Mid­land ar­chi­tec­tural gems shorlisted for RIBA re­gional awards

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Tam­lyn Jones Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

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

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