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Locksbrook RIBA Award – Bath Spa University

Locksbrook campus receives RIBA architecture award

Thursday, 9 September, 2021

Bath Spa University's Locksbrook campus has been recognised today in the RIBA National Awards, as part of 54 winners of the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects awards.

Other award winners include a steel water tower in Norfolk, and a cancer care centre in Cardiff, Wales.

The RIBA Awards have been postponed a few times due to COVID-19, as the judging includes a series of visits at different stages as buildings are considered for first Regional, then National, Awards. Luckily these visits were able to take place over the summer.

A number of the buildings awarded in the competition have restored and adapted existing buildings. Bath Spa University’s Locksbrook campus was originally Farrell/Grimshaw partnership’s factory for Herman Miller.

Originally completed in 1976, it has been repurposed to house the Schools of Art and Design. The building sits within the World Heritage Site of Bath and was listed grade 2 in 2013.

The building is described as follows in the award announcement; “In 1976 Grimshaw designed a single storey shed, a factory for furniture makers Hermann Miller on an unlikely bucolic riverside site in Bath.

“Much admired at the time for its hi-tech architectural language, it was subsequently listed grade 2, unusual for the work of a living architect. Then, in 2016, Bath Spa University approached Grimshaw to transform this former industrial building into its Schools of Art and Design.

“Dramatically improving the building's energy performance involved carefully detaching, upgrading and reinstalling the buff coloured external cladding panels, and replacing the original single glazing with high performance triple glazed units.”

A shortlist for RIBA's Stirling Prize – awarded to the best building in the UK – will be announced on 16 September.

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