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FAT makes light work of Walsall contest

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The competition to design the new community library in the Bentley area of Walsall, West Midlands, has been won by FAT.

The London-based Post-Modernist saw off finalists Aaron Evans Architects, Featherstone Associates, McMorran and Gatehouse Architects, Panter Hudspith Architects, and Sjölander da Cruz Architects in the RIBA-organised contest.

According to the judges, FAT’s scheme – the practice’s first public building – ‘responded most closely to the stakeholders’ aspirations’ and ‘would set a design benchmark for future developments in Bentley'.

Delighted FAT director Sean Griffiths said: ‘It’s nice to have an opportunity to work in Walsall, where there are already great buildings and projects by some very good architects.

‘We hope that our library will add to Walsall's growing collection of fine contemporary buildings and also give the community of Bentley something that they'll be proud of.'

Meanwhile, the practice has become the first architectural outfit to go 100 per cent carbon free.

As well reducing its ‘carbon impact’ in line with recommendations from environmental auditors Tolerance International, the firm has also agreed to offset its remaining use by investing in a reforestation programme for the Amazon rainforest in Loreto, northern Peru.

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