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Revealed: Shortlist for 'best new building in Wales'

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The eight schemes in the running for the Welsh Gold Medal for Architecture have been revealed

The shortlist for the ‘best new building in Wales’ includes the Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre by Architype, a four bedroom home in Monmouthshire by Hall + Bednarczyk, a housing development in St Fagans by Cardiff-based Gillard Associates, and a primary school by B3 Architects.

Welsh RIBA Regional Award winning schemes by Stephenson Studio, and last year’s winners Loyn & Co are up against Hyde + Hyde’s RIBA National Award winning Cliff House on the Gower Peninsula for the prize.

The shortlist in full

  • Cliff House, Gower by Hyde + Hyde Architects
  • Cefn Castell, Criccieth by Stephenson Studio
  • Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre, Snowdonia by Architype
  • Upside Down House, Vale of Glamorgan by Loyn & Co Architects
  • The Nook, Monmouthshire by Hall + Bednarczyk
  • Private House, Cardiff by Loyn & Co Architects
  • Great House Farm, St Fagans, Cardiff by Gillard Associates
  • Ysgol Craig y Deryn, Llanegryn, Gwynedd by B3 Architects

Supported by the Design Commission for Wales and awarded in association with the Royal Society of Architects in Wales, the medal recognises excellence in buildings completed between 1 January 2012 and 14 March 2015.

Carole-Anne Davies, chief executive of the Design Commission for Wales, said: ‘The Gold Medal for Architecture is the only design award directly supported by the Design Commission for Wales. Architecture is a vital element in the nation’s culture and it is important that architects achieving the highest design standards are fully recognised and celebrated.

‘It is interesting that this year’s shortlist comprises several private dwellings, and perhaps as a result of public funding constraints and the cycle of capital lottery awards, publicly funded and commercial buildings are not prominent. Aside from investment patterns and simply the timing of awards, this also reflects how individual clients are championing and investing in good quality design.’

The shortlist was drawn up by Elinor Gray-Williams, from Donald Insall Associates, and architect of the RIBA Award-winning WISE building at the Centre for Alternative Technology Pat Borer.

Borer said: ‘When choosing an overall winner, we will be looking at how each project has responded to the brief to provide the required accommodation, complete with a robust and economic construction, an aesthetic sensibility responding to the site and a well-developed environmental responsibility.  Also, importantly, we will also be looking for some celebration or sense of ‘Welshness’.’

The medal will be handed out at the National Eisteddford on 1 August, where all the shortlisted entries will be exhibited.

Last year the prize was picked up by Loyn & Co’s Stormy Castle which went on to win the Manser Medal despite controversially not having picked up a RIBA Award.

Previous winners of the Welsh Gold Medal for Architecture

2014 Stormy Castle by Loyn & Co Architects

2013 Trewarren by John Pardey Architects

2012 Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School by HLM Architects

2011 Oriel Mostyn Gallery by Ellis Williams Architects

2010 Medal withheld

2009 Hafod Eryri by Ray Hole Architects

2008 Blaenavon World Heritage Centre by Purcell Miller Tritton

2007 Water Tower by Loyn & Co

2006 Senedd, National Assembly for Wales by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

2005 Wales Millennium Centre by Capita Percy Thomas

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