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ACME's Leeds shopping centre among nine RIBA Yorkshire winners

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ACME’s new Victoria Gate shopping centre in Leeds has been named 2017 Building of the Year in the RIBA’s Yorkshire regional awards

The much-publicised £164 million retail scheme (see AJ 10.11.16) was among nine award-winners in the region – an increase of three from 2016.

There were also honours for Simpson & Brown’s Rievaulx Abbey Visitor Centre, a BDP-designed biomass plant, a food hall for Marks & Spencer in Northallerton by GT3 Archtects, a private house in Malton by Tom Brooksbank Architecture and Studio Partington’s Derwenthorpe housing.

Innovative retrofit projects by Thomas Ford & Partners at Wakefield Cathedral and by De Matos Ryan at York’s Theatre Royal also picked up awards, as did a toilet block in York by Mass Architecture, which also took home the region’s Best Small Project title.

Speaking about the winners, Vijay Taheem, RIBA Yorkshire jury chair, said: ‘It was a privilege to witness so many excellent projects, ranging from small crafted schemes to the monumental and including the preservation of historic buildings. These projects demonstrated the added value of thoughtful detailing – and that well-designed spaces can have a lasting impact in enhancing the wellbeing of all users and create beautiful cities and places.’

He added: ‘The selected buildings are truly a testament to the commitment of both dedicated clients and visionary design teams and their contribution to the legacy of our architectural heritage.’

All the victorious buildings will now go on to be considered for national honours, with the successful projects revealed in June. The six finalists for the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize will be drawn from these national winners.


Blackburn Meadows Biomass Power Station, Sheffield, by BDP

Blackburn meadows bi 1236 paul karalius pressimage 5

Source: Paul Karalius

A biomass power plant next to the M1 in Sheffield, E.ON’s facility is on the site of the former iconic Tinsley cooling towers.

Cunelands House, Malton, by Tom Brooksbank Architecture

Cunelands house 1702 sieglinde cassel pressimage 2


Source: Sieglinde Cassel

Started in 2012, the project for the architect’s parents took three years to complete – including 12 months for construction. The site for Cunelands House was consolidated from two semi-detached cottages plus their associated wash-houses and a neighbouring walled ‘kitchen-garden.’ The brief called for a home with a master bedroom on the ground floor, strong connections to the garden and landscape as well as the emulation of key details in the family home from which they have now ‘down-sized’.

Derwenthorpe Phase One, York, by Studio Partington

Derwenthorpe phase o 1309 tim crocker pressimage 3

Source: Tim Crocker

This urban extension of 64 new homes of an eventual 540 for the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust aims to provide both a socially and environmentally sustainable large-scale mixed tenure community.

M&S Foodhall, Northallerton, by GT3 Architects

M and s foodhall, n 1655 joshua treverton pressimage 2

Source: Joshua Treverton

Regenerating and restoring a former hospital site at the northern end of Northallerton High Street, the mixed-use scheme includes a 10,000 sq ft food store and a bar/restaurant.

Rievaulx Abbey Visitor Centre and Museum, York, by Simpson & Brown

Rievaulx abbey visit 1164 giles rocholl pressimage 5

Source: Giles Rocholl

The most significant element of this project to improve visitor and staff facilities and provide an upgraded museum building, is the insertion of a new central hall within the existing L-shaped plan.

St Leonard’s Place Retail Unit and Public Toilets, York, by Mass Architecture

St leonard's place,  1661 duncan lomax pressimage 4

Source: Duncan Lomax                        

A simple C-shaped building makes efficient use of limited space to provide a new retail unit and seven unisex public toilets.


Victoria Gate Arcades, Leeds, by ACME

Victoria Gate Arcade skylight view  Acme VictoriaGate 064

Victoria Gate Arcade skylight view Acme VictoriaGate 064

Source: Jack Hobhouse

Located at the east end of the city centre, the scheme includes a new John Lewis department store, multistorey car parking and two arcades with a mix of premium shops, restaurants and leisure facilities.

Wakefield Cathedral Re-Ordering, Wakefield, by Thomas Ford & Partners

Wakefield cathedral  1415 paul barker pressimage 1

Wakefield cathedral 1415 paul barker pressimage 1

Source: Paul Barker

Thomas Ford & Partners responded to a brief to repair and adapt the building sympathetically to provide inclusive access for diverse liturgical and community activities that would place the cathedral at the heart of city life.

York Theatre Royal, York, by De Matos Ryan

York theatre royal  1191 company  hufton+crow owners  al crow & nick hufton pressimage 2

York theatre royal 1191 company hufton+crow owners al crow & nick hufton pressimage 2

Source: Hufton + Crow

The £4 million redevelopment of the Grade II*-listed building has created additional space, including two new lobbied entrances and a foyer, that the theatre needed in order to appeal to and engage a wider community.

Special awards

Emerging Architect Tom Brooksbank, for Cunelands House 
Sustainability Award and Project Architect of the Year Adam Cornish, for Derwenthorpe Phase 1, Studio Partington
Small Project Award St Leonard’s Place Retail Unit and Public Toilets, Mass Architecture
Building of the Year Award Victoria Gate Arcades, by ACME
Conservation Award Wakefield Cathedral Re-Ordering, by Thomas Ford & Partners
Client of the Year Award York Theatre Royal

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