TWI wins RIBA Awards


TWI is pleased to have been awarded two The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) awards for the architectural design of its three new buildings at Granta Park near Cambridge.

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The first award, the RIBA East Award 2017, was a regional prize which then allowed TWI to be put forward for the national competition. Having been recognised for the work carried out for the organisation by Eric Parry Architects, TWI was represented at the regional awards by Operations Director Mike Russell who was on hand to pick up the honour at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

The design work was carried out for TWI by Eric Parry Architects in 2012 with funding from government’s regional development programme, with particular attention being paid to settling the new buildings into the meadowland of the Abington Hall site. The awards were given in recognition of the way in which the site design ties together the original TWI building with the newer accommodation and the setting of Granta Park itself.

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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