The 2015 RIBA/RSAW Regional Awards have honoured schemes by five practices, including an ‘elegant’ home by last year’s Manser Medal winner Loyn + Co
Austin-Smith:Lord’s ‘exercise in efficient connectivity’ at Cardiff School Art and Design, a ‘welcoming’ £1.9 million building for young homeless people by John McCall Architects and an ‘efficiently planned compact home’ on the Gower Peninsula by Hyde + Hyde were among the award winners.
The region’s Building of the Year Award went to a house in a suburb of Cardiff by Loyn + Co. The judges described the scheme, which was designed to look like a single storey building, as a ‘tour-de-force’.
They added: ‘This is no exercise in romantic plagiarism. This house is a rich and unique solution, made even richer by its very high plan efficiency.’
Wales’ Small Project Award went to Stephenson Studio’s £450,000 ‘state of the art’ coastal house. The judges enjoyed its ‘large areas of frameless glazing [which] extend the spaces beyond the house into the range of courtyards and gardens that surround it’.
RIBA/RSAW Wales Award winners
- Cefn Castell, Criccieth by Stephenson Studio
- Private house, Cardiff by Loyn + Co
- Denbigh HWB, Denbigh by John McCall Architects
- Cliff House, Gower by Hyde + Hyde
- Cardiff School of Art and Design, Cardiff by Austin-Smith:Lord
Welsh Regional Award Winners
Source: Stale Erikson
Special Award winners
- Building of the Year Private house by Loyn + Co
- Client of the Year Grŵp Cynefin for Denbigh HWB
- Small Project Award Cefn Castell by Stephenson Studio
The winning schemes will now all go on to be considered for national awards with the lucky winners announced in June.
Those collecting national awards will then be running for the 2015 Stirling Prize.
Welsh Regional Award Winners
Niall Maxwell, founder, Rural Office for Architecture
‘Wales makes up only five per cent of the UK’s population and constitutes nine per cent of the UK’s land mass, so as a region it’s relatively small. Add to this statistics on household incomes, poverty, population densities, agriculture and its economic geography, and you’ll better understand the profile for contemporary architecture in this small nation.
‘Activity tends to be focused predominantly in the south, covering the coastline from Newport through to the Gower, including the capital Cardiff and its wealthy suburbs. Beyond here, where things get more rural and farming starts to dominate, opportunities become few and far between.
After last year’s Manser Medal win fthere was excitement Wales was finding its voice again
‘This year’s shortlist comprised a stable of innovative one-off houses in coastal or rural settings alongside a select group of public commissions at either end of the country. After last year’s Manser Medal win for Loyn + Co. Architects there was excitement that Wales was finding its voice again, and was rightly able to contribute to the quality of the awards process.
‘This year’s award winners did not disappoint, and to the credit of practitioners and clients across Wales, the quality of submissions made selection for awards competitive. The winning projects shared one common theme, being the skill of maintaining design quality when faced with challenges; be it battles with planning, contaminated or inaccessible sites, unbelievably tight budgets or funding constraints.
‘There was an overriding sense of ambition and innovation in all the projects, offering a diverse range of approaches to designing and building in Wales.’