John Clark Associates: Centrale Development

Centrale Development
Centrale Development

This extension of Croydon’s Centrale shopping centre just goes to prove the ancient Bananarama maxim that it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it. Croydon Building Control was effusive in its praise for the excellent working relationship between itself and the developer, design team, lead contractor and fire brigade for the duration of this complex project. The work was phased to allow a bingo club to remain operational until its home was finished, and as a result of careful planning, completed sections of the centre were able to open despite work continuing in other areas. John Clark Associates’ design for the centre looks great, provides retailers with the ultimate in flexibility, quality and accessibility, and has made a genuine contribution to Croydon council’s regeneration masterplan.

The finalists

Fletcher Priest Architects: Sedley Place

This development, which won the fire engineering category, was a strong contender for the Best Commercial Project award. The way in which Fletcher Priest’s design brings light into such a confined site and such a high-density scheme impressed the panel, as did the architect’s creation of a public square that provides a respite from the bustle of Oxford Street. It also scored a UK first with its use of translucent thin marble panels bonded to glass.

Manchester council: 1 Spinningfields Square

Located next to the 19th-century John Rylands Library, the Royal Bank of Scotland’s office building in Manchester is an unashamedly modern landmark. It was constructed above the basement of the building that previously occupied the site, so reducing the need for excavation and waste disposal and minimising heavy vehicle traffic to and from the site. Not only that, the design and construction team used innovative measures to ensure that this extensively glazed building met the requirements of Parts B and L of the Building Regulations.

Miller Construction: 134-138 Edmund Street

A four-storey high, 6 m deep, grade II-listed facade running along a long, narrow site constrained by streets each end and medium-rise office blocks either side. This is what Miller Construction had to deal with at this Birmingham office development. But a close partnership between Miller, the council, the building control office, the designer and the subcontractors ensured that the building was constructed to high standards and provided 83,000 m2 of lettable space.

Sir Robert McAlpine: Metro Centre

It’s all very well building the largest shopping and leisure centre in Europe, but if shoppers can’t get there it won’t be a success. That’s why the construction of a state-of-the-art transport interchange was an integral part of this extension to Gateshead’s Metro Centre. As well as providing a bus station and multistorey car park, the project enhanced its pedestrian and cycle routes – and you can even have a shower once you arrive. Then of course there’s the extra 27 shops where you can spend the money you saved by leaving your car at home.

TTSP: Endeavour House

It sounds like a nightmare scenario: the client who commissioned you to design a 12,000 m2 office building goes into administration halfway through its construction. But architect TTSP wasn’t daunted. Instead it set about creating a dream of a building. The completed scheme incorporates a 110-person council chamber, which had to be integrated into the original design, and can accommodate 1000 occupants. No wonder the council decided to make the building its HQ.