CABE Press Release

Boffins, sailors, hookers. and Gordon Brown compete for this year's Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award

18 June 2003 | Download this press release (Adobe PDF format, 85KB)

In the third annual Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award announced today, Wednesday 18 June, education and learning lead the field of short listed entries.

A new centre for mathematics in Cambridge, a maritime museum in Cornwall, a sports stadium in Hull and the newly refurbished Treasury building are just a selection of this year's contenders for the Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award.

This annual award recognises excellence in design quality and procurement practices of publicly funded building schemes. This year's short list of 14 schemes cover a diverse array of projects, from schools, to a dance centre and innovative public space.

Commenting on this year's short list the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said:

"Three years into the Better Public Buildings initiative, we are seeing increasing numbers of excellent projects all over the country. There is however no room for complacency, the scale of our public sector building programme will present a significant challenge for years to come.

I congratulate everyone involved in the projects. These should act as an inspiration to all public sector clients. I'd like to see every new public building project meeting the same high standards. Then we really will have something of which we can be proud. "

Speaking at the launch today at the newly refurbished HM Treasury building, Sir Stuart Lipton, Chairman of CABE, will say:

"A nursery, new primary school, dance centre and a university faculty are all proof that education and learning are the clear winners of this year's award. The wide range of schemes short listed from across the country reflects the diversity and excellence that can be found in the public sector. The question we now need to ask ourselves is why every new public building is not of the same high quality as this year's entrants for the Prime Minister's Award."

Lynn McNair, Head of the Cowgate Under 5's Centre in Edinburgh, said:

"It has been said the Cowgate Under 5's Centre is like an Oasis in the centre of Edinburgh, and I couldn't agree more. To create a building is one thing, to create a harmonious learning environment - a place where children can play and learn in a happy secure environment is quite another matter. The children find the nursery enticing, a place where they can explore, enquire and discover lots to do. Our beautiful new setting supports learning through play wonderfully well."

Professor Peter Landshoff, from the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge, said:

"We are delighted to be short listed for the PM's award. We are extremely proud of our new buildings. They provide exactly the right creative atmosphere for our huge variety of research, which ranges from the work of eminent pure mathematicians, and the statistical modelling of communication networks, to Stephen Hawking's deep thinking on the origin of the Universe.

The extra space they provide is allowing us to initiate new and exciting projects. In particular, we are starting a big collaboration with medics and biologists in Cambridge and at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology that will focus on developing understanding of stem cells and their application to drug discovery and therapeutics."

The complete short list is as follows:

The Award has been jointly sponsored by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). It is part of the British Construction Industry Awards and the winner will be announced at a ceremony in London on 22 October.

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