Built along a stretch of the M5 Motorway, Westmorland Limited's Gloucester Services — the UK's first and only family-run motorway service station operator — won the 2016 RIBA Client of the Year during the RIBA Stirling Prize awards party last week. As an honorable gesture to some of architecture's notable clients, the Client of the Year award recognizes the client's role in the creation of fine architecture and the positive impact that clients can help create for their local communities.
Nominated by Glenn Howells Architects — who designed the building with AFL Architects — Gloucester Services Station is a refreshing choice as Client of the Year, considering that such a site is not typically known for its architectural qualities. On top of that, the project was cited for its high-quality food and customer-service experience, and how it helped bring employment opportunities to disadvantaged people in its nearby communities.
Read on for Glenn Howells Architects' nomination summary on the project.
““In 1972, Cumbrian farmers John and Barbara Dunning set up Westmorland and Tebay Services in partnership with local producers when the new M6 expanded through the Lune Gorge, making it the first and only family run motorway service station operator in the UK.”
“Gloucester Services builds upon the success of Tebay in its use of local materials, innovation, construction and vernacular design. It exceeds all expectations of what a motorway service area can be. Working with Glenn Howells Architects, Westmorland had a clear brief. They were professional from the outset, allowing the architectural team to come up with the most appropriate design for the site whilst also challenging and testing the design down to the last detail.”
“Over 28 million vehicles a year carry over 40 million people through Gloucestershire via the M5 – previously without any community benefit. Now, through the vision of Westmorland, the M5 has been turned into a community asset rather than a problem bringing pollution, congestion and noise.”
“Gloucester Services champions its locality through its commitment to locally sourced and homemade food. The business works with around 130 local (within 30 miles) and over 70 regional producers. A notable feature of Westmorland is its partnership with the Gloucester Gateway Trust, which works with disadvantaged local communities. Westmorland have successfully employed over 30% of its workforce from the long-term unemployed, those with learning disabilities and mental illness, substance abuse sufferers and ex-offenders. This business charity partnership is not just a charitable donation; it’s an investment in the local community.”
All images courtesy of RIBA.
Comment as :