Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024

Britain's most beautiful new building scoops prestigious gong

Is this really Britain’s most beautiful new building? 15-storey apartment block with ‘rippling stack of balconies’ scoops prestigious architecture gong – and will now represent the UK on the international stage

  • The Bayside development in Worthing winner of richest prize in UK architecture

A modern seaside development featuring a spectacular 15-storey apartment block has been named Britain’s most beautiful new building.

The Bayside development in Worthing, West Sussex was unveiled as the winner of the richest prize in UK architecture at a glittering ceremony in London tonight (Nov 10).

The mixed tenure housing development of more than 140 homes comprises a 170ft seafront tower alongside a six-storey garden square and a beachside café.

The tower, which sits next to the historic resort’s esplanade and beach, is said to be ‘animated by a gently rippling stack of balconies’.

The mixed tenure housing development of more than 140 homes comprises a 170ft seafront tower

The development was named overall winner at the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust’s prestigious Building Beauty Awards held at the Sea Containers House amphitheatre

Judges said the full glory of the development could be appreciated when viewed from the town’s historic pier which stands half a mile away

The tower, which sits next to the historic resort’s esplanade and beach, is said to be ‘animated by a gently rippling stack of balconies’

It will now represent the UK in the race for the International Building Beauty Prize at the 2023 World Architecture Festival in Singapore which is held later this month

It is said to complement nearby Regency properties and brought new life and a touch of glamour to a part of the town where a swimming pool which had fallen into disrepair had formerly stood.

Judges said the full glory of the development could be appreciated when viewed from the town’s historic pier which stands half a mile away.

The development was named overall winner at the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust’s prestigious Building Beauty Awards held at the Sea Containers House amphitheatre.

Bayside, which was designed by Allies and Morrison for Roffey Homes, saw off competition from a new housing and commercial development at One Silk Street in Manchester and Barking Riverside Station in east London to also win the Building Award category at the event.

It will now represent the UK in the race for the International Building Beauty Prize at the 2023 World Architecture Festival in Singapore which is held later this month.

The judging panel, led by the trust’s chairman Stephen Bayley, said of the overall winner: ‘This is an impressive exercise in using local references to create an original and powerful landmark – a worthy replacement for the depressing 1960s swimming pool that previously occupied the site and which, ironically, turned its back on the sea.

‘It sits literally beachside and forms an exclamation mark that balances the horizontal mass of the pier.

The public space category was won by Elephant Park in south London’s Elephant and Castle

The new park has helped transform an area which had previously been the site of a notorious crime-ridden estate

The park is a sequence of landscaped spaces conceived as part of the regeneration of the old Heygate Estate

‘At the same time, it bookends the seafront terraces of Regency Worthing, harmonising with their white stucco while steering clear of weak historicism.

‘Seen from the distant pier, it announces itself as a destination – not aggressively, but as a complement to the historic town.’

The development, which received a £12,000 cash prize, was one of nine projects shortlisted at the awards which celebrate buildings, engineering projects and urban landscaping schemes that add beauty to Britain’s environment.

The engineering category was won by Woolbeding Glasshouse in Midhurst, West Sussex – a spectacular 10-sided subtropical greenhouse inspired by Victorian ornamental terrariums

The judges described the structure as ‘a muscular piece of equipment that performs a delicate task with delicacy’

Designed by Heatherwick Studio and set in landscaped gardens, the structure features ten steel ’sepals’ which open out slowly ‘like the petals of a plant’

Booker Prize-winning author Sir Ben Okri, who presented winners with their awards said: ‘The Building Beauty Awards has scored another triumph in choosing buildings, structures and schemes that bring hope and give delight.

‘They contribute to the regeneration of their surroundings and gift us visions of creative courage, a quality much needed in our times. ‘They remind us that we always have a choice between the indifferent and the beautiful, and that beauty in architecture enhances freedom.’

During the ceremony in the completion sponsored by developer Ballymore, awards were also handed out in three other categories – engineering, public space and ‘Little Gem’.

The engineering category was won by Woolbeding Glasshouse in Midhurst, West Sussex – a spectacular 10-sided subtropical greenhouse inspired by Victorian ornamental terrariums.

Designed by Heatherwick Studio and set in landscaped gardens, the structure features ten steel ’sepals’ which open out slowly ‘like the petals of a plant in response to light’ using a hydraulic system.

The Little Gem category went to a new sculptural pavilion at the Plas Glyn-y-Weddw Arts Centre in Wales

It was designed by Sanderson Sculpture, Mark Wray Architects and Fold for Plas Glyn-y-Weddw

This spectacular sculptural addition to Wales’s oldest art gallery in Llanbedrog, Gwynedd

The judges said: ‘Fully open, they resemble the rays of a crown when seen from the ground, or a lotus flower when seen from above.’

The judges described the structure as ‘a muscular piece of equipment that performs a delicate task with delicacy’.

The glasshouse came out as winner ahead of the Cody Dock Rolling Bridge – an ingenious new 12-tonne footbridge in an industrial area on the banks of the River Lea in east London.

The public space category was won by Elephant Park in south London’s Elephant and Castle which beat off a site at the nearby rejuvenated Battersea Power Station.

The new park has helped transform an area which had previously been the site of a notorious crime-ridden estate.

The park is a sequence of landscaped spaces conceived as part of the regeneration of the old Heygate Estate which now includes one of the largest post-war parks in central London as well as a transformed streetscape along a major traffic artery.

The judges said: ‘This is a project that brings genuine, lasting improvements to the public realm in a neighbourhood that has come close in the recent past to being an urban dystopia, blighted by gargantuan post-war developments that became more and more oppressive as they fell into decay.

‘This subtle network of green spaces has a redemptive, softening quality, that knits together a renewed townscape and holds out the promise of a more civilised future.’

The Little Gem category went to a new sculptural pavilion at the Plas Glyn-y-Weddw Arts Centre in Wales designed by Sanderson Sculpture, Mark Wray Architects and Fold for Plas Glyn-y-Weddw.

This spectacular sculptural addition to Wales’s oldest art gallery in Llanbedrog, Gwynedd, comprises marine-grade structural glazing, wrapped in an envelope textured with nearly 90,000 handcrafted stainless-steel barnacles.

The judges commented: ‘Inspired by the globular form of sea urchins, covered in welded encrustations and with a touch of Oriental exoticism to the interior, it has enough chutzpah and romantic appeal to become a destination in its own right.

‘Certainly, it is more likely to raise a smile than the politely conventional conservatory it replaced.’

Angel Yard, an area of affordable workspaces in Edmonton, north London, was nominated in the category.

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