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Purcell’s Durham Cathedral overhaul steals show in RIBA North East awards

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Purcell’s seven-year project to restore, remodel and open up Durham Cathedral has taken the top honours at the RIBA North East Awards 2018

As well as winning the region’s building of the year, the £5.2 million project, which ’seamlessly integrated historic features and modern interventions’ within the Grade I-listed landmark, also picked up the Conservation Award.

The scheme was one of just five, chosen from a shortlist of 12, to take home an RIBA regional award in the north east. 

The others included Brightblue Studio’s £610,000 timber-framed and straw bale-walled Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre, which was handed both the Sustainability Award and Client of the Year prize.

Meanwhile, Elliott Architects’ St Andrew’s Road was named the region’s Small Project of the Year. The North East’s Project Architect of the Year award went to Steve Miller of Miller Partnership Architects for his work on Ouseburn Road.

Regional jury chair Lucy Plumridge of HLM Architects said: ’Within the North East region the RIBA awards reflected how sustainability is becoming embedded in all projects, with a strong emphasis on engaging with local communities and users, using local materials and minimising buildings’ energy usage.

’Existing buildings were imaginatively redeveloped, sometimes on minimal budgets, to create beautifully detailed modern environments while new buildings blended seamlessly with their settings.’

The regional award winners will now be considered for a RIBA National Award, and those winning a National Award (announced on 21 June) will stand a chance of winning the Stirling Prize.

North East regional award winners

Durham Cathedral Open Treasure by Purcell

Durham Cathedral Open Treasure by Purcell

Durham Cathedral Open Treasure by Purcell

Source: Andy Marshall

Durham Cathedral Open Treasure by Purcell

Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre by Brightblue Studio

Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre by Brightblue Studio

Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre by Brightblue Studio

Source: John Faulkner

Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre by Brightblue Studio

Ouseburn Road, Newcastle, by Miller Partnership Architects

Ouseburn Road, Newcastle, by Miller Partnership Architects

Ouseburn Road, Newcastle, by Miller Partnership Architects

Source: Jill Tate

Ouseburn Road, Newcastle, by Miller Partnership Architects

St Andrew’s Road, Northumberland, by Elliott Architects

St Andrew’s Road, Northumberland, by Elliott Architects

St Andrew’s Road, Northumberland, by Elliott Architects

Source: Jill Tate

St Andrew’s Road, Northumberland, by Elliott Architects

The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre, Northumberland, by Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall

The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre, Northumberland, by Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall

The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre, Northumberland, by Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall

Source: Sally Ann Norman

The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre, Northumberland, by Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall

Special award winners

  • Durham Cathedral Open Treasure by Purcell, Conservation Award
  • Durham Cathedral Open Treasure by Purcell, Building of the Year, sponsored by Artifice
  • Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre by Brightblue Studio, Sustainability Award, sponsored by Geberit
  • Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre by Brightblue Studio, Client of the Year, sponsored by Tobermore
  • Ouseburn Road by Miller Partnership Architects (Steve Miller) Project Architect of the Year, sponsored by Taylor Maxwell
  • St Andrew’s Road by Elliott Architects, Small Project Award
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