National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture

National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture Shortlist, Welsh Architectural Award, Building Contest

National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture

Welsh Architectural Prize 2016 Winner News + shortlist of seven building projects

5 Aug 2017

National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture 2017 Winner

Ysgol Bae Baglan Port Talbot School Building | www.e-architect.co.uk
photo © James Morris

5 Aug 2017

National Eisteddfod of Wales Architecture Scholarship 2017 Winner

10 Jul 2017

National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture 2017

31 Jul 2016

National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture 2016 Winner

National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture Winner in 2016

Llandegfedd Visitor and Watersports centre near Pontypool designed by Hall + Bednarczyk

Gold Medal for Architecture awarded to designers behind south Wales reservoir and visitor centre

Saturday 30th of July 2016 – A visitor and watersports centre on the banks of one of south Wales’ largest reservoirs, has won its architects the prestigious Gold Medal for Architecture at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

Llandegfedd Visitor and Watersports centre building Wales

Photos: James Morris

Llandegfedd Visitor and Watersports centre near Pontypool was among a strong short list of seven building projects across Wales to be awarded the Gold Medal, which is supported by the Design Commission for Wales and awarded in association with the Royal Society of Architects in Wales.

The 550m2 visitor centre and the 320m2 watersports centre have transformed public access to and enjoyment of this Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water reservoir site – its largest body of water in close proximity to the population centres of south Wales.

The visitor centre, which houses a café and display area, has an asymmetrically curved zinc clad roof that appears to float over the first floor café, mirroring the hills that enclose the reservoir. The café itself opens on to a cantilevered balcony that provides panoramic views across the water.

The watersports centre is clad in cedar, intended to weather to a silver finish complementing the setting. However, detailing in the gables and eaves means that the timber building is crisp rather than rustic in its appearance.

The winning design, by Chepstow based Hall + Bednarczyk, was revealed at the National Eisteddfod today (30 July), and comes hot on the heels of the project winning a 2016 RIBA Wales award for Building of the Year.

Llandegfedd Visitor and Watersports centre

Hall + Bednarczyk has attracted attention in previous years at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, having twice been awarded the Plaque of Merit – an award given to smaller projects of a value of up to £750,000 – in 2015 and in 2012.

All seven shortlisted projects for the Gold Medal will be included in the Architecture in Wales exhibition at the Monmouthshire and District National Eisteddfod of Wales in Abergavenny from 29 July – 6 August.

Selector and architect, Alan Francis, said of the winning design: “Of all the projects we visited, this was the most fully resolved architecturally from the initial idea of sitting two buildings on the shore of the reservoir through to the high standard of construction that was achieved.

Llandegfedd Visitor and Watersports centre building Pontypool

“These exceptional buildings have settled into their surroundings and prove themselves in use. We expect them to remain fine works of architecture throughout their working life, and to be recognised as such by future generations.”

Also revealed at the National Eisteddfod was the winner of this year’s Architecture Scholarship of £1,500, also supported by the Design Commission for Wales. The scholarship went to 21-year old Efa Lois Thomas from Aberystwyth, who is currently a student at the Liverpool School of Architecture at the University of Liverpool.

Carole-Anne Davies, chief executive of the Design Commission for Wales, said: “There was a healthy mix of very good projects in the shortlist this year, many of which were commissioned with public sector clients or partnerships. Achieving very high quality across a range like this is an important indicator of the recognition of the long-term value that can be captured through really good design.

“We are particularly pleased this year to see Wales’ own non-profit utility company put their faith in home-grown talent by commissioning a Wales based design practice and follow through by protecting construction quality. The public access and enjoyment of these facilities at the reservoir is enhanced immeasurably as a result of the shared vision of the client and design team.

“Nurturing talent is a priority for the Commission and we’re doubly pleased to see the Architecture Scholarship 2016 being awarded to Efa Lois Thomas. We need a more diverse industry too and it’s entirely fitting that we’re able to play a small part in developing the potential of a talented young woman. We very much hope to see Efa play her part in strengthening the future of design talent in this country.

“Wales is increasingly making a name for itself in terms of design quality. Together with the projects highlighted through the Gold Medal for Architecture, We’re delighted that Penarth based Loyn & Co Architects have are included in this year’s extremely competitive RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist.”

31 Jul 2016

National Eisteddfod of Wales Architecture Scholarship 2016 Winner

National Eisteddfod of Wales Architecture Scholarship Winner in 2016

Architecture student from mid Wales is awarded national scholarship

Saturday 30th of July 2016 – An architect student from mid Wales has won a scholarship for her ambitious design for a centre that would remember Welsh emigrants who set sail for Patagonia.

Architecture student, Efa Lois Thomas

Architecture student, Efa Lois Thomas, from Aberystwyth, beat eight other competitors to win the National Eisteddfod of Wales Architecture Scholarship of £1,500, which is supported by the Design Commission for Wales.

The scholarship, which was open to under 25 year olds from Wales or with a Welsh link, aims to give the most promising young architect an opportunity to further their understanding of creative architecture.

She was awarded the scholarship for her concept of creating a Welsh Cultural Centre within a new building on Maryland Street, Liverpool. Her design incorporated patterns in the building’s façade inspired by traditional Welsh blankets, including those from quilts that were carried by Welsh emigrants who sailed to Patagonia from Liverpool in 1865.

Efa Lois Thomas said: “Getting the phone call telling me I was being awarded the scholarship was a complete shock as I really didn’t expect it.

“I am passionate about Welsh history and myth and I often design things that are derived from my own experiences of being Welsh.
“The scholarship will allow me to further my knowledge of architecture and to pursue my next level of training to achieve a Master of Architecture.”

The 21-year-old has just completed her Bachelor of Arts at the Liverpool School of Architecture at the University of Liverpool. She will undertake a placement with architectural company Austin-Smith:Lord, before returning to university.

When fully qualified Efa hopes to put her skills to use in Wales, with ambitions to look at unused buildings and the potential of renovating them.

Scholarship selector, Trevor Skempton, said: “Efa Lois Thomas is young, still an undergraduate, but has tackled the long-standing and sometimes awkward issue of the Welsh diaspora in Liverpool, with her proposal.

“The simple architectural clarity of her vision for a cultural centre, with relevant symbolism, together with an idea for a small exhibition of ceremonial chairs, tucked into the corner of a Georgian square, persuaded us to award her this year’s scholarship.”

Carole-Anne Davies, chief executive of the Design Commission for Wales, added: “Nurturing talent is a priority for the Commission and we’re pleased to see the Architecture Scholarship 2016 being awarded to Efa Lois Thomas.

“As ever, there was a competitive range of proposals submitted for the scholarship, and we are proud to be able to play a small part in developing the potential of this talented young woman. We very much hope to see Efa play her part in strengthening the future of design talent in Wales.”

27 Jul 2016

National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture 2016

National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture in 2016

Former chicken shed in the running for the National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture

An abandoned former chicken shed in Monmouth, south Wales, which has been converted into a stylish holiday home, is just one of the buildings shortlisted for this year’s National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture, supported by the Design Commission for Wales and Royal Society of Architects in Wales.

The Chickenshed, Monmouth:
The Chickenshed, Monmouth
photograph : Michael Sinclair

The 140m2 rundown barn has been transformed by Chepstow-based Hall + Bednarczyk Architects into a contemporary holiday home that sleeps eight people in four double bedrooms. A floor to ceiling glass wall, which runs the length of the one-storey building, floods the living spaces with natural light and provides guests with views over the Black Mountains on the Wales-England border.

The Chickenshed combines a utilitarian, chic interior with an exterior clad in timber and black corrugated sheeting as a sophisticated nod to its humble beginnings, and demonstrates how the building’s agricultural identity has been retained, but translated into something contemporary.

The shortlist of seven building projects, located across Wales, which are in the running for the Gold Medal is being unveiled today (Thursday 30 June) at a reception hosted by the National Eisteddfod of Wales and supported by Design Commission for Wales and Royal Society of Architects in Wales at The Chapel, Abergavenny.

The Gold Medal recognises the importance of architecture in the nation’s culture and to honour architects achieving the highest design standards.

Supported by the Design Commission for Wales, and awarded in association with the Royal Society of Architects in Wales, the Medal recognises architectural excellence in buildings completed between 1 January 2013 and 14 March 2016 and recommended to the Eisteddfod as being of the greatest merit.

National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture 2016 Shortlist

The full shortlist includes:

Burry Port Community Primary School, Carmarthenshire:
Burry Port Community Primary School, Carmarthenshire
photo : Leigh Simpson
A primary school designed to unite the town’s once separate infant and junior schools using innovative Welsh materials. Designed by Hereford-based Architype.

City centre community campus, Cardiff and Vale College, Cardiff:
City centre community campus, Cardiff and Vale College, Cardiff
photo from award organisers
A modern wedge-shaped campus in the heart of the city that aims to engage students and the local community. Designed by BDP Architects throughout the UK and worldwide

Caernarfon Castle Entrance Pavilion, Gwynedd:
Caernarfon Castle Entrance Pavilion, Gwynedd
photo : Andy Marshall
A glass structure to welcome visitors to the castle, as well as improve accessibility and visitor traffic at peak times. Designed by Donald Insall Associates’ Conwy office. (Offices throughout the UK)

Cardigan Castle, Ceredigion:
Cardigan Castle, Ceredigion
photo : Phil Boorman
A multi-discipline project that focussed on restoring aspects of the castle and its amenities. Designed by Purcell with offices throughout the UK and Asia.

Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre, Bangor, north Wales:
Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre, Bangor
photo from award organisers
A contemporary building to bridge the gap between the university’s main arts building and the lower city. Designed by Grimshaw Architects practising in London and worldwide.

Llandegfedd Visitor & Watersports Centre, Pontypool, south Wales:
Llandegfedd Visitor & Watersports Centre, Pontypool
photo : James Morris
A visitor centre and watersports centre to improve public accessibility and experience of the popular reservoir. Designed by Hall + Bednarczyk of Chepstow, Wales.

The Chickenshed, Monmouth:
The Chickenshed, Monmouth
photo : Michael Sinclair

The Chickenshed, Monmouth
photo : Michael Sinclair
A former abandoned poultry barn that was transformed into a versatile holiday home. Designed by Hall + Bednarczyk of Chepstow, Wales.

Gayna Jones, chair of the Design Commission for Wales, said: “The broad range of projects this year is encouraging as is their ingenuity. Learning, heritage and cultural life feature strongly in a range of settings, with the common factor being that each project demonstrates the skill of designers and the transformational impact of very good design. Given the range of setting, scale and disciplines of the projects however, we do not envy the selectors in their task this year.”

The shortlist was drawn up by selectors Alan Francis, former chairman of the Design Commission for Wales and co-founder of Gaunt Francis Architects, and Jonathan Vining, head of urban design at WYG Group in Cardiff. After further deliberation over the coming month, just one of the shortlisted buildings may be awarded the Gold Medal for Architecture on 30 July at the Monmouthshire and District National Eisteddfod of Wales 2016 at Abergavenny.

Alan Francis said: “We were delighted this year to receive a diverse and high quality selection of entries from a much wider range of work sectors and clients than has been the case in recent years. Both the private and public sectors were represented, and the excellent submissions ranged from large corporate headquarters to much smaller infill commissions.

“The difficulty for any judge in that scenario is in defining the selection criteria, and in determining how high to raise the bar for what is Wales’ foremost architectural award. We decided that whilst innovation, sustainability, materiality and a creative response to the brief were all important, they should be minimum criteria and that crucially, if the Gold Medal was to be awarded, it should be granted to a project that demonstrated an unwavering conviction to deliver that project rationally and beautifully, from the original concept right through the smallest of details, so as to provide an exemplar solution.”

The Gold Medal for Architecture may be awarded together with the Plaque of Merit, which is given to smaller projects of a value of up to £750,000, achieving high design quality.

All seven shortlisted projects for the Gold Medal will be included in the Architecture in Wales exhibition at the National Eisteddfod of Wales from 29 July – 6 August. Supported through the partnership between the Eisteddfod, Design Commission for Wales and the Royal Society of Architects in Wales, the exhibition aims to raise the profile of architecture in Wales and convey the valuable contribution that the built environment makes to Wales as a beautiful and distinctive place.

Robert Firth, president at Royal Society of Architect in Wales (RSAW), said: “Of all the architecture awards, it’s often the National Eisteddfod Gold Medal shortlist that means the most to Welsh architects. The Medal has a fine pedigree with many distinguished winners over the years; RSAW members are always happy and proud to see their work exhibited in the show. The Medal is a wonderful snapshot of the best architecture being produced every year in Wales.”

The National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture was established through the efforts of architect and town planner, Thomas Alwyn Lloyd (1881 – 1960). It was first offered in 1954 but never awarded during his lifetime. The first accolade was awarded in 1960 to Grenfell Baines & Hargreaves of Preston for the Warehouse and Offices of H J Heinz Ltd, Western Avenue, Cardiff. The Award, along with the Plaque of Merit, has been supported by the Design Commission for Wales since 2009.

National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture Shortlist 2016

National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture Shortlist 2016

The full shortlist includes the following projects:

– Burry Port Community Primary School, Carmarthenshire.
Architype, Hereford and London

The project unites the previously separate infant and junior schools to one central site using sustainable Welsh materials and an abundance of wood in the design. Evoking a setting of an inspiring, uplifting and healthy place to learn and work, it demonstrates that using locally-sourced materials in a sustainable manner can benefit the architectural design, as well as add value.

– City centre community campus, Cardiff and Vale College, Cardiff.
BDP Architects, UK and worldwide

The contemporary wedge-shaped campus building is located on a two-hectare site offering state-of-the-art amenities and learning facilities, topped off with a fine-dining restaurant on the sixth floor. Drawing inspiration from the characteristic Cardiff arcades, while incorporating a spacious and sleek design, BDP Architects has created a campus that adds vitality to its urban site.

– Caernarfon Castle Entrance Pavilion, Gwynedd.
Donald Insall Associates, Conwy

A glass structure that aims to welcome visitors to the castle, improve accessibility and address the volume of visitors at peak times. The design incorporates a freestanding glass and stainless steel structure to best reduce impact on the historic fabric, while also allowing visibility for the visitor. The transparent structure uses glass which was treated to be self-heating, resistant to glare and less likely to have condensation, minimising any energy demands.

– Cardigan Castle, Ceredigion.
Purcell Architects, Cardiff, London and worldwide

The multi-disciplinary restoration of the 12th century Cardigan Castle paid close attention to detail and even reopened a local slate quarry to provide the correct stone for repairs to the castle walls. The end result is a design that involved the local community and historical governing bodies to create a renewed visitor attraction.

– Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre, Bangor, north Wales.
Grimshaw Architects, London and worldwide

A contemporary building to bridge the physical and cultural gap between the university’s main arts building and the lower city of Bangor. This ambitious ‘infill’ scheme features a flexible performing arts auditoria, a cinema, rehearsal studio and ‘white box’ space. Located on a sloping hillside, the building offers a neutral backdrop to its users punctuated by external views of the city and seascape.

Bangor University Pontio

– Llandegfedd Visitor & Watersports Centre, Pontypool, south Wales.
Hall + Bednarczyk Architects, Chepstow

The visitor centre and water sports centre were created to improve public accessibility and experience of the popular Llandegfedd reservoir area, as well as serve a number of community groups. In order to blend with the natural landscape, the design and structure of the buildings were carefully considered to create a welcoming environment.

– The Chickenshed, Monmouth
Hall + Bednarczyk Architects, Chepstow

A former abandoned poultry barn that was transformed into a contemporary holiday home. The floor to ceiling glass wall running the length of the one-storey building floods the living spaces with natural light and overlooks the Black Mountains. The Chickenshed combines a utilitarian, chic interior with an agricultural exterior as a sophisticated nod to its humble beginnings.

Gold Medal for Architects include Recent Winners

Recent winners of the Gold Medal for Architects include

2015 Loyn & Co for Milbrook House, a home that floats and overlaps itself in Cardiff

2014 Loyn & Co for Stormy Castle, a Code 5 family home in Gower

2013 John Pardey Architects for Trewarren, a five-bedroom house in the Pembrokeshire
Coast National Park

2012 HLM Architects, Cardiff for Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School, Bridgend

2011 Ellis Williams Architects, Warrington for Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno

2010 Medal withheld, Plaque of Merit Awarded to Hyde & Hyde Architects, Swansea for
Pennard House

2009 Ray Hole Architects, Croydon for Hafod Eryri, Snowdon

2008 Purcell Miller Tritton, Bristol for Blaenavon World Heritage Centre

2007 Loyn & Co., Penarth for the Water Tower, Cyncoed, Cardiff

2006 Richard Rogers, London for the Senedd, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff

The Design Commission for Wales

The Design Commission for Wales was established in 2002 by the Welsh Government and has four strategic aims:

 To champion high standards of design and architecture to the public and private sector in Wales by promoting wider understanding of design issues and the importance of good standards in enhancing the built environment across all sectors.
 To promote design practice that is compatible with the Welsh Government Sustainable Development Scheme, promoting best practice in energy efficiency, waste disposal and public transport.
 To promote design practice compatible with the highest standards in relation to equal opportunity and promoting social inclusion.
 Give due regard to promoting excellence in day to day developments, like housing estates and industrial units, as well as promoting excellence in prestige projects.

The Design Commission for Wales is a wholly controlled subsidiary of the Welsh Government.

2016 Shortlist for the National Eisteddfod of Wales Gold Medal for Architecture images / information from NE

Shortlist for the National Eisteddfod of Wales Gold Medal for Architecture – 2015, excerpts below

3 Jul 2015

The National Eisteddfod Award

Wales Gold Medal for Architecture Shortlist Announced

A primary school, a mountain bike visitor centre and a host of private dwellings including an ‘upside down’ house are among the buildings shortlisted for this year’s National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture, supported by the Design Commission for Wales.

The shortlist of eight building projects, located across Wales, was unveiled at a reception hosted by the Design Commission for Wales at Oriel Davies, Newtown on Friday 3 July.

The Gold Medal aims to draw attention to the importance of architecture in the nation’s culture and to honour architects achieving the highest design standards.

Supported by the Design Commission for Wales, and awarded in association with the Royal Society of Architects in Wales, the Medal recognises architectural excellence in buildings completed between 1 January 2012 and 14 March 2015 and recommended to the Eisteddfod as being of the greatest merit.

The full shortlist includes:

Cliff House, Gower. A three-bedroom family home with uninterrupted views of the Bristol Channel. Designed by Wales based Hyde + Hyde Architects, with offices in Swansea and Cardiff.
Cliff House, Gower
photo from award organisers

Cefn Castell, Criccieth, north Wales. A new contemporary home in an outstanding cliff top location overlooking Cardigan Bay. Designed by Manchester-based Stephenson Studio.
Cefn Castell
photograph : Andrew Wall

Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre, Snowdonia. An extension to the Coed y Brenin visitor Centre, to enhance the experience of the 140,000 visitors it receives each year. Designed by Hereford-based Architype.
Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre
photos © Leigh Simpson photography

Upside down house, Vale of Glamorgan. An ‘upside down house’ with a rooftop garden affording outstanding views. Designed by Wales -based Loyn & Co Architects practicing in Penarth.
Upside down house
photo © Charles Hosea

The Nook, Monmouthshire. A new four-bedroomed family home set in a secluded valley. Designed by Hall + Bednarczyk of Chepstow, Wales
The Nook
photo © Simon Maxwell

Private House, Cardiff. A new family home designed for 21st Century living. Designed by Loyn & Co Architects

Great House Farm, St Fagans, Cardiff. A small development of nine dwellings and apartments build on the site of derelict farm buildings. Designed by Cardiff-based Gillard Associates Ltd.

Ysgol Craig y Deryn, Llanegryn, Gwynedd.
A primary school designed to accommodate 110 pupils designed to respond to the character of its landscape setting. Designed by B3 Architects with offices throughout the UK.


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.




Welsh Architecture

Merthyr Learning Quarter, southeast Wales
RMJM architects
Merthyr Tydfil Building
image from architects

Welsh Further Education College
Planning permission has been granted for the Merthyr Learning Quarter Project (MLQ), which is being designed by RMJM’s London studio.

Welsh Building Photos

North Wales Building Photos
Conwy Castle Wales
photo © Adrian Welch
North Wales Buildings Photos




Welsh Architecture – Recent Projects

Ty Hedfan, Brecon, south Wales
Featherstone Young
Ty Hedfan
picture © Featherstone Young

Brecon house

University of Wales, Newport – City Campus, Newport, southeast Wales
BDP
Newport City Centre Campus
photo © Martine Hamilton Knight

Newport City Campus

Bangor University Pontio, northwest Wales
Architect: Grimshaw
Pontio Bangor University
image : Grimshaw

Bangor University Pontio

Newport Station, Newport, southeast Wales
Architects: Grimshaw with Atkins
Newport Station
image from architect

Newport Station

Welsh Architecture Competition – Recent Contests

Welsh Building Competition, Glyndwr University, Wrexham, northeast Wales
Welsh Building Competition
image © 1AX Architetti Associati
Welsh Building Competition

Welsh Housing Competition – RIBA
Welsh Architecture Competition : Lawrenny village, Pembrokeshire

Cardiff Architecture

Swansea Architecture

Eisteddfod

Comments / photos for the National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture 2016 Shortlist page welcome

National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture 2016 – page