Castleford Bridge wins the 2009 RIBA CABE Public Space Award

23/10/2009

ROYAL INSTITUTE OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS PRESS RELEASE: 17 October 2009
(RIBA Press Office: Mina Vadon – 020 7307 3761; mina.vadon@inst.riba.org )
 
The jewel in the crown for Yorkshire Forward’s Urban Renaissance Programme in Castleford is the landmark Castleford Bridge by McDowell and Benedetti Architects. The bridge has now won the RIBA CABE Public Space Award.
 
This award is sponsored by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), the government’s advisor on architecture, urban design and public space. Presented to the architects and landscape architects of the best RIBA Award-winning public space in the United Kingdom, the award recognises the valuable contribution that a well-designed public realm makes to the quality of the built environment and to our daily lives.
 
The RIBA CABE Public Space Award announcement was made on Saturday 17 October at a special awards ceremony for the RIBA Stirling Prize in association with The Architects' Journal and Crystal CG. It was introduced by Tom Dyckhoff, architecture critic for The Times newspaper.  The winner was announced by Sir John Sorrell, CABE Chair, who presented the winners with a cheque for £5,000. The judges were Sarah Gaventa, Director of CABE Space; Neil Porter, architect and landscape architect at Gustafson Porter; and Tony Chapman, RIBA head of awards.
 
The bridge spans the river with a subtle S-bend that is set lightly on three supports. The timber boardwalk has been elegantly detailed to align with the line of movement. Benches arc out of its surface giving a range of seating heights for all ages and the balustrade provides a leaning rail to view the river. The architect’s attention to the human scale makes the bridge accessible and much loved by the inhabitants of Castleford. The community’s local pride in their involvement and achievement of building the bridge should help it stand the test of time.
 
Speaking about the bridge, Sarah Gaventa, Director of CABE Space said:
“The Bridge over Castleford ‘Bay’ is a really engaging public space. It provides a real meeting place for local people and has helped strengthen Castleford’s relationship with its river.
It is greatly loved and enjoyed by the local community who played a big role in its design, and it has pushed the definition of public space, proving that a bridge can offer as much as a street, public square, or park. It is a true public space because it can be used and enjoyed by everyone.”

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