National award for £13million Hebburn Central as new-build wins huge praise

Hebburn Central has been announced as a winner in the2016 RIBA National Awards.

Hebburn Central has been announced as a winner in the2016 RIBA National Awards.

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A South Tyneside leisure facility has won a national award for new buildings.

Hebburn Central, which opened its doors last year and was built at a cost of £13million, has been announced as a winner in the 2016 RIBA National Awards, which recognises new buildings in the UK.

The award winners are described as setting the standard for good architecture, and Hebburn Central will now be one of 46 buildings in the running for the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best building of the year.

The library and community sports facility, on Glen Street, is a two-storey building which includes a six-lane swimming pool, a learner pool with bubble pools, sauna and steam room, library, learning centre and cafe, as well as meeting rooms, a customer service centre and an outdoor games area.

Grace Choi, RIBA North East regional awards jury chair, said: “This project is exemplary in its boldness, uses unconventional materials and has created a new identity for the area in which it is built.

"There is no doubt Hebburn Central will enrich the lives of the community and boost confidence to continue with the wider regeneration project.”

RIBA president Jane Duncan said: “The RIBA National Awards are a great indicator of UK design, economic and construction trends.

“One stand-out trend from this year’s crop of winners is the huge scale of investment and ambition shown by many of the UK’s universities and colleges; almost one quarter of the winning projects (11 buildings) are in this category.

"As universities and colleges in the UK are competing for students from here and overseas, it is encouraging to see so much emphasis placed on the power of architecture to help institutions to attract students and stand out from the mediocre.

“The RIBA National Awards put a spotlight on some of the smaller and unique, but no less ambitious, projects such as the Drawing Studio at Bournemouth University, Gloucester Services or the conservation and re-invigoration of Wilton’s Music Hall.

"They show that budget, location or many other challenges are no constraints to the production of superb quality architecture as long as you have the commitment of an imaginative and capable architect working with a great client.

"These 46 buildings are what the best architecture looks like today.”