UK’s best buildings announced by 2019 RIBA National Awards
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced its 54-strong list of the best buildings of the year – the 2019 National Award winners. The awards, which have been presented since 1966, recognise the UK’s best new constructions and provide an insight into trends across the industry. ‘Our 2019 RIBA National Award-winning buildings are innovators and mould-breakers,’ said Ben Derbyshire, RIBA president of the winners.
We noted plenty of ambitious cultural destinations on the list, which have allowed institutions to evolve and expand with well thought out and beautifully-designed solutions. These include a visitor centre for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Weston, designed by Feilden Fowles and an extension for Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge by Jamie Fobert Architects. There are also award-winners that have elevated and enlivened whole areas in their wake – V&A Dundee by Kengo Kuma, the Television Centre refurbishment by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and Coal Drops Yard by Heatherwick Studio, for example.
RIBA highlighted trends such as ‘the restoration and regeneration of listed and historic buildings’ seen across the winning buildings. Within this trend, exemplary projects include the restoration of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Art Deco tea rooms in Glasgow, the refurbishment of the listed 1960s brutalist Preston Bus Station and a revamp of the residential Great Arthur House by John Robertson Architects. These projects each show how British cultural and architectural history can be preserved, modernised and celebrated through new design.
‘Despite the political and economic challenges of recent years, our 2019 RIBA National Award winners show that UK architecture is highly adaptable, immensely talented and as community-focused as ever. I am particularly heartened that more than one third (20 of 54) of our winners have creatively adapted existing buildings. Given the scale of the global environmental challenge, we must encourage sustainable development and investment in buildings of the highest quality – projects that will inspire and meet the needs of generations to come,’ said Derbyshire.
Out of the 54 buildings selected, we saw some of our favourites cropping up – 6a’s South London Gallery Fire Station, the Secular Retreat in Devon by Mole Architects with Atelier Peter Zumthor, and the Macallan Distillery in Scotland by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners have all been featured in over the past year. §