The destination’s iconic Southwater One building, which sits at the heart of the outstanding £250million Southwater development led by Telford & Wrekin Council, has scooped three gold prizes at the 2015 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Regional Awards, held in Digbeth, Birmingham, earlier this month.
Sarah Bird, Business Tourism Manager for Meet Telford & Shropshire, the official convention bureau for the region, said: “Design and innovation is in our destination’s DNA and to be recognised by RIBA for the quality of our developments is a major success. Southwater and the emerging Convention Quarter is a 10 year ambition realised, and has quite literally transformed the very fabric of our destination.
“Telford and Shropshire is an outstanding place to meet, visit, invest and live in, and thanks to major investment and a commitment to quality for our customers and visitors, we are now competing with the UK’s top city locations as a true destination of choice.”
Telford’s iconic, gold-clad Southwater One building was one of five winners announced as part of the Excellence in Architecture Award. Telford & Wrekin Council, who commissioned the project, won the Client of the Year Award, and architect Rupert Walshe – of Associated Architects – triumphed in the Project Architect of the Year category.
Kate Callis, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Assistant Director for Development, Business and Employment, added: “This is fantastic news for us and something everyone in Telford can be truly proud of. Southwater has been incredibly well received since it opened and we feel we really have changed both the appearance and atmosphere of our town centre as a result.”
Phil Howl, RIBA West Midlands Jury Chair, said: “The 2015 jury had a fascinating and varied collection of buildings to visit.
“Many were commissioned at the depth of the recession in what must have been demanding circumstances and doubtless with challenging budgets. It was therefore very rewarding to see how the architects had worked creatively with their clients to extract the great potential from their budgets to produce such well crafted and thoughtful buildings.
“Several of the buildings, including Southwater One, had become catalysts for regeneration of an area, demonstrating the wider value that great architecture can achieve.” The RIBA awards are further recognition of Telford’s ever increasing popularity as a leading business capital. From its origins as the heart of the Industrial revolution, it has become a major innovation and investment destination. Home to over 150 international companies, and a centre of excellence for automotive, food and drink and advanced engineering sectors, Telford has become a leading events centre welcoming over 5,000 events per annum and over 1.5million visitors – figures which are set to grow even more thanks to the success of the Southwater Development.