Norwich buildings shortlisted for top award

Mary HamiltonTwo Norwich architectural projects that have been shortlisted for a prestigious award are perfect examples of why the city should be the UK City of Culture, a heritage organisation said.Support Norwich on FacebookOfficial Norwich 2013 bid websiteMary Hamilton

Two Norwich architectural projects that have been shortlisted for a prestigious award are perfect examples of why the city should be the UK City of Culture, a heritage organisation said.

Norwich Cathedral's hostry project and the Open Youth Trust venue at the former Barclays Bank at Bank Plain are in the running for the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) awards.

They will be up against a private house at Stalham and Adnams Store and Caf� at Southwold among the 16 finalists shortlisted for the East of England awards.

Michael Loveday, chief executive of Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (Heart), said the two Norwich finalists gave fresh ammunition to the campaign to make Norwich the 2013 UK City of Culture.

He said: 'The really inspiring thing about Norwich, as a peerless cultural destination, has been its ability over the centuries to keep the best of the past by adapting it for relevant, contemporary needs and to innovate architecturally in a way that creates an ongoing 'conversation' with the city's heritage. The two shortlisted schemes in Norwich continue this tradition admirably.

'Hudson Architects' Open project not only pays its respects to the largest banking hall in England but also provides the spark of imagination which gives it a new lease of life.

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'Hopkins Architects' hostry provides an inspiring complement to probably the finest Romanesque cathedral in England, while doing what hostries are supposed to do - it says very elegantly 'you are welcome, please come in'.

'They are examples of the outstanding and exciting cultural activity taking place in the city which is why Norwich deserves to be crowned the UK City of Culture in 2013.'

The annual awards, judged regionally, are for buildings deemed to have high architectural standards and which make a substantial contribution to the local environment.

Riba regional director Louise Todd said: 'The Riba Awards reflect the diversity of architecture and recognise the wide variety of specialist skills involved in delivering good buildings.

'They reward the best buildings throughout the region, allowing for responses to local contexts of style, scale and materials.

'The awards programme will continue to set ever higher standards for architecture for its members and to promote the results to the public. The competition this year is fierce due to the very high quality of award submissions in the east.'

Shortlisted projects in the East region are being judged by Russell Brown of Hawkins Brown, Daisy Froud of AOC Architects, and regional representative Michael Innes.

The buildings will be visited by the awards jury during April, and winners will be announced on May 20.

Norwich Cathedral Hostry, Norwich, by Hopkins Architects, London

This is the second building of a two-phase �12.5m project, funded mostly by Norwich Cathedral and charitable donations, to create a new hostry on the site of the original medieval hostry and refectory.

The design of the buildings drew on historic precedent and the surrounding medieval buildings, and emphasised the hospitable and educational ethos of the Benedictine order

The new buildings are constructed on, or very close to, medieval walls, touching them very lightly, and most of the materials and structure are of locally-sourced traditional materials.

OPEN, Norwich, by Hudson Architects Ltd, Norwich

The winning competition scheme for the Open Youth Trust has transformed a redundant grand banking hall in the centre of Norwich into a 24-hour support venue for young people.

Inside a landscape of inner skin, which clings to the original architecture, creates an array of walkways and platforms to accommodate a range of activities: areas for sports, socialising and events, and quiet spaces for study, reflection and escape.

Private House, Stalham Norfolk, by Acme Ltd, London

This is an extension to a 19th Century mill keeper's house in the Broads, adjacent to the well-known historic grade 2 listed Hunsett Mill. In order for the new extension to retreat behind the listed setting of the Mill, the new additions to the house are designed as shadows of the existing house.

Adnams Store and Caf�, Southwold, by Ash Sakula Architects, London

The new flagship store and caf� is located on a brownfield site in the middle of the historic town centre of Southwold and includes a new public square for a weekly farmers' market.

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