We're delighted to announce the RICS Project of the Year 2019, North West – the University of Manchester's Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) - along with the winners of the RICS Awards 2019, North West.
A wide range of the region's top, community beneficial property projects – of all sizes and budgets - battled it out for top honours at the annual RICS Awards, North West which were supported by headline sponsor, Sika and held at at the Principal Hotel in Manchester.
The highly acclaimed 'Project of the Year' title is presented to the scheme which demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area.
The GEIC – delivered by Arcadis, Laing O'Rourke Construction and Raphael Viñoly Architects - is the first new building in 40 years on the University of Manchester's North Campus and will act as a regeneration catalyst to promote the area as a future "Graphene City", with a predicted economic impact of over £100million, over the facility's lifetime.
RICS judges said the project team's modular construction approach to the GEIC has delivered maximum flexibility and enhanced the overall building usability, whilst ensuring minimal reliance on energy for heating, cooling, lighting, and natural ventilation.
The £34m refurbishment of Hanover, a distinctive Grade II listed building, which sits at the heart of NOMA, has created 90,000 sq ft of Grade A office space with 30,000 sq ft of retail and leisure to follow.
RICS judges said the project team – Assent Building Control Ltd, NOMA, Russells Construction and Sheppard Robson - have delivered a high-spec scheme that has the real 'wow-factor' and helped to restore an iconic part of the Manchester's cityscape, blending heritage with stunning contemporary design.
Radius Payment Solutions' new £14million headquarters – known as Radius Campus –comprises of 64,000 sq ft Grade A office space, with a real focus on the wellbeing of its team.
The modern, unique offices include an on-site gym, café and relaxation breakout areas with Play Stations, pool and table tennis tables, giving staff the opportunity to relax within a working environment.
RICS judges commended the collaborative effort of the project team – Space Invader Design, Walker Sime and Overbury - for improving the way one of Crewe's largest employers works, recruits and retains staff, and enabled it to grow the business using quality space.
The transformation of an uninviting 1950's warehouse into a welcoming, accessible building for the Mustard Tree charity – which work with those trapped in poverty and homelessness – was praised by RICS Judges for delivering a harmonised space that its user group can utilise and engage with in a safe and non-stigmatised way.
The project team - Armitage Construction, OMI Architects and Pool Dick Associates – delivered a new double height atrium which has transformed the perception of the building as well as connecting all the building's numerous functions together around one central space.
The University of Manchester's Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) harnesses maximum flexibility to create a high specification facility to research the properties and potential future use of the newly discovered material Graphene. The material is expected to benefit industry and consumer products through the use of its unique qualities.
RICS Judges said the future and long-term prospects of the GEIC are significant. It will provide a place for the world's innovators in healthcare, aerospace, technology and hardware - to name but a few – to help shape the future of our communities and industries, by opening up new markets and improving existing technologies or materials.
This housing development is conveniently located just outside of Padiham town centre, in a well-established area of terraced housing that originally served the mill-workers. The newly constructed housing is respectful of the design and layout of the surrounding streets without being a pastiche of them. The layout is intended to foster and enhance both community and neighbourliness.
RICS judges were impressed by the strong partnership between the project team - Ainsley Gommon Architects, Calico and Pool Dick Associates - the community and council, enabling quality housing on a former derelict mill site. They were particularly impressed with the attention to detail, the blend with existing heritage and the reopening of the river previously concealed for decades beneath the mill building.
The first phase of a successful masterplan to regenerate and remodel a cluster of Victorian properties in Toxteth, Liverpool, has transformed 400 derelict Victorian terraces – The Welsh Streets - and restored them to their former glory.
RICS Judges said the quality rental homes, of various tenures, appeal to families large and small and commended the project team – Placefirst and MCAU Architects – for significantly improving the energy efficiency of the homes by over 60 percent, whilst the traditional rear yards and nearby alleys have been radically transformed into a high quality, landscaped areas.
The project to replace a tired and declining visitor's centre at Birdoswald Roman Fort with a new modern facility, to increase visitor numbers has proved a resounding success, having already seen a significant increase in users, particularly with schools and other interest groups.
RICS Judges said the project – led by English Heritage, with RNJ Partnership, MawsonKerr Architects and Heritage Building and Conservation – is modern and exemplary, noting it will act as a template for other English Heritage sites throughout the country, with an interactive museum and retail and food and beverage offering for the public.