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Foyles bookshop wins 2015 AJ Retrofit of the Year Award

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Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ £9 million Foyles bookshop in central London has been named overall winner of this year’s Retrofit Awards

Billed as the ‘largest bookstore to be built in the UK this century’, the project created a new flagship store inside a former Central St Martins college building in Charing Cross Road.

The project features eight new retail floors inside the four-storey shell with each storey divided into two halves. An atrium at the centre of the plan floods the building with daylight.

Recalling the labyrinthine nature of Foyles’ former shop further north in Charing Cross Road, judges called the scheme a ‘reinvention of a well-loved but chaotic bookshop’, and praised the practice for the store’s clarity of circulation, access and wayfinding.

The jury was also highly impressed by the use of natural light and other environmental improvements.

Other schemes to pick up Retrofit Awards included MUMA’s Stirling Prize-shortlisted Whitworth Gallery in Manchester, which won in both the Cultural & Public and Heritage award categories.

The Small Projects Award-winning Maggie’s Merseyside by Carmody Groarke, Architype’s Robert Fitzroy Academy in Croydon, and Coffey Architects’ Modern Side Extension were also among the schemes honoured.

The full list of winners:

Retrofit of the Year

Foyles by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

LDS Foyles

Cultural and public buildings

Winner The Whitworth Art Gallery by MUMA

The Whitworth, Manchester by MUMA

The shortlist

  • Bletchley Park Project Neptune by Kennedy O’Callaghan Architects
  • Imperial War Museum by Foster + Partners
  • Friends House by John McAslan + Partners
  • Paddington Integrated Project by Weston Williamson + Partners
  • King Richard III Visitor Centre by Maber Architects
  • NT Future, National Theatre by Haworth Tompkins
  • Oily Cart by Hawkins\Brown


Winner Maggie’s Merseyside at Clatterbridge by Carmody Groarke

Maggie’s Merseyside, Wirral by Carmody Groarke

The shortlist

  • 11 Harley Street by Sonnemann Toon Architects


Winner The Whitworth Art Gallery by MUMA

The Whitworth by MUMA

The shortlist

  • Lynn Building, Queen’s University by Consarc Conservation
  • Aloft Hotel by Falconer Chester Hall
  • Chichester Festival Hall by Haworth Tompkins
  • Aldwych Quarter by John Robertson Architects
  • The Pod Gallery by Stonewood Design
  • All Souls, Bolton by OMI Architects
  • Gatti House by Peek Architecture & Design
  • Attingham Park by ST Walker and Duckham (now part of Purcell)
  • Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre by Rick Mather Architects

Higher education

Winner Lewisham Southwark College Phase 1 by Richard Hopkinson Architects and Platform 5 Architects

Lewisham Southwark College Phase 1 by Richard Hopkins Architects and Platform 5 Architects

The shortlist

  • St Dunstan’s Building, Heart of Worcestershire College by KKE Architects
  • City University lecture spaces by Rivington Street Studio
  • North Hertfordshire College Hitchin Campus by Scott BrownRigg
  • Joseph Black Building Laboratories, University of Glasgow by AHR Architects
  • 33 Finsbury Square, University of Liverpool in London by Smok
  • UCLU Reception, 25 Gordon Street by Paul Murphy Architects
  • Hult International Business School by Sergison Bates
  • Cruciform Hub, University College London by Burwell Deakins
  • Richmond Adult Community College by Duggan Morris Architects


Winner Shepherd’s Bush Pavilion Hotel by Flanagan Lawrence

Shepherd’s Bush Pavilion Hotel by Flanagan Lawrence

The shortlist

  • Wombat’s by Andrew Mulroy Architects
  • Hub by Premier Inn Covent Garden by Axiom Architects

Houses under £250,000

Winner The Modern Side Extension by Coffey Architects

The modern side extension by Phil Coffey

The shortlist

  • Ansty Plum House and Studio by Coppin Dockray Architects
  • College Road by Russian For Fish
  • Court Farm Barn by Designscape Architects
  • Porth Cottage by Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects
  • Crystal Palace,Bury St Edmunds by Project Orange
  • The Shack by Pamphilon Architects
  • Whitton Road by Phillips Tracey Architects
  • Calabria Road by Architecture For London

Houses over £250,000

Winner 49 Scrutton Street by Studio Kyson

49 Scrutton Street by Studio Kyson

The shortlist

  • Slackwood Farmhouse by Paul Archer Design
  • Ebenezer Cottage by Sanya Polescuk Architects
  • The Lycee by Knox Bhavan Architects
  • Ancient Party Barn by Liddicoat and Goldhill
  • Morgan House and Regency Mews by Stride Treglown
  • Sewdley Street House by Giles Pike Architects
  • Mews House in Chelsea by Eldridge London
  • Brackenbury Road by Patrick Lewis Architects
  • Vine Cottage by Phillip Tracey Architects


Winner Hillington Square by Mae

Hillington Square by Mae

The shortlist

  • Macaulay Walk by Assael Architecture
  • The Shoe and Boot Factory by Wilmore Iles Architects
  • Newnham Road by Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture

International innovation

Winner 60 Atlantic Avenue by Quadrangle Architects

60 Atlantic Avenue by Quadrangle Architects

The shortlist

  • HSBC Quai des Bergues, Geneva, Switzerland by Make Architects


Winner Gateway Interpretation Café by Kaner Olette Architects

Gateway Interpretation Café by Kaner Olette Architects

The shortlist

  • Alston Bar and Beef by Jestico + Whiles

Offices under 2,000m2

Winner 116 Marylebone Lane by Morrow + Lorraine Architects

116 Marylebone Lane by Morrow + Lorraine Architects

The shortlist

  • Phipp Street by Amin Taha Architects
  • The Shepherd’s Building by Duggan Morris Architects
  • The Institution of Structural Engineers, Clerkenwell by Hugh Broughton Architects
  • 10 Midford Place by Sonnemann Toon Architects

Offices over 2,000m2

Winner 1 – 2 Stephen Street by Orms

1 – 2 Stephen Street by Orms

The shortlist

  • Ampersand by Darling Associates
  • The Space Project by PRP Architects
  • Sea Containers House by TP Bennett
  • Social Justice Centre by Architecture 00
  • 10 New Burlington Street by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
  • Carmelite Riverside by Fletcher Priest Architects


Winner Foyles by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

Foyles by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

The shortlist

  • Broadgate Circle by Arup Associates
  • Fred Perry Covent Garden by BuckleyGrayYeoman


Winner Robert Fitzroy Academy by Architype


The shortlist

  • The Tony Little Centre for Innovation and Research in Learning by Lewandowski Architects
  • School 21 by Astudio
  • Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre by Rick Mather Architects
  • Formby High School Dining Rooms by Harrison Stringfellow Architects
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