Winner - National Waterfront Museum, Swansea - Wilkinson Eyre

Sponsored by RBS

The embodiment of Swansea’s past and future in Wilkinson Eyre’s design of the National Waterfront Museum, establishes the building as a new Welsh landmark.

Celebrating the city’s past as the heart of the Welsh industrial revolution and as the focal point of current regeneration for the waterfront area, the £15m development had to maintain the heritage of the site, while being sustainable and accessible.

A restored Grade-II transit shed, dating back to 1900, and a new building, which consists of a series of galleries filled with natural light, provide a space to showcase artefacts demonstrating Wales’ maritime and industrial legacy. Green space between the buildings encourages pedestrians away from the city, to the coast, establishing the museum as an axis between the two.

Abstract shapes created by the network of railway lines that once covered the 6080m2 site were incorporated into the building to represent the life and vitality of the old dockyard. The new gallery spaces expand and rotate as they follow the original railway track. The Welsh slate prefabricated on concrete panels contextualises the scheme, giving a subtle yet impressive horizontal strata of different colours.

Runners up

Highly Commended: Rooftop Nursery, Hackney, London

It was a tall order – to use architecture to stimulate an impoverished area of London for under £1200 per m2, but WHAT_Architecture rose to the challenge.

The Rooftop Nursery had to provide affordable childcare, so the architects used their imagination to added value to cheap means of construction, creating a bright green wonder of a place that is sure to remain in the memories of its tiny users well into adulthood.

Home to the UK’s first “rubber roof” that is safe to run around and fall over on, the nursery’s principal play area is on the roof, minimising plot size and therefore land costs.

Chelsea College of Art and Design, Millbank, London
Allies and Morrison

Formerly the Royal Army Medical College, this elegant £30m development, designed by Allies and Morrison, demonstrates how a set of buildings with a specific original function can be appropriated for a radically different use. Packed to the rafters with creative minds, the college has been left with the capacity to change, adapt and interpret its own space. The 2934m2 extension added to the listed building exposes the original’s qualities rather than obscure them.

Riverside Building, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London
Ahrends Burton and Koralek

Sea containers, usually used for sea transport, form the basic construction of Ahrends Burton and Koralek’s modern, low-cost, sustainable, mixed-use development, which stands on the former site of an asbestos sheeted shed.

Located on the London Docks, this scheme has created accommodation with views looking over the Thames to the Millennium Dome and commercial spaces, which provide employment opportunities. Costing just £1.2m for the entire 1345m2 development, this is an example of modest yet imaginative architecture.

The Stonebridge Estate, Brent, London
Terence O’Rourke

With 800 houses and flats now complete and another 360 on their way, this is a much needed redevelopment of an estate with a history of poor living conditions and high crime rates. Providing quality accommodation is just one

part of this development, which is by Terence O’Rourke and has cost £210m to date. It also includes the innovative use of colourful landmark buildings to create a sense of place and navigation, recreational spaces, community centres and health facilities.