Four North East Buildings Unveiled as RIBA North East Prize Winners


Four construction projects in the North East were judged as the best in the region at the RIBA North East Awards.

A converted historic warehouse, regenerated post office and notable new buildings feature on the regional honor roll, which includes the winning projects Tombola House by Ryder Architecture, Lower Mountjoy Teaching Center by FaulknerBrowns Architects, The Beam by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and The Bis by Groupe Gingembre.

The four projects were selected by the jury of shortlisted experts and visited by jury president Ben Elliott.

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Tombola House, Sunderland’s £ 8million base of the online bingo company’s raffle, also won the RIBA North East Client of the Year award.

Tombola house in Sunderland

The judges said the overall building design strategy was “extraordinarily successful and indicates the intention to create a quality building anchored in its context, belonging not only to the users of the building, but also to the city at large.”

They added: “Inside, the seeming simplicity of the space belies the overall design and sophisticated details, which have been delivered with very high quality craftsmanship. The company capitalizes on its success by investing in an area that was not an easy option. It would have been too easy to settle on the edge of the city business park, but instead the client and architect reinvigorate this historically important part of the city with an appropriate and contemporary character that turns out to be already be a big hit.

Bis by Group Ginger, won the RIBA North East Building of the Year award, after the judges toast the transformation of the former Grade II listed post office in Hartepool.

The project also won a special project architect award for David Pogson, who was sponsored by Taylor Maxwell.

The judges said: “The original post office has been treated with respect, but also rejuvenated with a sympathetic restoration and extension that adds a sense of playfulness, outwardly signaling new life for the building and providing a new purpose. for the surrounding conservation area and the city.

“Transformed into The BIS, it hosts companies from the creative sector. The building is one of a series of developments planned by the local council, with the aim of retaining and nurturing local talent, building on the strength and reputation of the neighboring Northern School of Art. BIS Whitby Street Studios is proving to be a huge success and it’s easy to see why.

The £ 13.5million Beam property in Sunderland was the first Class A office to be built in the city in many years and also represented the first building to be erected at Riverside Sunderland, the former site of the brasserie de Vaux which is now in the process of being transformed into a lively district in which to work, live and play.

The beam at Sunderland
The beam at Sunderland

The judges said, “The building’s design takes a sophisticated and refreshing approach to sustainability and creates a healthy environment for its users. Office spaces are designed to be flexible in potential layout to meet tenant needs.

“The Beam is a remarkably well designed building that was delivered under difficult circumstances. It serves as an example for sustainable office design and successful speculative regeneration, and the key to that success is how the design connects to its context. “

Meanwhile, the Lower Mountjoy Teaching and Learning Center at Durham University has been praised by the judges for providing an inclusive and welcoming environment.

The judges added: “Overall this is a very successful building. Sober and sophisticated while providing a welcoming environment and flexibility of use in a changing world of education. It is an exceptional addition to the university and to the city.

Lower Mountjoy Educational Center, Durham
Lower Mountjoy Educational Center, Durham

Regional Jury Chairman Ben Elliott said of this year’s winners: “Regeneration and learning are at the heart of all winning projects, and across the North East it is a recognizable force domain. The winning projects of the RIBA Awards North East are unique in form while being flexible and adaptable in design. They relate to their larger contexts, developing a sense of identity in architecture in order to foster new working communities. They reflect the continued quality of design seen in the region, and the jury is delighted to see how they have come to demonstrate resilience and positivity for the future. “

The winners of the RIBA North East Award will now be considered for a coveted National RIBA Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, to be announced on Thursday 9 September.

The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Award for Best Building of the Year will be drawn from the winning projects of the National RIBA Award later in the year.


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