Three Greater Manchester buildings have been recognized by the Royal Institute of British Architects at a prestigious awards ceremony held in recognition of their architectural excellence.

Trafford’s new town hall, No 1 Riverside in Rochdale and The Manchester School of Art were described as outstanding buildings, all of which demonstrate the value of a strong architect-client relationship by Andrew Ruffler, RIBA North West Regional Director.

Of the new Manchester School of Art Building, the judges said that this was a building where the exploration of design and creativity will flourish.

Design excellence has been coupled with the brief of a visionary client to break down the traditional art and design units encouraging staff and students across disciplines to work together and explore the common ground between subjects.
The welcoming ‘vertical gallery’ space is open to all, enabling students and visitors to preamble up gently rising flying staircases. Behind the vertical element sits the ‘design shed’ where open studios, workshops and teaching spaces produce a wide range of spaces for learning.

Whilst Trafford Town Hall was described as a testament to the highly sustainable strategy created across the site.

The new building exhibits a high standard of design and quality to rival that set by the listed Town Hall. The building encourages the public to a café that opens out onto a landscaped courtyard that links the two elements together. A new internal street faces onto this courtyard and acts as a double height circulation zone for the new building. The new building is well detailed and offers a calm and relaxed environment for all who work and visit it.

No 1 Riverside was described by the judges as a building that has met all the expectations demanded of it culminating in a civic building of real quality which the town can be very proud of and a very bold move by Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council in the middle of a recession.

All three will be considered for the 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.


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