South Shields library wins top design award

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South Shields library The Word has scooped a national design award.

The building designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects is one of 49 across the country to have won a 2017 RIBA National Award.

It will now be considered for the shortlist for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize, for the UK’s best building of the year.

Coun John Anglin, lead member for regeneration and economy at South Tyneside Council, said: “We’re delighted that The Word has received yet another prestigious accolade and been recognised as among the top three buildings in the country.

“We said from day one that The Word would be a venue of regional and national significance, and now a respected professional body has acknowledged exactly that.

“This award commends not just the superb design quality of the building, but the benefit to the community and its importance in the context of the wider South Shields 365 masterplan.”

The Word was officially opened by Sir Ridley Scott, last year, and offers a celebration of the written word through a rolling programme of exhibitions, events and workshops.

The accolade is the latest in a line of awards won by the building based within South Shields Market Place.

Earlier this year, it scooped four awards at the 2017 RICS Award, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

It took the Project of the Year title, as well as Community Benefit, Design through Innovation and Tourism and Leisure accolades.

RIBA North East awards Jury chair Paul Rigby said: “This year the North East region had a large number of significant and high quality projects on its award shortlist.

“Three of the shortlisted projects stood out to for the judges as having national significance.

“Each of the selected projects have strong narrative that responds uniquely to each of the special contexts, but all deliver beyond the client aspiration to realise maximum benefit for people, compositional quality and a superb level of overall design integrity.”

Two other North East projects to also scoop awards were: Live Works, Newcastle upon Tyne by Flanagan Lawrence and Shawm house, Northumberland by MawsonKerr Architects.

Awards by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) are regarded nationally as a mark of excellence in the field of architecture, architects, research and students.