This was a great week of celebration of the best of construction and building design across the UK, with both the Stirling Prize and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyor (RICS) Awards.
While the Stirling prize is the culmination of the Royal Institute of British Architect’s (RIBA) Awards, the RICS Awards are more broad-based at the Grand Final, with awards for Building Conservation, Community Benefit, Design Through Innovation, Regeneration and, the final award, for Project of the Year.
Both Awards show how much imagination and design flair is in evidence supporting economic and community regeneration and, in many cases, reusing existing buildings which in the past may have been threatened with demolition but now have new life, often enhancing the qualities of the old building with contemporary additions.
Examples across the country include the winners of the four categories – the stunning Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, the shape and materials of which reflects the historic ship which is housed inside, the Mansfield Transport Interchange which shows how design quality can be used to improve the experience of the weary traveller and aid the regeneration of a town, the Porthmeor Artist’ Studios and Fishermen’s Cellars in Cornwall, threatened by demolition in the 1980’s and now providing affordable facilities for both artists and fishermen, and the new state-of-the art Jaguar Land Rover Engineering Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton. The shortlist contained many other exemplary projects including, in Scotland, the much-needed regeneration of the Clyde Gateway in Glasgow and the Centre for Carbon Innovation in Edinburgh. More details can be seen on the RICS website here.
The Project of the Year, awarded to the project that is “considered to be the most remarkable entry on the shortlist“, was won by the restoration of the Penarth Pier Pavilion in Wales. The art deco pavilion, originally built in 1929 which had fallen into disuse, has now been restored as a multi-use community building which includes a gallery, the first cinema in Penarth in 50 years, cafe and restaurant which use locally-sourced produce.
The original art deco building has been restored sensitively with contemporary additions to provide Penarth with a unique new community facility.