We're delighted to announce our Project of the Year — Alder Hey Children’s Hospital — and the other eight category winners for the RICS Awards, North West 2016.

40 of the North West’s most inspiring property schemes battled it out for top honours at the 2016 RICS Awards, North West. Martin Roberts, 'Homes under the Hammer' presenter and property expert, was the host for this year’s ceremony, held at The Titanic, Liverpool, attracting close to 400 guests.

Project of the Year — Alder Hey Children’s Hospital


Situated in the heart of Springfield Park, nature is at the heart of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Plenty of glazing throughout brings the outdoors inside, with views of the gardens and park. Delivered by Building Design Partnership (BDP) and Laing O’Rourke Construction, the striking design, modern interior, colourful artwork and interactive play areas on and outside of the wards are inspired by children.

The patient journey has been hailed as calm and sensory with thoughtful uncomplicated wayfinding to the wards, whilst many green features — photovoltaic panels and ground source heating pumps — have been implemented to advance the hospital’s energy efficiency and lower operational costs.

Winners, and highly commended entries, from the eight other categories are:

Building Conservation (sponsored by Historic England)

The Whitworth, Manchester

The Whitworth has undergone a significant transformation into a 21st century gallery. The £15 million works involved sensitively refurbishing the 125 year-old gallery and creating an elegant glass extension, with two wings extending into Whitworth Park, which form an art garden and connect a beautiful café amongst the trees. Our judges commended the project team — Appleyard and Trew, MUMA Architects and ISG plc — for demonstrating excellence in combining constructive conservation with innovative techniques to future-proof this important building.

  • Highly commended: The Lakes Distillery, Cumbria

Commercial Property (sponsored by Forbo Flooring Systems)

Tower Wharf, Birkenhead

This high-quality 48,000 sq ft office development, built on a former derelict land site has added much needed Grade A office accommodation to the Wirral Enterprise Zone and brought around 400 jobs to the area. Judges praised the project team — Longmeadow Estates Ltd, Eric Wright Construction and Falcolner Chester Hall — for kick-starting the Wirral Waters Regeneration Project with such an exemplary building, whose design echoes the shipping heritage of the area.

  • Highly commended: The Space Project, Manchester

Community Benefit (sponsored by CRS Demolition)

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool

“If we’ve seen it before, it’s not for us” was the challenge set by the Trust’s design vision, which emphasised the need for a truly magical place for children of all ages. Alder Hey is bright, playful and full of life with interactive play areas and comfortable en-suite facilities in most of the 270 bedrooms. Clever use of glazing and daylight throughout allows for patients to experience the outdoors, which is fundamental to improving their recovery.

Design through Innovation (sponsored by Sika Liquid Plastics)

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool

Alder Hey has challenged the preconceived idea of what a children’s hospital should look like. The building is not only highly sustainable; the environment is fun, vibrant and engaging, and this encourages a sense of wellbeing and reassurance for patients and their families. The thoughtful use of daylight, colour and integrated artwork is key to achieving this and has created a hospital designed as if through children’s eyes.

  • Highly commended: Lancaster University’s Engineering Building, Lancaster

Infrastructure (sponsored by Metronet UK)

Redevelopment of Manchester Victoria Station, Manchester

Delivered by Network Rail, Morgan Sindall and BDP Architects, the £44 million works involved implementing a new £20 million steel roof, expanding the Metrolink tram interchange and implementing a Mezzanine link to Manchester Arena. Judges said the project has enhanced the overall ambience and functionality of the station while retaining its Grade II listed buildings. Judges also praised the project team for keeping the station operational during the comprehensive three-year works.

  • Highly commended: Farnworth Tunnel, Farnworth


DIY SOS Veterans Village, Manchester

This comprehensive project involved restoring and refurbishing two streets of empty and dilapidated properties on Newton Heath. We commended the project team, which involved multiple local contractors and tradesmen — who volunteered their time and materials at an estimated worth of £2 million — to create 62 quality homes designed to suit the needs of veterans, including those with disabilities.

  • Highly commended: Port Sunlight River Park, Bromborough

Residential Property

Bluebell Park Extra Care Development, Huyton

Knowsley Housing Trust has delivered over 100 contemporary new homes for affordable rent and 21 apartments for shared ownership. The development for the over 55s — designed by PRP Architects — also includes a small household of seven apartments specifically designed for dementia sufferers. Our judges were impressed with the attention to detail in each of the homes and the strong sense of community, thanks to a range of on-site facilities. These include a quality restaurant, hairdressing salon and landscaped outdoor spaces incorporating a bowling green.

Tourism & Leisure

HOME at First Street, Manchester

The new £25 million centre for international contemporary visual art, theatre and film 'HOME'  was delivered by Wates Construction, Mecanoo and AECOM. The complex is the largest multi-art form centre outside London and boasts a 500-seat theatre, flexible studio space, quality art gallery and five cinema screens. Digital production and broadcast facilities are also available, as well as various restaurants. Judges praised the complex for creating a stunning destination for cultural performances and a hub for every day local activity.

  • Highly commended: The Lakes Distillery, Cumbria

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