Public building award shortlist unveiled

The shortlist for this year’s Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award, which recognises efficiency in procurement as well as excellence in design, has been unveiled.

The 24-strong shortlist features the Ashford Ring Road Project in Kent, by Whitelaw Turkington, which saw the town’s three-lane, one-way ring road converted into a series of town-centre streets, and Ian Ritchie Architects’ Wood Lane Station in London (pictured), the first new station to be built on an existing Tube line for 70 years.

Other shortlisted projects include Make Architects’ University of Nottingham Jubilee Campus extension, and the Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry, by Pringle Richards Sharratt.

The award is sponsered jointly by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, The Office of Government Commerce, and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown says, ‘These projects show how creative design can make a real difference to how buildings and places work and can deliver public buildings that the community can take pride in.’

Sir John Sorrell, chairman of CABE, says, ‘I think we are reaching a tipping point where a desire for good design is evident in most public building. It’s a gradual shift in our procurement culture.

‘I think most clients will no longer accept badly conceived, lowest-cost solutions, even in a recession. The result is a myriad of examples of well-designed buildings and spaces: an architecture of the everyday that helps people live more convenient lives in more beautiful places.’

The winner of the award will be announced on 14 October.

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