A bus station in Lancashire, a small pavilion on the site where King John sealed the Magna Carta, and a whisky distillery with a wavelike roof are among the winners of this year’s 2019 RIBA National Awards for architecture.
Today, the Royal Institute of British Architects reveals the 54 winners of the awards, which have been presented since 1966.
As well as the 1960s’ bus station, in Preston, they include a vast redevelopment of London Bridge, one of the capital’s busiest transport terminals, and a significant investment in cultural landmarks – such as V&A Dundee.
Listed and historic buildings which have made the grade, following restoration or regeneration, include Battersea Arts Centre in London, which was left derelict after a fire in 2015; Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Art Deco tea rooms in Glasgow; and a new tower at Westminster Abbey – the most significant addition to the building since 1745.
The 54 will be whittled down to a shortlist of around six in July – and then, from these in October, one will be awarded the RIBA Stirling prize for the UK’s best new building.
Here is a selection of some of the National Awards winners…
The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience, Moray (Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners). The jury said: ‘The rolling roofscape of this building echoes the form of the surrounding hills and serves to successfully conceal an exceptionally well resolved and ingenious fusion of architecture, whisky technology and impactful interior settings displaying the heritage of the Macallan brand. A processional landscaped walkway symbolically and physically connects the 18th century laird’s house at the heart of the estate with the new visitor centre’
Battersea Arts Centre, southwest London (Haworth Tompkins). ‘This is the culmination of a 12-year restoration project of the Grade Il*-Listed building which was extended when a devastating fire destroyed its Grand Hall. The brief and design process have been far from conventional and have taken inspiration from the process of “scratch theatre” pioneered at BAC where ideas are tested out live and audience feedback is then used to evolve the performance. The existing building is a rambling Victorian town hall with a rich history and the attitude to the restoration has achieved a joyous balance between leaving as found and making new insertions’
London Bridge Station (Grimshaw). ‘This nationally significant infrastructure project delivers connectivity across a significant area of England, from the Norfolk coast to the South coast. It can comfortably accommodate current and future passenger numbers, and significantly improves the experience of those who use it daily. Bold, radical interventions have been delivered efficiently, with the station remaining operational throughout the construction period’
Coal Drops Yard, London (Heatherwick Studio with BAM Design). ‘With its unusual mix of retail spaces, restaurants and bars, the stage has been set for this interesting industrial site to reinvent itself and attract a new era of “experiential retail”. The client has backed their hunch that consumers can be attracted over to this well connected but hitherto commercially untested quarter of London and the design team have thrown their all into making an interesting open space, negotiating with Historic England to remove large sections of a viaduct, the ghost of which is subtly recorded in the hard landscaping of the now expansive lower yard created by this important architectural move’
(The formerly BBC) Television Centre, London (Allford Hall Monaghan Morris with MacCreanor Lavington, Morris+Company, dRMM, Mikhail Riches, Piercy+Co, Haptic, Archer Humphreys and Coffey Architects). ‘The Television Centre project at White City is an ambitious reinvention of this London landmark into a working, living, thriving community. Architect Graham Dawbarn’s original 1949 design for the world’s first purpose-built TV studio was originally described as a factory for television and is now an iconic source of national pride’
The Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Feilden Fowles Architects). ‘The Yorkshire Sculpture Park sits in the grounds of Bretton Hall, an 18th century country park estate. Since its opening in 1977, the Sculpture Park has developed a series of indoor exhibition spaces that complement the sculpture arranged across the landscape. The Weston is the latest addition, providing a visitor centre and gallery. It sits on the eastern boundary of the park, closest to the arrival route for many visitors from the nearby M1’
V&A Dundee (Kengo Kuma & Associates with PiM.studio Architects and James F Stephen Architects). ‘Scotland’s first dedicated design museum is itself an example of the highest level of architectural ingenuity. This building simultaneously stimulates, engages and intrigues visitors. Its unique geometric forms, sitting between the city and the river, draw on a relationship to the water and form an unstated connection to the historical HMS Discovery docked alongside’
Westminster Abbey Triforium Project, southwest London (Ptolemy Dean Architects). ‘Tucked away in a south-eastern corner of Westminster Abbey lies Weston Tower, a new glass, metal and stone structure that nestles neatly between the 13th century Chapterhouse and 16th Century Lady Chapel of the Abbey, providing public access into the high level Eastern Triforium -a timber deck seven storeys above the nave – for the first time. Forming the most significant addition to the building since Nicholas Hawksmoor’s west towers were completed in 1745, the design is a playful insertion that draws upon the Abbey’s rich history of adaptations and remodelling’
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, southwest London (MUMA LLP). ‘The galleries are the first major built addition to Westminster Abbey in more than 250 years. Created within the Triforium located seven storeys above the abbey’s nave, they not only provide space for display but the most astonishing views of the interior’
The Beecroft Building, University of Oxford (HawkinsBrown). ‘The Beecroft Building is an immaculately designed addition to Oxford University. As the first new building to the Physics Department in 50 years, it has completely transformed the capabilities and working behaviours of one of the largest physics departments in the world’
The Painted Hall, southeast London (Hugh Broughton Architects with Martin Ashley Architects). ‘This inspirational project has restored and conserved Sir James Thornhills’ 3,700m² of painted surfaces, among the most important Baroque interiors in Europe. With the internal environment stabilised through the inventive reuse of the building, this wonderful space is now a significant place to visit in London’
4 Pancras Square, London (Eric Parry Architects). ‘The old industrial heritage of the site, which used to house gasometers and adjoins the railway, has been evoked in the choice of exposed weathering steel for its structural exo-skeleton, providing a convincing narrative for the muscularity of the predominant material which exudes character and imbues the new square with a robust anchor’
Preston Bus Station, Lancashire (John Puttick Associates with Cassidy+Ashton). ‘An apparently subtle restoration belies a significant organisational shift at this listed and iconic Preston bus station. Shifting all bus-stands to one side instead of both, relocating the coach station, providing an information hub and rationalising retail units has reinstated a legibility and reinforced the purpose of the building’
Mackintosh At The Willow (tea rooms), Glasgow (Simpson & Brown). ‘The original building is a much-admired and rare example of a complete Art Nouveau scheme. Its immaculate and captivating restoration has provided an invaluable reminder of the immense creativity of Mackintosh and has already attracted significant international interest’
Writ In Water, Runnymede, Surrey (Studio Octopi). ‘Set in the flood plain of the Thames at Runnymede, the building, for that it was it is, is visible from some distance against the backdrop of lightly wooded hillside and marks the site of the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215. It is approached on foot across, often boggy, fields. The outside walls form a traditional rotunda and are constructed in compacted aggregate. The resulting surface is clearly rough, handmade and ready for an ongoing aging process’
168 Upper Street, London N1 (Groupwork). ‘Historically, pocket parks made on post-war bomb sites became highly valued by their local communities. It is apposite that, when this former bomb site on the corner of Islington’s Upper Street and Barnsbury Street was finally redeveloped, that the building so artfully created for it, is destined to become a memorable London landmark’
Brentford Lock West Keelson Gardens, London TW8 (Mae with White Ink Architects). ‘As phase two of a three-phase residential regeneration masterplan beside the Grand Union Canal, the scheme is a thoughtful evolution of phase one, housing a mixed tenure of accommodation’
A Restorative Rural Retreat for Sartfell, Isle of Man (Foster Lomas). ‘Moulded into the west-facing slope of Sartfell on the Isle of Man, this retreat maximises breathtaking views overlooking the Irish Sea. A long horizontal slot window and thick concrete bunker walls give the interior a sheltered and embracing feel. Through a close response to a unique context, a strong architectural vision has created a very special place’
Alexandra Palace, London N22 (Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios). ‘This regeneration of the east wing of Alexandra Palace involved substantial work to significant historic Grade II-listed fabric largely hidden from the public for over 80 years. With a vast expanse of space to consider, the client and architects for the scheme have done a magnificent job, delivering and spending hard won budget to excellent effect’
Eddington Masterplan, Cambridge (AECOM). ‘Eddington fits a tradition that can be traced back to philanthropic industrialists (Port Sunlight, Bournville), through Ebaneezer Howard’s Garden Cities (Letchworth, Welwyn) and the post-war New Towns (Peterlee to Milton Keynes). As client, the University of Cambridge have set appropriately high aspirations for sustainable living, and have enabled the masterplanners the time and resources to work closely with the participating architects to ensure that the appropriate balance of coherence and visual diversity could be achieved’
CTC Transport Hub, Northern Ireland (Hall McKnight). ‘Through imagination and a sophisticated architectural language, the architects have realised a remarkable if modestly scaled civic building [on the edge of the city of Belfast]. It appears suddenly and emphatically as an exotic erratic boulder at the side of the busy Stewartstown Road. The form of the roof invites the slope of the hill to the north to cross the busy street onto the site’
Cork House, Berkshire (MPH Architects). ‘Designed with immense attention to detail, Cork House is a structure of great ingenuity. Sited within the area of a Grade II-listed mill house dating back to the early 19th century, the Cork House beautifully reflects and respects the natural surroundings in form and construction’
Eleanor Palmer Science Lab, London NW5 ( AY Architects). ‘Eleanor Palmer Science Lab is a learning environment that aims “to foster enquiring minds, curiosity and wonder in the world”. Conceived as a “wonder room”, a cabinet of curiosities and a place for discovery and experimentation, this small wooden structure answers its programmatic and architectural brief with aplomb. The Lab accommodates classes and after school clubs for up to 31 pupils (aged 3-11 years) and is a shared resource for the school, neighbouring community and other schools’
Nevill Holt Opera, Leicestershire (Witherford Watson Mann Architects). ‘Nevill Holt Opera Building is, at first interaction, a non-building, wholly hidden within the stable yard of the hall’s stable block. Following on from a forensic analysis of the history of the site, the architects have approached the brief by firstly focusing on the idea of a room in stone which then has a cut in the ground that forms the stalls and orchestra pit. A series of further moves insert the seating, roof and rooflight’
Collective on Calton Hill, Edinburgh (Collective Architecture). ‘The projecting glazed corner of the new Outlook restaurant building, cantilevered over the site’s original boundary wall brings a bold and vibrant addition to the site’s historic skyline, visually marking to those in the city below a key step in the evolution of this important site’