Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya building named one of the UK’s best new buildings in RIBA 2021 National Awards

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (Thursday 9 September) announced the 54 winners of the 2021 RIBA National Awards for architecture, which includes the Professor Lord Bhattacharyya building, home to NAIC (National Automotive Innovation Centre) at WMG, University of Warwick.

The awards, which have been presented since 1966, recognise the UK’s best new buildings and provide an insight into the UK’s design and economic trends. This year’s projects showcase the extraordinary breadth and brilliance of UK architecture today.

The Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya building, home to NAIC, has scooped up the National Royal Institute of British Architects award.

The NAIC is a partnership between WMG , University of Warwick, Jaguar Land Rover, and Tata Motors, and is the largest of its kind in Europe and is well timed, arriving when a global mobility revolution is underway, with a new age for transport mobility.

A beacon for automotive research it brings together the brightest minds from industry and academia, to develop future vehicles and mobility solutions. It is home to up to 1,000 staff working across design, engineering and research, as well as future engineers on degree programmes.

Designed by Cullinan Studios the brief for the Centre was for simplicity and strength of purpose, turning a complex assembly of spaces into an immediately legible building.

The NAIC is a £150m investment between WMG, Jaguar Land Rover, and Tata Motors with £29.5m funding from the UK government’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund through Research England, which includes the development of an Advanced Propulsion Research Laboratory.

Margot James, Executive Chair of WMG, University of Warwick comments: "I’m thrilled that the Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya Building has been recognised in this way, to win a National RIBA award is a great tribute to the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya’s vision. My warmest congratulations to Cullinan Studios who worked with our team to design a building that will inspire designers, engineers and academics to develop the next generation of transport. The Midlands is the centre of automotive in the UK, and the National Automotive Innovation Centre will be the driving force behind future innovation in mobility here in the Midlands."

James Breckon, Director of Estates, at the University of Warwick, comments: "It is great to see this new building being recognised and is testament to the wealth of architectural and engineering talent that was brought together to deliver this exemplary sustainable building. It brilliantly draws Industry and Academia together providing an inspirational environment to innovative within. As a landmark building it has transformed the campus at the University of Warwick and is a fitting legacy to the late Prof Lord Bhattacharyya."

Speaking today, RIBA President Simon Allford said:

"Ranging from radical, cutting-edge new designs to clever, creative restorations that breathe new life into historic buildings, these projects illustrate the enduring importance and impact of British architecture.

"There are a good number of well-designed school and university buildings that are powerful investments in the future, and I am sure they will inspire young people, their teachers and communities. I am also thrilled to see many of these make creative use of existing structures. Well-designed education facilities should be the rule rather than the exception - every child deserves an effective learning environment, and these projects provide rich inspiration.

"Looking ahead, as we design the low carbon future, we must start by exploring the retention and reuse of existing buildings. And when a new building is essential, we need to make sure it will last and serve the future well - so it needs to be flexible and reusable. Long life; loose fit; low energy architecture is the present and the future. It is therefore very encouraging to see restoration and sensitive adaptation feature so prominently this year; with many buildings acknowledging their history, the needs of the present and the potential of their dynamic future."

ENDS

9 SEPTEMBER 2021


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