Nucleus, the Nuclear and Caithness Archives by Reiach and Hall Architects has triumphed in the public category of the AJ Architecture Awards
Described by the judges as ‘fantastic, proper architecture’, ‘one of the best buildings I’ve visited in years’ and even ‘annoyingly impressive’, this was the standout winner in its category.
Nucleus is a national archive complex for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, following a brief for archival, document retrieval and processing spaces, together with administrative offices and publicly accessible facilities, including a community room and exhibition area. The design was judged to ‘clearly deliver on all requirements’.
Nucleus exterior 03
The building was praised for its build quality and detailing, particularly given its Design and Build delivery. ‘Surprised how good it was – not expected given the method of procurement,’ said one judge.
Elements such as the shelving systems were picked out as well as the enjoyment of materiality, such as the grain, texture and play of light on the anodised aluminium cladding. In addition, the building was judged ‘good value for money given the environmental requirements of archive spaces.’
What was particularly admired was how it reinvents the archive type, ‘eschewing thinking around the design and aesthetics of an archive building’, protecting its contents, yet open and welcoming to visitors.
‘From the cleaning staff to management, people told us it was an excellent building to work in,’ said one judge. ‘This is a very beautiful building.’
Nucleus exterior 02
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The Curve by BBLUR architecture and CZWG Architects
Source: Matt Clayton
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Public Building of the Year sponsored by