RIBA East Midlands 2019 Award Winners

Heart for Hathersage 3174 Simon Bull PRESSIMAGE 4 Large Heart for Hathersage 3174 Simon Bull PRESSIMAGE 1 Large
Simon Gedye - Studio Gedye

RIBA East Midlands Project Architect of the Year

Heart for Hathersage

This is a project of perseverance by the local community to realise the potential, and the funding, for a central village site that was once dominated by a ubiquitous and run-down public toilet block. Fifteen years have passed since its inception, and a new community space for the village has emerged.

This new space was formed by rotating a new building through ninety degrees from the footprint of the previous toilet block to unlock an outdoor room where there was none before.

There are moments of wit and invention in this new building, the folded elliptical zinc roof being an obvious, and neatly detailed, sculptural moment that provides a needed civic scale. The carving out a small parish room that directly faces onto the square was a late and important move flipping the WC’s onto the far side from the community space. These are set back within pre-cast stone reveals and entered through ledge and brace doors, an attention to detail that is not needed, but helps fix the building in its rural surroundings. Their colour palette, a mix of blues and purples, are a nod to the David Mellor factory nearby, whose Corin Mellor-designed mugs reference 1950s British Standard colours. The factory is an important local employer and their donated bench sits in pride of place informing the architect designed natural timber benching.

The local heritage board is set into the natural stone walling to the same depth of reveal, a nice touch, and the new paving area is defined by a line of donor inscriptions, designed and set out by a local graphic artist.

The landscaping was much reduced during the project, but successful raised beds are set within newly extended dry-stone walls that incorporate donated found objects that further tie the project back to the community without becoming clichéd. A backdrop of traditional layered hedging completes this well-conceived and cleverly designed building and public space.

As we left the visit, with people just sitting on the benches in the early spring sunshine, it was clear that this project could have easily reverted to type and provided a utilitarian response. Through the dogged determination of a few individuals, the collaboration of many stakeholders, and combined with the eye of a good architect, Heart for Hathersage instead demonstrates how good design can and does make a real difference.


Click here to view the full list of RIBA East Midlands award winners 2019.

Brackley Town Hall

by Haverstock for Brackley Town Council, winning RIBA East Midlands Award 2019

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Dancing Flowers of Doe Lea

by Tonkin Liu for Beam, winning RIBA East Midlands Award 2019 and RIBA East Midlands Small Project of the Year Award 2019

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Hannington Farm

by James Gorst Architects for Private Client, winning RIBA East Midlands Award 2019

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Nevill Holt Opera

by Witherford Watson Mann Architects for Nevill Holt Opera, winning RIBA East Midlands Award 2019, RIBA East Midlands Conservation Award 2019 and RIBA...

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Northampton International Academy

by Architecture Initiative for Northamptonshire County Council, winning RIBA East Midlands Award 2019

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Stackyard

by James Boon Architects with GRT Architecture for Private Client, winning RIBA East Midlands Award 2019

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Teaching and Learning Building

by Make Architects for University of Nottingham, winning RIBA East Midlands Award 2019

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