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British architects are taking risks, breaking the mold
Jun 27, 2013

The winners of the most rigorously-judged awards for architectural excellence in the UK and Europe, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) National Awards, have been announced. Among the 52 winners, several will be added to the RIBA Stirling Prize’s shortlist for the best building of the year—a prize that will be presented on September 26 at Central St. Martins in London.
This year’s award winners range from the UK’s northernmost arts center in the Shetlands down to Redruth in Cornwall; from a beautifully-crafted chapel in the back garden of an Edinburgh townhouse to the innovative yellow-roofed Ferrari Museum in Italy; and from M&S’s new ‘green’ flagship store in Cheshire to the National Trust’s dynamic new visitor center at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.

Roof of the Ferrari Museum by Shiro Studio
“Risk-taking is not for the faint-hearted in recessionary times, but amongst this year’s crop of truly exceptional buildings, I am delighted to see such a variety of projects doing just that,” said Angela Brady, RIBA president. “From Jesmond Gardens, an open-plan primary school in Hartlepool with rooms divided simply by acoustic curtains, and the mold-breaking North London day-care hospice modeled on an over-sized house to appeal sensitively to its patients, to the Hive in Worcester, the first library for shared use by both the public and a University.”

Said Business School by Dixon Jones
Most notably, this year’s RIBA National Awards features a selection of exceptional schools and education buildings, places that properly invest in the future for their pupils—from small nursery schools to major university campuses. Some of the last Building Schools for the Future (BSF) schools have made the grade this year with winners including St. Alban’s Academy in Birmingham and Kingswood Academy in Kingston upon Hull, whose ingenious use of limited space has created exceptional and inspiring facilities for students, not to mention bully-deterring toilets.

Hayes Primary school by Kilian O'Sullivan
To view all of the winning projects, click here.

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