Midland architectural gems shorlisted for RIBA regional awards
THE revamp of Birmingham’s famous former Assay Office and the city’s new Royal Conservatoire are among the finalists in the 2018 RIBA West Midlands Awards.
The pair are among 11 projects, including six in Birmingham, which have made the shortlist of the prestigious regional awards.
The Assay Office building, in Newhall Street, was home to Birmingham’s renowned team of jewellery verification experts for more than 130 years but it reopened as new commercial hub Assay Studios in 2016.
Birmingham City University’s new conservatoire in Jennens Road was completed last year and provides a new home to the music school and theatre which had previously been based in Adrian Boult Hall in Chamberlain Square.
Designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, it is the first new conservatoire to be built in the UK in 30 years.
The other Birmingham buildings to make the shortlist are the £50 million revamp of boutique shopping mall the Mailbox by Stanton Wil- liams and Bond Bryan Architects’ design for the National College for High Speed Rail which opened in September next to Aston University.
Two buildings on the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus have also made the final 11.
They are the new library, designed by city practice Associated Architects and which opened in 2016, and the £55 million sports centre and 50-metre swimming pool by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands which launched a year ago. The other finalists are: Shropshire Residence by Gregory Phillips Architects
Hope View House, Worcester- shire, by Warren Benbow Architects
The Old Court House, Worcestershire, by Harrison Brookes Architects
The Orchard, Warwickshire, Studio Spicer Architects
Willow Barns, Stoke-on-Trent, by PRP
The awards celebrate the best of British architecture and the West Midlands ceremony will be held at the Mailbox on May 22.
Regional winners will be considered for a RIBA National Award from which the shortlist for the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize will be drawn.
Aaron Chetwynd, chairman of the West Midlands branch of the Royal by Institute of British Architects, said: “At a time of significant construction activity within the region, I am really delighted that this shortlist showcases the excellent breadth of architects’ work in the West Midlands.
“The inclusion of new build, conservation and refurbishment work, projects at large and smaller scales and in urban, suburban and rural settings, illustrates the value and impact that great design can bring to any setting and all communities.
“It is a particular pleasure to see the inclusion of projects that are of major significance to the region and have the potential to impact on so many lives of its inhabitants.”
> University of Birmingham Indoor Sports Centre, by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
> National College for High Speed Rail, Birmingham by Bond Bryan Architects
> Mailbox, by Stanton Williams