Southwater team scoops three top architectural awards

Telford & Wrekin Council’s £250m Southwater development has resulted in the borough winning three categories of the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects Regional Awards for 2015.

Southwater team scoops three top architectural awards

The RIBA Regional Awards evening was held last night at Spotlight in Digbeth, Birmingham, and aimed to recognise architectural excellence across the West Midlands.

The iconic gold-clad Southwater One building was one of five winners of the Excellence in Architecture award from an initial shortlist of nine.

Telford & Wrekin Council also won the RIBA West Midlands Client of the Year Award for Southwater One.

The third award was won by Southwater One’s architect Rupert Walshe at Associated Architects who triumphed in the RIBA West Midlands Project Architect of the Year Award.

Kate Callis, Telford & Wrekin Council’s assistant director for development, business and employment, said: "This is fantastic news for us and something everyone in Telford can be truly proud of.

"Telford has never been noted for any architecture other than the Iron Bridge and this really sets a new standard for the town moving forward.

"Southwater has been hugely well received since it opened and we feel we really have changed both the appearance and atmosphere of our town centre as a result.

"We are delighted that Southwater One is one of the worthy winners of the Excellence in Architecture award. The council as client of the year and our architect Rupert Walshe as project architect of the year just demonstrates the top quality teamwork that has gone in to delivering the building.

"There are also more major developments planned for Telford Town Centre.

"With the Box Road work nearly completed and the quality of buildings we’ve delivered being recognised by prestigious organisations like the Royal Institute of British Architects, we can definitely say Telford is on the up."

Phil Howl, RIBA West Midlands Jury Chair, said: "The 2015 jury had a fascinating and varied collection of buildings to visit.

"Many were commissioned at the depth of the recession in what must have been demanding circumstances and doubtless with challenging budgets.

"It was therefore very rewarding to see how the architects had worked creatively with their clients to extract the great potential from their budgets to produce such well crafted and thoughtful buildings.

"Several of the buildings, including Southwater One, had become catalysts for regeneration of an area, demonstrating the wider value that great architecture can achieve."

RIBA West Midlands Regional Award winners will also be considered for a highly-coveted RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, which will be announced in June.

The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize for the best building of the year will be drawn from the RIBA National Award-winning buildings later in the year.