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AHMM’s University of Amsterdam crowned AJ Retrofit of the Year

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Adam Richards, Barbara Weiss and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios also triumphed in this year’s AJ Retrofit Awards

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) has been named the overall winner of this year’s retrofit Oscars with its ‘deftly handled and considered’ University of Amsterdam overhaul.

The €88 million, canal-spanning building, which also scooped the International Innovation category, was praised by the judges for its ‘confident and approach’ that could be ‘replicated elsewhere’.

Completed in April 2014, the project restructured one of the University of Amsterdam’s modernist structures while addressing the issues caused by a partial realisation of Dutch architect Norbert Gawronski’s 1964 masterplan for the site.


The judges were particularly impressed by the practice’s approach which involved breaking through the existing building, which they said’completely restructures the way the building relates to the campus and its immediate urban context.’

Other winners also included Adam Richards’ Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, Associated Architects’ College Court in Leicester and a medical centre in Wokingham by Barbara Weiss.

Coffey Architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Haworth Tompkins and Hayhurst and Co also received accolades for exemplar retrofit projects.

The full list of winners

Civic and Community

Unity Hub @ Craig Park, Enfield by Curl La Tourelle Architects

Cultural Buildings

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, East Sussex by Adam Richards Architects


Wokingham Medical Centre, Berkshire by Barbara Weiss Architects


The Clothworker’s Centre of the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion, London by Haworth Tompkins

Higher Education over £5million

Abercrombie & John Henry Brookes Building, Oxford by Design Engine

Higher Education under £15million

Conde Nast College of Fashion and Design, London by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios 

Hotels and Leisure

College Court, Leicester by Associated Architects

House over £300,000

Wrap House, Surrey by Edgley Design

House under £300,000

Urban Loft, London by Coffey Architects


The Old Library, Warwickshire by Tate Hindle

International Innovation

University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam by AHMM

Offices over 2,000m²

One Embankment Place, London by TP Bennett

Offices under 2,000m²

River Studio, Leamington Spa by Sjolander da Cruz Architects


Pegasus Academy Trust, Croydon by Hayhurst and Co

The judges included Buckley Gray Yeoman’s Matt Yeoman, structural engineer Jane Wernick, and Robin Nicholson of Cullinan Studio, which last year won two awards for the retrofit of its own offices and for the £240,000 Rosendale Primary School.

Last year the prized-title was picked up by Hugh Broughton Architects’ £3.15 million Maidstone Museum East Wing.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Well done to AHMM's University of Amsterdam scheme. The correct choice as overall winner I think. Ambitious at an urban scale and well executed. Proving that retrofit isn't simply EWI and solar panels. It's about understanding systems, human, cultural and ecological among others.

    Duncan Baker-Brown RIBA RSA Director BBM Sustainable Design & AJ Retrofit Judge

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