palette of high-quality, low-cost materials and a high level of natural finishes, long lifespans were achieved for finishes with minimum maintenance. The building also uses a number of energy-saving heating and ventilation techniques which, combined with the high thermal capacity of the concrete structure, gave the project a good-to-excellent BREEAM rating.
Overall, the client considered that the building had ‘considerably strengthened the value of the foundation to the cultural and educational aspirations of the region’.
‘Integrated beautifully into its surroundings.’
‘A visionary client has got fantastic value for £760,000 thanks to an inspired design and delivery team.’
‘Very flexible space, suitable for current use as well as future expansion.’
Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood
Dalby Forest Visitor Centre, Yorkshire
The Rooftop Nursery, London E5
Paradise Park Children’s Centre, London N7
RSPB Environment and Educational Centre, Purfleet