Plymouth School of Creative Arts wins top architectural award

Authored by Mary
Posted: Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 11:50

The distinctive red Plymouth School of Creative Arts at Millbay has a won prestigious architectural RIBA South West Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects at a ceremony on the Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare on 29 April.

The architect of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios’ striking new landmark building also picked up Tarmac sponsored Project Architect of the Year for Andy Theobald, making it two years in a row for the Bath-based practice to win the architect of the year award for a South West building.

Chair of the jury Keith Brownlie said,’ Plymouth School of Creative Arts is a complex and challenging project made to look rather effortless in practice. Quality and consistency of architectural thinking is evident throughout, and the building delivers an impressive and significant addition to the cityscape. This is an intelligent design and the architects’ success in delivering a great project on an extraordinarily constrained budget and programme is recognised and applauded by the jury.

Brownlie added,‘ Schools should not have to cost so little, nor be built so quickly that their key driver is the satisfaction of ever more aggressive government targets. Given that they are, one can only hope that they deliver as much as this building does.’

‘Large colourful buildings are normally limited to out of town retail parks without much to justify them other than shameless branding.  When bright, saturated colour is thoughtfully applied to a full urban block the effect is mesmerising. This is not however a throwaway gesture –the pivotal location of the site between port and city and the school’s wide community use make a celebratory building seems wholly appropriate.’

RIBA South West Awards recognise examples of innovative and outstanding new architecture within the region. From a shortlist of 16, and forty nine initial entries, the 10 x award-winning 2016 projects spread from Cornwall to Gloucestershire to Dorset.

RIBA South West Award winners will also be considered for a highly-coveted RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, which are announced on 23 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.

RIBA South West regional director Jon Watkins said ‘RIBA Awards always bring out the best in local and national architects across Plymouth and our vast region, and this year’s award-winning projects offer quality, diversity of type and scale, excellence in design, and lots and lots of pure delight’.

The full list of RIBA South West Awards 2016 is:

RIBA South West Awards 2016

  • Plymouth School of Creative Arts, by Feilden Clegg Bradley  Studios
  • The Owers House, Cornwall, by John Pardey Architects
  • Drawing Studio, Arts University Bournemouth, by CRAB Studio (Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau)
  • Student Services Building, Arts University Bournemouth, by Design Engine Architects
  • Bridport Household Recycling Centre, Dorset, by Mitchell Eley Gould
  • Ansty Plum, Wiltshire, by Coppin Dockray
  • Gloucester Services, by Glenn Howells Architects
  • Outhouse, Gloucestershire by Loyn & Co.
  • Blackrock Quarry Training Centre, nr Bristol, by Haverstock
  • Sand Dunes, Cornwall, by Arco2 Architecture Ltd

Category Awards
RIBA South West Building of the Year (sponsored by Marley Eternit)
Outhouse, Gloucestershire by Loyn & Co.

RIBA South West Project Architect of the Year (sponsored by Tarmac)
Andy Theobald, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (for Plymouth School of Creative Arts)

RIBA South West Client of the Year
Westmorland for Gloucester Services

RIBA South West Sustainability Award (sponsored by Sika)
Gloucester Services, by Glenn Howells Architects

RIBA South West Small Project of the Year
Ansty Plum, Wiltshire, by Coppin Dockray


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