Friday, 11 November 2011

RIBA Northern Network Awards announced

For the first time, all three northern regions of the RIBA, North East North West and Yorkshire, came together to celebrate and reward architecture, landscape and interior design across the north of England. This culminated in the RIBA Northern Network Awards ceremony at Newcastle Civic Centre on Friday 4 November. Amongst the winning buildings commended for best practice in contributing to their approach to sustainability and value for money as well as excellence in design are five buildings from the Yorkshire Region.

RIBA Northern Network Project of the Year - White Rose Award
Sandal Magna Community Primary School, Wakefield by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects

Mark Hadden Photography
This new school replaced a Victorian Primary School. It accommodates pupils aged 5 to 11 years with capacity for future expansion, a nursery provision for 26 children and a community room for use by parents for adult education and other activities.

The design references its immediate context of terraced streets, laid out as three parallel single storey wings facilitating easy access to the outside from all classrooms.

Constructed largely in the vernacular red brick, ventilation stacks echo the roof line of nearby houses and at its centre the school features a striking new tower that re-houses the original school bell.

The design is a holistic sustainable exemplar using the masonry structure to provide thermal mass combined with a natural ventilation strategy throughout, assisted by wind towers over classrooms.

This project also won a Northern Network Gold Award, and the Award for Sustainability.

As stated in Building Magazine: “if sustainable action is about enabling people to better understand their buildings rather than prescribing a set of rules for them to follow, then this is how to do it”. 

RIBA Northern Network Gold Award
Heslington East Campus, Cluster 1, University of York by BDP Architects

Photographer: Martine Hamilton Knight
The campus Masterplan creates a “living and learning” new quarter, mixing academic research and teaching with student accommodation. The building groups enclose a sequence of landscaped gardens and pedestrian spaces which encourage both movement and gathering.

The new campus accommodates a diverse variety of buildings and landscapes creating micro-environments all designed at a very legible human scale.

This is an extremely complex project that has been carried out with great dexterity. The judges were impressed by the skilful design approach that wraps academic and residential buildings together and it can be best described as a “Yin and Yang arrangement”, all held together by a subtle, yet distinctive landscape strategy.

RIBA Northern Network Gold Award
Heslington East Campus, Ron Cook Hub, University of York by BDP Architects

Photographer: Martine Hamilton Knight
This Hub building is the public face of the new campus. It is conceived as a “grand hall” with multiple activities under one roof encouraging academics, researchers, students and external enterprises to meet and exchange ideas.

In keeping with the rest of the campus buildings, the Hub manages to retain a very comfortable human scale yet as the client has said “there is an air of excitement about the building which transmits itself into the activities and people in it”. It is a great place for informal meetings with a café, informal seating areas and the “demonstration box” housing both a surround projection and audio facility.

Elizabeth Heaps from University of York won Client of the Year Award for her work on the Heslington East Campus. The judges stated that her enthusiasm for her projects was highly infectious. The University comprises an incredibly complex mix of buildings within a new landscape framework that would tax the skills and ingenuity of most clients and yet this client has successfully delivered a series of projects on time, on budget and too high quality. Great Architecture can only be delivered with the foresight of great clients and Elizabeth falls firmly into this category.

RIBA Northern Network Silver Award
Hanging Water House, Sheffield by Butterworth Architecture

Photographer: Carolyn Butterworth
This House is a new family home located in an inner Victorian suburb of Sheffield. Living accommodation is on the upper floor with bedrooms to the lower level, partially buried within the sloping site.

The material palette has been kept simple with painted concrete floors and birch-faced ply walls inside and lavender lime render above a blue brick single storey plinth externally.

The judges were impressed by the restrained simplicity of the design which clearly defines the various functions of the house whilst responding well to the sites topography.

Although this is a building very much of its time, it fits comfortably within its’ context.
This project also won the Northern Network Award for Housing. This house is constructed to a high level of air-tightness and is well insulated. It has a living roof to maintain the biodiversity of the former brownfield site. It has been designed to adapt over the years to the demands of the occupants young family and creates an interesting “new neighbour” within the older street-scene.

RIBA Northern Network Bronze Award
Washburn Heritage Centre by Pearce Bottomley Architects

Photographer: Pearce Bottomley Architects
This scheme lies within the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The project, which was awarded a grant from the HLF, creates an extension to this Grade II* Listed Parish Church.

The building is used for community and cultural events, providing heritage information and has a small café for visitors. The project involved extensive archaeological investigation, major ground-works, the strengthening of the 14th century church tower and the rebuilding of the west wall of the North aisle following the demolition of an existing house.

For information on the other winners and shortlisted schemes please visit the RIBA website.

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