Young Newcastle practice MawsonKerr Architects has triumphed in the Health & Wellbeing category of the AJ Architecture Awards with its Sunbeams Music Centre
An unusual partnership between client and architect has resulted in an exceptional environment for health and wellbeing in rural Cumbria. The building houses the Sunbeams Music Trust, which offers music therapy to people with disabilities. An ambitious design executed with great craftsmanship combines with a touch of homeliness to create a very welcoming environment throughout.
Although Sunbeams has no official environmental certification, the building is also remarkable for both its environmental and social sustainability. The buildings sits well in the landscape. Central to the design is the centre’s connection to its natural surroundings, making the most of views, fresh air and daylight as well as exploiting local materials such as Cumbrian slate and cedar shingles. Pushing the boundaries of best practice, the architect both analysed the building’s energy profile and mapped material sourcing.
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‘Although detailing is overly complex in places, Sunbeams Music Centre is a very fine building which stands as the first major work of a young practice,’ said one of the judges.
The project’s genesis was a university thesis project which 12 years later provides an outstanding home to Sunbeams’ clientele, who were previously bussed to private homes for music therapy sessions and are clearly thriving in the new centre.
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Source: Hufton + Crow
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