The Remembrance Centre at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) scooped the top ‘UK Project of the Year’ title at this year’s industry leading RICS Awards Grand Final, making it the second year in a row that a West Midlands built project has won the prestigious accolade.


Last year, Birmingham New Street & Grand Central was awarded the title. This year the Remembrance Centre stole the RICS Judges’ hearts in front of over 400 guests at a black-tie ceremony hosted by BBC Breakfast News and Sport Anchor, Dan Walker on 2 November at the Intercontinental London, Park Lane Hotel.

Over 95 regional winners competed against each other for the chance to be crowned the overall UK winner in their respective category, and the opportunity to scoop the coveted national Project of the Year title at this year's Grand Final.

Project of the Year

The £15.7m Remembrance Centre - delivered by Edmond Shipway, Glenn Howells Architects and Stepnell – won two category awards at the RICS Awards, West Midlands (Community Benefit and Tourism & Leisure) held at Warwickshire County Cricket Ground, before winning the UK Project of the Year accolade at this year’s RICS Awards Grand Final, for demonstrating outstanding best practice and significant benefit to its local area and wider economy.

The NMA is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance. Starting in 1997 with the initial tree being planted, the NMA is often seen as a spiritually uplifting place, which honours the fallen and recognises service and sacrifice.

The latest addition to the arboretum – the Remembrance Centre – was described by RICS judges as a unique building that not only enhances the visitor journey, thanks to its interactive activities, and exceptional galleries and exhibitions, but is also of beautiful and sustainable, detailed construction.

In a year that has seen the centenary of Passchendaele and the passing of our last Spitfire pilot and chartered surveyor, Ken Wilkinson, it is indeed fitting that our winner celebrates and remembers our fallen heroes in such an innovative and commercially successful setting.
What started as an idea of Commander David Childs CBE, with no money, land or trees has become a living tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The latest addition of the Remembrance Centre, whilst deceptively simple, succeeds in meeting diverse and complex requirements. It engages both with its environment and its visitors, as a place of welcome and orientation leading to the new Heroes’ Square and onto the Arboretum itself. The team have really encapsulated the NMA’s vision, as an arboretum of joy where the lives of people are remembered by living trees that grow and mature.

The eight national category winners of the 2017 RICS Awards Grand Final are:

  • Building Conservation - Glynde Place, Glynde (South East)
  • Commercial - One Central Square, Cardiff (Wales)
  • Community Benefit - The Word, South Shields (North East)
  • Design through Innovation - British Airways I-360, Brighton (South East)
  • Infrastructure - Wemyss Bay Pier Walkway, Wemyss Bay (Scotland)
  • Regeneration – New Waverley, Edinburgh (Scotland)
  • Residential - Clementhorpe Maltings, York (Yorkshire & Humber)
  •  Tourism & Leisure - Remembrance Centre at the National Memorial Arboretum (West Midlands)

Judging the Grand Final projects is always difficult for our judges as every built initiative is a regional winner in their own right, so they are of an exceptional calibre, and each year we are overwhelmed with the innovation and attention to detail that the teams behind these projects have achieved.

This year’s Grand Final winners are truly remarkable and are all positively contributing to their local communities and actively enhancing the way we live, work and play across the UK.

Enter the RICS Awards 2018

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Feeling inspired?

2018 marks the 150th anniversary of RICS. To celebrate this milestone, we're launching our Pride in the Profession initiative to showcase the significant and positive impact surveyors have made to society.

We've already dug into the archives to find some exceptional examples. By promoting these incredible people and projects we want to demonstrate how varied and rewarding a surveying career can be.

To make it happen, we need you to nominate the people and projects you admire most.

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