The UK-based Civic Trust Awards uphold the timeless importance of creating projects that have positively contributed to their local communities. Established in 1959, the awards celebrate projects worldwide that exhibit design excellence, sustainability, and social and environmental influence. A multitude of winners for the 2015 edition were announced during a recent ceremony at The Swan in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.
Out of 238 applications, 91 projects received a Civic Trust Award or Commendation. Eight projects -- designed by some big-name firms -- earned Special Awards in recognition of outstanding credentials in specific areas.
Have a look at the Special Awards winners below.
Michael Middleton Special Award: Somerset House West Wing and Ground Floor East Wing
by FORME UK LLP
Project info: "The scheme is part of the third and fourth phases of the renovation of the Grade 1 listed buildings. When the Inland Revenue vacated the ground floor of the East wing and the entire West wing after 150 years of occupation, the design team were briefed to convert the spaces for new use. As with the South Wing, improving circulation within the East Wing was the first challenge. A cluttered layout was quickly turned into a fluid ensemble of interconnecting galleries and commercial spaces. All the lightweight partitions installed in the 1960s together with other significant structural interventions were removed and the original wall features reinstated, so that the interior could return to glory. The north end of the West wing housed a particularly cumbersome arrangement of stairs and corridors creating land locked spaces and poor accessibility. The team took a decision to mark this zone of the wing by making major structural intervention and inserting a signature staircase design by Eva Jiricna Architects and constructed within the project contract. This restoration now unlocks the fee generating potential of the estate, while also restoring its authentic quality."
The Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design: Library of Birmingham
Project info: "Much more than just a library, the Library of Birmingham is a place of learning, community, business, new experiences and new opportunities; it is simply a place to ‘be’. Universal Design specialists and Birmingham City Council Access Office were involved from the beginning to ensure that people were placed at the heart of the design process and that the design would provide autonomy and choice to the city’s diverse population, and provide for flexibility in use. Deploying an all- encompassing strategy, a world class standard of universal design has been achieved in the development and delivery of the Library that meets and exceeds the requirements of national and local planning policy."
Special Award for Community Impact and Engagement: Black Cultural Archives
by Pringle Richards Sharratt
Project info: "This new cultural landmark is the first purpose built home for Black Cultural Archives (BCA), the leading independent archive collection dedicated to history and culture of people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain. The building provides facilities for BCA’s core activities of education, research and community engagement. The scheme has transformed Raleigh Hall, a derelict Grade II listed building, into a state-of- the-art heritage centre ready to meet the ambitions of the organisation providing a local, national and international presence."
National Panel Special Award: Abode at Great Kneighton
by Proctor and Matthews Architects
Project info: "The scheme consists of over 300 homes arranged as a sequence of spaces and housing types, responding to the existing geography of the site, providing a rich variety of typologies and tenure and is part of a major new community providing extensive open space and new community facilities in the Cambridge Southern Fringe growth area. The scheme consists of a hierarchy of spaces and housing types to suit different parts of the development."
Special Award for Scotland: Maggies Cancer Caring Centre Lanarkshire
by Reiach and Hall Architects
Project info: "The Centre sits in the grounds of the former Airdrie Estate, bequeathed to the people of Airdrie in 1919 by Sir John Wilson to become a maternity hospital. In a gesture that attempts to reinstate the idea of a boundary to the hospital estate, the new Maggies embraces two detached stands of mature lime trees with a finely articulated brick wall, once more bringing a sense of continuity and enclosure to this northern edge. At its heart, the design is simply a tale of enclosed gardens, with beautifully expressed elements and due care to detail. The garden walls of the new Centre conceal a modest low building that gathers together a sequence of domestic scaled spaces, both internal and external."
Pro Tem Special Award: Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red
by Paul Cummins Ceramics
Project info: "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation took up home in the moat at the Tower of London in 2014. The installation has been widely recognised as a monument to the centenary of the First World War and has touched members of the public around the globe. The huge art installation consisted of 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each British and Colonial fatality during the Great War, it stretched around the dry moat of the Tower of London, rising and falling around the entrances and exits, creating a vibrant display for all who visited from August through to November 2014. International ceramic artist Paul Cummins had the thought of creating this astonishing artistic display after looking through some old records in Chesterfield and reading the will of a Derbyshire man who joined up and died in Flanders."
Special Award for Sustainability: Chester Balmore
by Rick Mather Architects
Project info: "Chester Balmore is an innovative mixed-use development, designed to Passivhaus standards to provide a total of 53 dwellings, over half of which are affordable homes for Camden residents. This has been achieved in a very challenging setting and with a design that is both contemporary and sensitive to the historic setting in which it is located. Developed as part of Camden’s Community Investment Programme to provide new homes within the borough it is the first time in 30 years that Camden have acted as both developer and landlord."
Special Award for Brick: Saw Swee Hock Student Centre in Westminster
by O'Donnell + Tuomey
Project info: "The multi-functional building includes a venue, pub, learning café, media, prayer, offices, gym, careers, dance studio and social spaces, bringing student facilities together under one roof. A site specific sculptural concept for the architectural design was developed, which resulted in the folded, chamfered, canted and faceted façade which operates with respect to the Rights of Light Envelope and is tailored in response to specific lines of sight along approaching vistas and from street corner perspectives. The surface of the brick skin is cut out along fold lines to form large areas of transparent glazing framing views in and out from street to room. Like a Japanese puzzle, the design is carefully assembled to make one coherent volume from a complex set of interdependent component parts."
To see the full list of winners, click here.
All photos courtesy of the 2015 Civic Trust Awards.
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