The Hepworth Wakefield © Iwan Baan

Public arts buildings sweep RIBA awards

Patrick Steel, 25.06.2012
Hepworth Wakefield and Turner Contemporary among museums awarded prize for architectural excellence
Museums and galleries featured heavily in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Awards for architectural excellence, announced last week. Of 50 buildings around the UK, six museums and galleries received a regional award.

Winners in Scotland included the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, designed by Gareth Hoskins Architects, and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, designed by Page/Park Architects; in Yorkshire The Hepworth Wakefield, designed by David Chipperfield Architects;

in the South West and Wessex, The Holburne Museum, Bath, designed by Eric Parry Architects; in the South East the Turner Contemporary, Kent, designed by David Chipperfield Architects; and in London the White Cube, designed by Casper Mueller Kneer Architects.

A prize was also awarded to the redesigned Exhibition Road, by Dixon Jones.

Announcing the awards, a RIBA spokeswoman said: “The dominant theme amongst this year’s winners are major public arts buildings; many are the result of pre-recession arts lottery funding which has a typically long gestation period. The beautifully finished projects include Bath’s Holburne Museum (Eric Parry Architects) and the Hepworth Wakefield (David Chipperfield Architects).

“Refreshingly, the vast majority of the 2012 RIBA Awards winners are in regional towns, with awards across all genre types. Two of the UK’s best-loved seaside towns have received surprising new additions to their coastline and, in the case of the Turner Contemporary at Margate, been hailed as a boost to the town’s economy.”