2010 PM’s Award shortlist announced
17 June 2010
From the summit of Snowdon to a children’s centre in south London, the projects shortlisted for this year’s Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award show the strides being made in public building.
Arts and cultural buildings make a strong showing. Behind its original façade Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum has been transformed, doubling its display space with a light-filled atrium and new galleries.
The architecture of both the new Hull Truck Theatre and Nottingham Contemporary draws inspiration from local old warehouses. The Victoria & Albert Museum in London also cleverly combines old and new in its medieval and renaissance galleries: a stunning daylit gallery has been created by exploiting light wells and introducing an undulating glass roof.
Other projects among the 22 shortlisted improve the provision of healthcare. The pioneering New Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow, for example, is a one-stop shop for outpatient services which benefits from a full-height, glazed public arcade filled with natural light.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has praised the projects which have made it to the shortlist: ‘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.’
Two bridges have been safeguarded through technical ingenuity, halting corrosion of cables on the Forth Road Bridge and the deck of Runcorn’s Silver Jubilee Bridge. It also took ingenuity to construct Hafod Eryri on the summit of Snowdon. The new visitor centre showcasing the mountain’s history and folklore was completed on budget and without incident.
At Upton Village in Northampton, 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.
CABE’s chief executive, Richard Simmons, has called for this quality of public building to be sustained: ‘In straitened economic times, investing in good-quality, efficient design is the best use of public money.’
The winner will be announced on 13 October 2010.