The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced 17 winners for its RIBA South Awards, which recognize architectural excellence. These 17 regional award winners were drawn from a shortlist of 30 projects. Over the next few months, they will be considered for the RIBA National Awards, and then for the RIBA Stirling Prize.
The Cheeran House; Berkshire / John Pardey Architects
The house sits between two worlds – a courtyard and a walled garden. The design is based on the desire to enjoy both a south facing aspect, yet also engage with the walled garden to the north. The house therefore becomes part of the rebuilt wall, part of the walled garden. With the overall height strictly controlled by planning restrictions and the site rising by two metres from front to back, the inner courtyard is part-sunk into the ground, increasing the sense of enclosure.
Davenies School; Beaconsfield / DSDHA
Davenies is a school in Beaconsfield, which provides education for boys aged 4 to 13. Established in 1940, it now comprises a collection of Listed and modern buildings, set around historic formal gardens. Crucial to its success is the holistic approach to learning, based on engaging the children with nature and maximising their connection to the world around them. In 2012 DSDHA were appointed to carry out the final phase of a 20-year masterplan to replace some of the most outdated blocks and provide ten classrooms for Reception level through to Year 4, generous breakout spaces, external play areas, a new library and a hall, along with staff facilities.
The Little Hall, Prestwood Infants School; Prestwood / De Rosee Sa
In 2014, Nick Clegg launched an initiative that every school child should receive a free hot meal at lunchtime. Responding to this, the brief set by Prestwood Infant School in Great Missenden was for a new dining space for 96 pupils and after-school club. The new facility would be located in one of the school's playgrounds in place of two redundant storage sheds. De Rosee Sa, the architects; and local design practice PMR took inspiration from author Roald Dahl, who lived in the area for 36 years, and the Grand Feast Hall in his children's book 'Fantastic Mr Fox': "We will make," said Mr Fox, "A little underground village, with streets and houses on each side – separate houses for badgers and moles and rabbits and weasels and foxes. And every day I will go shopping for you all. And every day we will eat like kings".
House 19; Buckinghamshire / Jestico + Whiles
House 19 is designed as a two-storey dwelling. However, careful consideration has been given to the impact of the building on the site by expressing the two storeys on the north east elevation, and reducing the height on the southern elevation to a single storey by means of an eccentrically pitched roof form. The advantage of such a form is that it minimises the impact on the adjoining property to the south. And the southernly roof can be used to maximise the incorporation of photovoltaic cells both now and in the future - integration is subtle and elegant. The sustainability strategy is well thought through and works (ground source heat pump, earth tube vent system, low U-values) without resorting to a room full of technology.
Suburban housing; Aldershot / Sergison Bates architects
The layout is deliberately not overly formal with grids, but at angles to allow an almost rural feel within the garden setting which is in shared ownership between all residents. Not only is the aspiration for the architecture high, but there is also an opportunity for social integration and shared responsibility. The ideas promulgated and put into practice by Eric Lyons have been properly understood and applied to achieve a result that in many ways is un-British as a methodology, but which could become ground-breaking.
Exhibition Mews; Bordon / Ash Sakula
Exhibition Mews is a prototype terrace of three affordable homes for social rent, built for Radian Group housing association. This project is the built outcome of Ash Sakula's winning entry to an open design competition, with the brief to design affordable and highly sustainable new homes capable of replication on other sites within the town as part of the first phase of a wider regeneration of the area involving 3,350 new homes. Ash Sakula's proposal features three houses, each comprising a highly insulated core of flexibly-arranged accommodation supplemented by an uninsulated entrance space opening onto an enclosed front garden. Importantly, the competition called for sustainable lifestyle suggestions to be embedded into the buildings themselves.
The Observatory Lymington / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
The architects conducted interesting material studies into Shou Sugi Ban, and developed a greater understanding of how different timbers respond to the burning that gives them longevity. But the most interesting aspect of the project is not technical but human: the effect it has in engaging the local people and helping them to connect with artists and other interested parties. This is architecture acting as a catalyst for positive change, so it achieves more than its physical structure alone could do.
Mottisfont New Visitor Facilities; Romsey / Burd Haward Architects
Mottisfont Abbey is one of the National Trust’s most popular properties in the region: visited by over 250,000 people per annum, it is renowned for its rose gardens and its active contemporary arts programming. The architects were appointed in 2010, following an invited design competition with a brief to improve the entrance facilities at the historic estate. The new buildings are set between the existing car park and a tributary of the River Test. They house visitor arrival and ticketing space, a new shop with associated storage, office and staff room, visitor WCs and a covered external area that can be used as temporary café/sales space. The buildings are raised off the ground to avoid the flood plain, and arranged around a raised courtyard that connects to a new walkway and bridge, and to landscaped paths beyond.
Boldrewood Campus, University of Southampton; Southampton / Grimshaw
The 4.3 hectare Boldrewood Innovation Campus is the product of collaboration between the University of Southampton and Lloyd's Register of Shipping and places the university at the forefront of maritime research. This collaboration ensures that students and researchers have access to real life case studies while Lloyd's Register engineers have access to cutting edge research. Grimshaw are responsible for both the masterplan and all building design.
Winchester Cathedral Learning Centre; Winchester / Hampshire County Council Architects
The Dean and Chapter of Winchester Cathedral have been developing a programme of new and innovative opportunities for learning and participation at the Cathedral to increase access for a wider audience. The project has extended the learning facilities into a new building within the garden of No 10A The Close as well as remodelling the existing facilities. It provides a new auditorium which is a multi-functional and fully accessible space with the capacity for a whole school year group at a time. It will enable a much greater range of activities and bring a completely new perspective to understanding of life in the Cathedral’s past. The whole site is designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument and surrounding range of buildings are Grade I listed.
Bighton Grange; Hampshire / ADAM Architecture
This is far from pastiche, it has substance and demonstrates a real understanding of proportion, harmony, materiality and craft. The house feels settled internally – it does not feel like a new build. It fulfills all key criteria set out by the client; all the building elements are extremely well crafted throughout; the indoor air quality is excellent, and the detailing is exceptional at every turn. The staircase in particular is a well-considered composition. The bathrooms are particularly well handled with the tiles and other materials being reclaimed, making the bathrooms a real feature of the house. In fact all the spaces within the building are delightful, very well considered and composed.
Blavatnik School of Government; Oxford / Herzog & de Meuron
The Blavatnik School of Government seeks to improve, inform and support better public policy and government in every country of the world. The new home of the School of Government is prominently located between Woodstock Road and Walton Street, with Somerville College to the south and Green Templeton College to the north. The building has been designed as a precise geometric form which allows its important historic neighbours to maintain and improve their presence along Walton Street, whilst also opening up generous and inviting access into the new Radcliffe Observatory Quarter.
Sandpath; Oxfordshire / Adrian James Architects.
The local authority was South Oxfordshire District Council, whose planners have allowed the architects the freedom to express themselves within the constraints of the location. The elevations in particular demonstrate sensitivity with regard to their visual impact. The cantilever that achieves the half-basement level is clever, and the open plan layout maximises the apparent space, resulting in a home that feels bigger than it is volumetrically. The budget has been cleverly focused on key areas that work well and give maximum value. The green/grey stain to the cladding/windows help to soften the building, as does the use of local materials, for instance with the gabion walls which provide a solid grounding.
The Investcorp Building, St Antony’s College; Oxford / Zaha Hadid Architects
From 1961 the Centre occupied an old rectory on Woodstock Road and housed the university’s primary collection on the modern Middle East, with its specialised library, document and photographic archive. The new Investcorp Building doubles the space available for the Centre’s expanding library and archive, providing optimum conditions to conserve and manage the collections. The design is defined by the built and natural environments. It weaves through the site to connect and incorporate the existing protected buildings and trees, while its stainless steel façade softly reflects natural light to echo the building’s context.
The Ruskin School of Art; Oxford / Spratley Studios
This is a flexible building that works well for the students who need to be able to explore and experiment with their artistic skills. In between the academic years, new students will have opportunities to change the space internally: lights are on tracks and the studios can be remodelled accordingly, allowing for flexibility of use. Exposed services run along the ceiling, accentuating the industrial feel.
Weston Library; Oxford / WilkinsonEyre
The brief for this historic and Grade II listed Giles Gilbert Scott building was, literally and metaphorically, to open the doors of the library to the public to enable them to embrace knowledge. This was combined with the technically challenging requirements of protecting the precious and very rare documents stored within the archive and ensuring their preservation for future generations.
Wolfson Academic Wing, Wolfson College; Oxford / Berman Guedes Stretton
Berman Guedes Stretton were engaged by Wolfson College in 2009 to provide a new building comprising a new lodge, a 155-seat auditorium, cafeteria, 12 academic offices, three seminar rooms and a group workspace to connect with the existing college on three levels. Two existing floors were to be converted into new library spaces adjacent to the existing beautiful, but very small, library and a third floor of existing offices was to be re-planned and refurbished.
News and project descriptions via the Royal Institute of British Architects.