RIBA made special note of the multi-coloured terracotta ‘baguette’ tiles which clad the outside of all three new structures and bring an identity while offering a coherent feel to unify the buildings. As Parry explained, “It struck me that using them would allow us to create a form of camouflage. The varying colours could create an ambiguity of depth, going from something dense and grounded at the bottom to something lighter and more aerial at the top – getting lighter and thinning out, like staring into a birch forest.” With a palette that brings the three buildings together, yet offers each of them its own identity, the cladding is just one aspect of the architecture that stood out.
RIBA also noted how the varying roof heights of the buildings creates profiles which act as foils to one-another, while banked grassy areas around the buildings allow them to settle and blend into the landscape.
However, the regional award is just the first step in the recognition paid by RIBA to the work of Eric Parry Architects, SDC Contractors, and TWI’s operations team. Having won on a regional level, TWI was pleased to also win RIBA’s national award, with a ceremony to be held at the Serpentine Pavilion in London this month.
TWI is one of 49 winners at national level for best new buildings, and will now join the shortlist for the highly coveted RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best building of the year.
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