16 June 2010
Contact: Tessa Kordeczka, 020 7070 6769
From the summit of Snowdon to a children’s centre in south London, the 22 projects on the shortlist for this year’s Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award show that inspired clients, creative designers and engineers and skilled construction teams are producing outstanding buildings across the country.
The Prime Minister’s Award is sponsored by CABE, the Office of Government Commerce and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It is unique in recognising both efficient procurement and excellent design.
Arts buildings feature prominently. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford retains its Greek revival façade, but its interior has been transformed with a light-filled atrium, beautiful staircase and new galleries which have doubled its display space.
The Hull Truck Theatre’s new home responds to the city’s old warehouses, and the architecture of the new Nottingham Contemporary arts space is inspired by the warehouses of the city’s Lace Market. The V&A Museum’s medieval and renaissance collections are displayed in stunning new spaces, with an undulating glass roof.
The summit of Snowdon presented a highly inhospitable construction site but the new Hafod Eryri visitor centre celebrates the mountain’s history and folklore.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
‘I congratulate all those involved in these outstanding projects. They are helping us to enhance the cultural life of the nation and provide better education and healthcare, as well as creating a more sustainable environment. I am convinced that creative design, high-quality construction and efficient procurement make a real difference to quality of life and give us real value for money.’
Good design is supporting the provision of healthcare. At the New Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow, patients are welcomed into a full-height, light-filled glazed public arcade. Kentish Town Health Centre integrates a range of services in flexible spaces with good use of public art. The Waldron places healthcare at the heart of a south east London community with its mixed-use development.
Two bridges have also been shortlisted: technical ingenuity has halted corrosion of cables on the Forth Road Bridge and the deck of Runcorn’s Silver Jubilee Bridge.
Richard Simmons, CABE’s chief executive, added:
‘It is hugely encouraging to see the strides made in the quality of public building, whether the new zero carbon homes in Upton Square in Northampton or the UK Supreme Court building in London. We want to see this sustained. In straitened economic times, investing in good-quality, efficient design is the best use of public money.’
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Principal designer: Rick Mather Architects
From the outside, the Ashmolean Museum is still its 1845 Greek revival original, but inside it has been radically transformed with a light-filled atrium, a beautiful staircase and new galleries, doubling its display space within the existing footprint.
Bristol Docks phase 1 – floating harbour
Principal designer: BAM Nuttall
Securing Bristol’s 200-year-old floating harbour by replacing the timber lock gates and installing new hydraulic operating mechanisms presented major engineering challenges.
Docklands Light Railway (DLR) three-car enhancement project, London
Principal designer: Arup
The introduction of three-car trains on the DLR was a complex task: extending platforms; rebuilding two stations; strengthening viaducts and bridges; and installing new junctions. It has already regenerated this part of London ahead of the 2012 Olympics.
Forth Road Bridge main cable project, South Queensferry, Scotland
Principal designer: AECOM
Technical ingenuity has halted the corrosion of cables on the Forth Road Bridge which carries around 24 million vehicles each year, with a technical process with wide application.
Gainsborough flood alleviation scheme, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire
Principal designer: Atkins
Creative and cost-effective solutions to strengthen existing flood defences mean that Gainsborough’s flood risk from the River Trent is now down to a 1 in 200 year event.
Hafod Eryri, Snowdon Summit, Llanberis, Wales
Principal designer: Ray Hole Architects
Redeveloping a visitor centre and rail terminus at the summit of Snowdon was a technical challenge but Hafod Eryri – a sustainable new building constructed from local materials and showcasing the history, poetry and folklore of the mountain – was completed on budget and without incident.
The Hull Truck Theatre, Hull
Principal designer: Wright and Wright Architects
Hull Truck Theatre has a new home with a 440-seat auditorium, and Hull city centre has a beautifully crafted new landmark. The building’s brick structure echoes the city’s grand old warehouses, with the industrial aesthetic reinforced through use of steelwork set into brick and bolted onto concrete walls.
Junction, Goole, East Yorkshire
Principal designer: Buschow Henley
The Junction provides art, commerce and a civic centre under one roof in an exceptionally compact building. An auditorium, foyer, café, performance workshop and council offices have been fashioned from the structure of a market shed.
Kentish Town Health Centre, London
Principal designer: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
In a bold and holistic approach to health care, different disciplines – including a GP surgery, dentist, library and gym – have been brought together in a thoroughly modern building with flexible and inter-related spaces.
University of Liverpool heating infrastructure project, Liverpool
Principal designer: Levitt Bernstein
The university’s new energy centre proves that utility projects can also produce striking buildings. It is clad in diamond-shaped aluminium scales and, with its five pitched roofs, chimes with its historic surroundings.
Lowther Children’s Centre, Barnes, London
Principal designer: Patel Taylor
The Lowther Children’s Centre, a single-storey building, clad in white render and with a sedum roof, is a sparkling addition to the primary school. Built to a modest budget, it has become a local landmark and community hub.
New Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow
Principal designer: Reiach and Hall Architects
The New Stobhill Hospital, a pioneering dedicated ambulatory care hospital, invites patients in through a full-height, glazed public arcade, filled with natural light.
Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham
Principal designer: Caruso St John Architects
Imagination and engineering skill have gone into creating Nottingham Contemporary, a new 3,400 square metre arts space. A challenging site has been used to great effect, with architecture inspired by neighbouring warehouse buildings in the Lace Market.
Prince’s Gardens halls of residence, Imperial College London
Principal designer: Kohn Pederson Fox Associates
Run-down 1960s student accommodation has been replaced by modern buildings that befit the grandeur of an 1840s square in South Kensington. The design respects the original colour palette and makes clever use of façade panels.
The Roundhouse Campus, Derby
Principal designer: Maber Architects
‘Honest repair’ was the philosophy behind the restoration of Robert Stephenson’s remarkable 1839 16-sided Roundhouse, once used to repair locomotives. It is now the centrepiece of Derby College’s campus, home to 2,500 students.
Silver Jubilee Bridge (cathodic protection), Runcorn, Cheshire
Principal designer: Mott MacDonald
A ground-breaking solution using cathodic protection was found to successfully halt corrosion of the deck of Runcorn’s Silver Jubilee Bridge. It has the potential to be widely applied to other chloride contaminated infrastructure.
Three Mills Lock and water control structures, London
Principal designer: Tony Gee and Partners
For more than 50 years, the Bow Back Rivers lay derelict and almost forgotten. The completion of the Three Mills Lock has revived this network of waterways. It is part of the Olympic Park but its legacy – for people, navigation and wildlife – will stretch far beyond 2012.
United Kingdom Supreme Court, London
Principal designer: Feilden + Mawson
Although in a Grade II listed building, a modern civic space has been created for the UK’s highest court. Its design speaks of transparency: there are large public spaces with a café and exhibition space, and a public art strategy has been integrated throughout the building.
Upton Square, Upton Village, Northampton
Principal designer: ZEDfactory
The six One Earth Dwellings – built with pre-fabricated timber frames and maximising solar energy and daylight – are classified as ‘zero carbon’: the first commercially available homes to achieve Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Victoria & Albert Museum, Medieval and Renaissance Galleries, London
Principal designer: MUMA
A successful synthesis of conservation and new installation allows the V&A’s impressive collection to be displayed in the splendour it deserves. An extraordinary daylit gallery has been created by exploiting light wells and introducing an undulating glass roof, supported by translucent glass beams.
The Waldron, New Cross, London
Principal designer: Buschow Henley
The Waldron – a mixed-use space including retail and housing – places healthcare at the heart of the community. Daylight, views and larger clinical rooms prevent the building feeling like a medical labyrinth and lacquered timber elevations add warmth.
A40 Western Avenue bridges replacement, London
Principal designer: Grimshaw
Careful design and excellent team work ensured that the replacement of two bridges on a commuter route over the railway line into Paddington station was delivered with minimum disruption. A state-of-the-art new footbridge improves accessibility.