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Thursday, April 17, 2008

RIBA Awards, Winchester, United Kingdom

University of Winchester’s flagship building is shortlisted for the prestigious awards

Among the shortlisted buildings for this year’s RIBA regional awards is Winchester University’s new facility designed by Design Engine Architects. The British awards are given to projects that have high architectural standards and make a substantial contribution to the environment.

Director of Design Engine, Richard Jobson, said that central to achieving these ideals was the management of space creating a building that "completely changed peoples perception of The University of Winchester and has created a series of spaces which are much admired but more importantly heavily used transforming a poorly used area into the heart of the entire campus."

The four-storey angular building situated at the front of the University’s King Alfred Campus provides amenities to the 5,600 students attending the campus with a Student Union as its central facility. The Student Union forms the largest part of the facility and includes a 1,200 capacity venue space for concerts, club nights and events complete with bars and a cinema.

Keith Evans of Design Engine Architects describes the facility: “The building sits on a steep sloping site and is conceived in two parts: the lower two floors are concealed in the ground under overlapping south-facing terraces linked by broad staircases reminiscent of Italian hill towns, while the upper two floors are dominated by the glazed façade of the Food Hall and its folding roof.”

Design Engine Architects won at last year’s RIBA Awards for their design of the British Embassy in Yemen and also won a Low Energy Award in 2004.

The RIBA Awards shortlist will be available on Friday with the regional winners being announced on 29th May. Winners will go on to compete in the RIBA National Awards in June

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