The facility is part of Project Auckland. Credit: Nick Kane

Bishop Auckland project wins national RIBA award

The Auckland Castle, Tower and Faith Museum, by Niall McLaughlin Architects and Purcell, will now be considered for the Stirling Prize recognising the UK’s best new building.

In May, the Bishop Auckland project was named as the North East’s building of the year in the regional RIBA awards, the design partnership being recognised for a series of urban and historic interventions centred on the restoration of a 900-year-old grade one-listed castle.

The scheme has now been recognised as one of 26 national RIBA winners for 2024.

The project sits within Project Auckland, the regeneration plan led by investment magnate and philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer, a scheme that has spent upward of £200m to projects in the town. The faith museum was supported with a £12.4m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other funders including the Jerusalem Trust.

RIBA’s awards programme, which has been presented since 1966, recognises the UK’s best new architecture and provide insight into the country’s design and social trends.

The 2024 RIBA Awards group chair Simon Henley said: “We’re delighted to award these 26 projects across the UK and recognise their exceptional quality and the hard work of teams behind them.

“From projects engaged with technology, community, visual arts to hands-on making, these national winners reflect the breadth of contemporary practice and how architecture itself is an inclusive medium that addresses many of society’s challenges.”

Other 2024 winners include the masterplanning of Kings Cross in London, the new Elizabeth Line – with the Paddington station separately recognised – and phase two of Battersea Power Station’s reinvention. Phase two of the retrofit of Sheffield’s listed Brutalist estate Park Hill, designed by Mikhail Riches for Urban Splash, was another Northern winner.

RIBA president Muyiwa Oki said: “The sheer breadth of work is quite astounding, with large infrastructure schemes sitting alongside high-quality detailed smaller projects. This is a testament to the standard of architecture in the UK right now, as we maintain a sense of ambition and consider how design must evolve to meet future needs.”

The shortlist for the Stirling Prize is due to be announced on 31 July, with the winner being named this autumn.

The project benefitted from Lottery funding. Credit: House of Hues

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