The client-designer dynamic being the basis of every good architectural relationship, RIBA has issued an award every year recognizing the clients and patronage behind some of the UK’s most inspiring projects.
This year’s list includes some familiar names like English Heritage in addition to leading academic institutions like the University of Warwick. Past winners include Network Rail (2019), Argent LLP (2018), Bedales School (2017), Westmorland Ltd (2016), the National Theatre (2015), Manchester Metropolitan University (2014), National Trust (2013), and the Olympic Delivery Authority (2012).
“The Client of the Year shortlist has very strong contenders — some of which are also in the running for the 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize — which show their long-term commitment to the quality of the architecture commissions,” 2021 juror Jo Bacon said in a statement. “Our shortlist demonstrates the courage and commitment of clients, determined to help create something with vision, ambition and innovation.”
The winner of the RIBA Client of the Year Award 2021 will be announced at the Stirling Prize ceremony on October 14th at Coventry Cathedral.
Have a look at the full list of shortlisted candidates below.
English Heritage for Tintagel Castle Footbridge by Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates & Walmer Castle and Gardens Learning Centre (with the Heritage Lottery Fund) by Adam Richards Architects
Jury Citation: "This new bridge is beautifully executed at all scales, from the way it respects the silhouette of the landforms it abuts, down to the tactile detail of its path, made from slate on edge. Retracing the approximate width and length of the natural land-bridge and castle structures that have long since fallen into the water, the bridge notionally links past with present and physically connects two stranded sections of the castle precinct. With its highly ceremonial presence, articulated in every piece of finely crafted stainless steel, it also allows contemporary visitors to retrace the steps of predecessors who would have passed through this section of the castle to gain entry to the grand hall on the island side."
London Borough of Hackney for Tiger Way by Hawkins\Brown
Jury Citation: "Tiger Way co-locates a school alongside a residential block in Hackney. With space utilisation not just efficient but more than the sum of its parts, the architects prove that this complex emerging typology can be done exceptionally well and provide real social value."
Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick for Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building by Cullinan Studio
Jury Citation: "This project is of a consistently high standard throughout. The brief for the project was complex in bringing together academic and industry research in the same building together to foster innovation and collaboration. A showcase for pioneering technologyand learning, this building is a fantastic example of highly engineered architecture with sustainability credentials that could have achieved BREEAM Outstanding had there not been a conscious and informed decision not to. Despite its large scale this building displays an elegance and lightness of touch, with rigorous detailing at both a micro and macro scale. This building, and its surrounding landscape is the product of a successful relationship between the Client, architect, and the wider design team."
Cambridge Mosque Trust for Cambridge Central Mosque by Marks Barfield Architects
Jury Citation: "The urban intervention of inserting a mosque capable of welcoming 1000 worshipers within a low rise, residential neighbourhood, without dominating it, is masterful.Its presence is clear but modest, considering the size of the mosque relative to the twostorey terrace houses around it. This is achieved by setting it back from the street, progressing through the Islamic garden, then gradually increasing in scale to front portico, atrium with café to one side and study centre to the other, through to central ablution areas. The building then rises at the rear to the largest mass of the prayer hall, which shifts in geometry to face Mecca."
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