Inclusive design winner announced
7 October 2007
Portland College in Mansfield, a residential college for people with disabilities, has won this year's RIBA Inclusive Design Award.
Portland College in Mansfield, a residential college for people with disabilities designed by Patel Taylor, has won this year's RIBA Inclusive Design Award which is sponsored by CABE.
The other two shortlisted projects were the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, London, designed by Caruso St John Architects and Broadwater Farm Children's Centre in Tottenham, London, designed by Gollifer Langston Architects.
Portland College has many inclusive design features which the judges praised, including the landscaped garden and surrounding woodland which are accessible because of a mesh surface which enables wheelchairs to move around easily on the grass.
Undulating corridor walls allow doors into classrooms to be angled in such a way so that each door is visible at a distance to allow people with a visual impairment to use the corridors on their own. Easy-to-pull door handles with no latches have been used on every classroom door for ease of opening by wheelchair users.
Richard Simmons, chief executive of CABE, said:
'What is interesting about this winner is that any designer can learn from the quality of the thinking at Portland College. It has universal application. What they have done here can be applied in any public building. Everyone says how \"uninstitutional\" the college feels. Too often at CABE we see designs which do not even take minimum design standards into account - let alone meet them. We want the architect of every public building to care as much, and consult as much, as Patel Taylor did at Portland College.'
The award recognises excellence in inclusivity in building design, and demonstrates that good design results in environments that are safe, convenient and enjoyable to use by all. The judging panel included Anna Hamilos of CABE, RIBA Head of Awards Tony Chapman and Julie Fleck of the Greater London Authority.