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Revealed: 2016 AJ Retrofit Award winners in full

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Architects including WilkinsonEyre, AHMM, Hopkins and Dow Jones have triumphed in this year’s AJ Retrofit Awards

The winners were announced at the annual retrofit dinner at the Brewery in east London tonight (14 September).

Successful schemes included the transformation of a prefab classroom block into a sixth form building in Tower Hamlets by the council’s own architects, WilkinsonEyre’s Stirling Prize-shortlisted Weston Library, and Dow Jones’ £2.38 million revamp of the crypt at Christ Church Spitalfields.

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris’ Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool was named the Retrofit of the Year.

AJ editor-in-chief Christine Murray commented: ‘The Retrofit Awards celebrate the exemplary remodelling of existing buildings to extend the life of the built environment. These projects breathe new life into our built heritage, showcase architectural ingenuity, and make significant energy savings while boosting building performance.

‘This year, I am excited about the diverse radical approaches shown by the entrants – from projects that put industrial buildings to new use, to the over-cladding of a poorly built London school to create inspiring teaching spaces and achieve amazing energy economies.

‘These enlightened approaches to innovation without demolition put paid to the idea of built-in obsolescence. We salute your imagination, and your part in changing mindsets towards a more sustainable tomorrow.’

The AJ Retrofit Awards are sponsored by 

Sapa Building System

 

 

 

The full list of winners

Health and wellbeing

St Thomas’ Hospital: East Wing Recladding by Hopkins Architects 

St Thomas’ Hospital: East Wing Recladding by Hopkins Architects

St Thomas’ Hospital: East Wing Recladding by Hopkins Architects

Jury comment This scheme demonstrates clever holistic future-proofing where the client is getting a bang for their buck. It is an intelligent background solution which transforms a very average exterior into something rather good. 

Type of project Hospital
Location London
Client Essentia
Main contractor ISG
Completion January 2016
Project cost £16 million

The shortlist

  • The Passage by BuckleyGrayYeoman
  • Optegra Eye Hospital London Flagship by IBI Group

Cultural buildings: Cinemas and theatres

Royal Court Theatre by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Royal Court Theatre by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Royal Court Theatre by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Jury comment This gutsy solution is a bold statement which rebrands the theatre and demonstrates confidence and an assertive quality that cities like Liverpool really need. The project was very professionally handled with a consistent resolution of detail, even though it looks very much ‘now’ and does not particularly respond to the existing theatre’s 1930s heritage. 

Type of project Theatre
Location Liverpool
Client Royal Court Theatre Trust
Main contractor Mellwood Construction
Completed February 2016
Project cost £2.9 million

The shortlist

  • York Theatre Royal by De Matos Ryan
  • Royal Shakespeare Company – The Other Place by Ian Ritchie Architects
  • Lyric Theatre Hammersmith by Rick Mather Architects

Cultural buildings: Visitor centres, libraries and museums

Wellcome Collection by WilkinsonEyre and AOC

Wellcome Collection by WilkinsonEyre

Wellcome Collection by WilkinsonEyre

Jury comment The extraordinary stair unlocks the whole project and transforms the way the building functions, effectively meeting the client’s brief to entice visitors to the upper floors. The new reading room is one of the best places in London, along with the wonderful café. 

Type of project Museum
Location London
Client Wellcome Trust
Main contractor Overbury
Completion March 2015
Project cost £17.5 million

The shortlist

  • Dana Research Centre and Library by Coffey Architects
  • Glasgow Women’s Library by Collective Architecture
  • Bombay Sapphire Distillery and Visitor Centre by GWP Architecture
  • Epping Forest District Museum by Hawkins\Brown
  • Gagosian Gallery by TateHindle
  • Boathouse 4 by Walters & Cohen Architects
  • V&A Europe Galleries by ZMMA

Higher and further education

Cockcroft Building by Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects

Cockcroft Building by Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects

Cockcroft Building by Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects

Jury comment This is a bold project, particularly from a sustainability point of view – and a model for future similar projects. It focuses well on how people use the building. The exterior has been elegantly improved and the interior creatively revamped. 

Highly commended Cavendish House by Hudson Architects 

Type of project University
Location Brighton
Client University of Brighton
Main contractor Willmott Dixon Interiors
Completion September 2015
Project cost £20 million

The shortlist

  • Fusion Tower by Corstorphine + Wright
  • Arts University Bournemouth Halls West Conversion by Design Engine Architects
  • Richmond Adult Community College by Duggan Morris Architects
  • The Goodhart Building, University College Oxford by Freeland Rees Roberts Architects
  • Boardman House by Hudson Architects
  • Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster by Jestico + Whiles
  • London School of Economics and Political Science Parish Hall by Molyneux Kerr Architects
  • Clifton Campus Refectory Refurbishment by Nottingham Trent University
  • Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull by Sheppard Robson

International

GPO Witness History Interpretative Exhibition Centre by Kavanagh Tuite Architects

GPO Witness History Interpretative Exhibition Centre by Kavanagh Tuite Architects

GPO Witness History Interpretative Exhibition Centre by Kavanagh Tuite Architects

Jury comment This is a sensitive and sympathetic intervention – particularly with regard to detailing and choice of materials. It performs well on energy efficiency and the contemporary approach improves and enhances the project.

Type of project Museum
Location Dublin
Client An Post
Main contractor PJ Hegarty and Sons
Completion November 2015
Project cost £7.8 million

The shortlist

  • 10 Castlereagh Street by Bates Smart
  • Generator Amsterdam by DesignAgency
  • Kora at Evoluon by Hawkins\Brown
  • La Polveriera by Marcel Mauer
  • Mubuga Primary School by MASS Design Group
  • Grunberger by noa*
  • Beyazit State Library by Tabanlıoğlu Architects

Listed building over £5 million

Weston Library by WilkinsonEyre

Weston Library by WilkinsonEyre

Weston Library by WilkinsonEyre

Jury comment An innovative approach to transforming an inwardly focused building into a welcoming library by creating an external colonnade which relates to the street and an internal light-filled court which immediately orients visitors to the building. Sensitive choice of material palette and services have been thoughtfully integrated. 

Type of project Library
Location Oxford
Client University of Oxford
Main contractor MACE
Completion March 2015
Project cost £50 million

The shortlist

  • New Court by 5th Studio
  • Aston Webb Building by Associated Architects
  • Midland Goods Shed by Bennetts Associates
  • Salters Hall by De Metz Forbes Knight Architects
  • UTC @ Harbourside by HKS Architects
  • Primark Headquarters, Arthur Ryan House by MoreySmith
  • 76 Dean Street and 5 Richmond Mews by SODA

Listed building under £5 million

Christ Church Crypt by Dow Jones

Christ Church Crypt by Dow Jones

Christ Church Crypt by Dow Jones

Jury comment Provocative new elements challenge the existing, though the materials defer, making the interventions on the right side of awkward. Very clear distinction between old and new is a strength of the design, while it also features a strong intervention which is nevertheless modest with a degree of underplay.

Type of project Church
Location London
Client Christ Church Spitalfields
Main contractor Coniston
Completion November 2015
Project cost £2.38 million 

The shortlist

  • German Gymnasium by Allies and Morrison with Conran and Partners
  • Gasholder Park by Bell Phillips Architects
  • 7 Albemarle Street by Farrells
  • Sail and Colour Loft by Hazle McCormack Young
  • Ashton Old Baths by MCAU
  • Warehouse No9 by NPS Group
  • The Crow’s Nest at Molyneux Street by Patrick Lewis Architects
  • Bloomsbury House by Prewett Bizley Architects
  • The Energy Institute by Sonnemann Toon Architects
  • Brunel Museum Grand Entrance Hall by Tate Harmer

Retail

CP Hart Flagship Showroom by Morrow + Lorraine Architects

CP Hart Flagship Showroom by Morrow + Lorraine Architects

CP Hart Flagship Showroom by Morrow + Lorraine Architects

Jury comment This is a strong and imaginative upgrade. The architects have used the volumes well to clearly add to the visitor shopping experience.

Type of project Retail
Location London
Client CP Hart
Main contractor Sunbeam Contract Works
Completion November 2015
Project cost £1.5 million

The shortlist

  • Timothy Everest Store Redchurch Street by Chris Dyson

House under £500,000

Merrydown by McLaren Excell

Merrydown by McLaren Excell

Merrydown by McLaren Excell

Jury comment Despite a limited palette of materials, this is an imaginative scheme which increased the square meterage of the building by finding extra space beneath the roof structure and creating a suspended bedroom. Considering the budget, this was a fantastic result. 

Highly commended Modern Mews by Coffey Architects

Type of project House
Location Wareham
Client Private
Main contractor David R White Building Services
Completion June 2015
Project cost £216,000

The shortlist

  • Capablanca House by Coffey Architects
  • Monkton Farleigh by Designscape Architects
  • Garden House by Hayhurst & Co
  • Clapton House by Hugh Strange Architects
  • Mackeson Road by MW Architects
  • The Crow’s Nest at Molyneux Street by Patrick Lewis Architects
  • Fissure House by Threefold Architects
  • Gallery House by Threefold Architects
  • 6 Dean Street and 5 Richmond Mews by SODA

House over £500,000

Brackenbury House by Neil Dusheiko Architects

Brackenbury House by Neil Dusheiko Architects

Brackenbury House by Neil Dusheiko Architects

Jury comment This is a superb transformation, demonstrating a great use of rooflights and glass floors. Money has been spent in places which have made a significant difference to the architecture and things like the use of natural light, the re-use of brick and the passive systems approach are big ticks. In inner city London you crave the connection with outside space and this scheme achieves that.

Type of project House
Location London
Client Private
Main contractor Space Cube
Completion June 2015
Project cost £612,000 

The shortlist

  • The Pilot’s House by AR Design Studio
  • Coast House by Cassion Castle Architects
  • The Cooperage by Chris Dyson Architects
  • Narrow House by FORM Studio
  • Murray Road House by Giles Pike Architects
  • House in Highgate by McAdam Architects
  • 8 Harley Place by Sonnemann Toon Architects

Housing

Bakery Place by Jo Cowen Architects

Bakery Place by Jo Cowen Architects

Bakery Place by Jo Cowen Architects

Jury comment A scheme which was tough to pull off but achieved a sensitive restoration. The project added a new lightweight roof to the Victorian bakery buildings and hit all its numbers on U-values through great collaboration with the client.

Type of project Housing
Location London
Client West Eleven
Main contractor TC&D
Completion May 2016
Project cost £2.4 million 

The shortlist

  • Urbane Oxford by Blue Sky Sustainable Developments
  • Hop House by Brimelow McSweeney Architects
  • Calvin Street Development by Chris Dyson Architects
  • 67 Tufton Street by EPR Architects
  • 96 Leather Lane by Inglis Badrashi Loddo Architects
  • Felgate Mews by Inglis Badrashi Loddo Architects
  • Tribe, Ancoats by Pozzoni Architecture

Offices under 2,000m²

Littlewoods Bunker by ShedKM

Littlewoods Bunker by ShedKM

Littlewoods Bunker by ShedKM

Jury comment A skillful reinvention of an awful building in an area in need of regeneration. The use of natural light and skillful organisation creates useable and flexible space. The building shows great use of colour and re-use of a robust concrete frame. 

Type of project Office
Location Liverpool
Client Capital and Centric
Main contractor Artez
Completion April 2015
Project cost £2.4 million 

The shortlist

  • Sainsbury’s Digital Lab by Chetwoods Architects
  • Paisley Community Safety Hub by Collective Architecture
  • Millmead – The offices of Guildford Borough Council by EDE Architecture
  • Paper Mill Studios by Gresford Architects
  • 1 Queen Anne’s Gate by Kalkwarf Architects
  • KAP HQ by Lara Gosling Design and Gruff
  • Warehouse No9 by NPS Group
  • The Energy Institute by Sonnemann Toon Architects
  • Borough High Street by Stiff + Trevillion

Offices over 2,000m²

C-Space by BuckleyGrayYeoman 

C-Space by BuckleyGrayYeoman

C-Space by BuckleyGrayYeoman

 Jury comment The transformation of a modest light industrial space into an open and welcoming office. The cost-effective creation of attractive public space has enhanced the public realm. The cut into the ground floor floorplate was well thought-through and the detail well executed. 

Type of project Office
Location London
Client Helical Bar
Main contractor Willmott Dixon
Completion December 2015 

The shortlist

  • 10 New Burlington Street and 1 New Burlington Place by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
  • Sutton Yard by Archer Architects
  • 125 Wood Street by Aukett Swanke
  • Sea Containers by BDG/MW
  • 184 Shepherds Bush Road by ColladoCollins Architects
  • Salters Hall by De Metz Forbes Knight Architects
  • Soapworks Phase 2 by ShedKM
  • Alphabeta by Studio RHE

Education

Swanlea Sixth Form by London Borough of Tower Hamlets Architects 

Swanlea Sixth Form by London Borough of Tower Hamlets Architects

Swanlea Sixth Form by London Borough of Tower Hamlets Architects

 Jury comment The original building might have been demolished, but instead the council chose to save it, showing an understanding of the value of the original structure. The building was ingeniously retained and over-insulated and clad, while the extension makes a great contribution to the urban environment.

Type of project School
Location London
Client London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Main contractor IMS Building Solutions
Completion April 2015
Project cost Undisclosed 

The shortlist

  • Rosalind Franklin Science Building by Berman Guedes Stretton
  • Education First by BuckleyGrayYeoman
  • Brentwood School Learning Resource Centre by Cottrell & Vermeulen
  • ARK Putney Academy by Hawkins\Brown
  • UTC @ Harbourside by HKS
  • Withington Girls’ School by Levitt Bernstein
  • The Bath House Children’s Community Centre by Lipton Plant Architects
  • Putney High School Performing Arts Centre by Shepheard Epstein Hunter

Leisure

Crouch End Picturehouse by Panter Hudspith Architects

Crouch End Picturehouse by Panter Hudspith Architects

Crouch End Picturehouse by Panter Hudspith Architects

Jury comment This is a total transformation of an average office block, which gives the building a new lease of life. The ground floor changes are particularly strong, and there is a good integration of graphics and art – in all, a careful, efficient intervention.

Type of project cinema
Location London
Client Picturehouse Cinemas
Main contractor Phelans Construction
Completion November 2015
Project cost £4.5 million

The shortlist

  • Corn Exchange, Manchester (Phase 1) by 5 Plus Architects
  • Kino Digital by JDArchitects
  • East Dulwich Picturehouse and Café by Panter Hudspith Architects
  • Picturehouse Central by Panter Hudspith Architects
  • The Institution of Engineering and Technology by Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects
  • 1Rebel Broadgate by Studio C102

Product innovation

Project Hamlet, Barclays, Canary Wharf by Cool-Therm

Project Hamlet, Barclays, Canary Wharf by Cool-Therm

Project Hamlet, Barclays, Canary Wharf by Cool-Therm

Jury comment This product replaces old inefficiency with new efficiency – it’s a sustainable retrofit model. 

The shortlist

  • Bri-Tek Emergency Back Up Battery by Bri-Tek Technologies
  • EWI Gutter by EWI Pro
  • Swifix by Swifix

This year’s judges 

  • Duncan Baker-Brown, director, BBM Sustainable Design
  • David Bickle, director of design, exhibitions and FuturePlan, V&A
  • Eleanor Fawcett, design adviser, Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation
  • Tom Goodall, senior project director, Argent
  • Russ Hamilton, partner, Farrells
  • Robert Hume, development director, Land Securities
  • Hazel Joseph, associate director, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
  • Benjamin Lesser, development manager, Derwent London
  • Amanda Li Hope, architect, Sanya Polescuk Architects
  • Marianne Mueller, founding partner, Casper Mueller Kneer Architects
  • Mark Robinson, director, Living Architecture
  • Alan Shingler, partner, Sheppard Robson Architects
  • Gus Zogolovitch, managing director, Inhabit Homes
  • Jonathan Hall, partner, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
  • Eva Jiřičná, principal, Eva Jiřičná Architects
  • Pavlos Clifton, senior development executive, Helical Bar
  • Anna Farnes, director of development, London Estate Grosvenor
  • Maria Sjolander, director, Sjölander da Cruz Architects
  • Christine Murray, editor-in-chief, The Architects’ Journal
  • Will Hurst, managing editor, The Architects’ Journal
  • Hattie Hartman, sustainability editor, The Architects’ Journal
  • Emily Booth, executive editor, The Architects’ Journal
  • Laura Mark, architecture editor, The Architects’ Journal
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