Perfectly timed to meet the built environment's supercharged dedication to securing a more sustainable future, is the first Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Reinvention Award 2023.
Four exceptional ‘new’ buildings have been shortlisted for the prize, which recognises achievement in creative reuse to improve environmental, social, or economic sustainability. The RIBA Reinvention Award shines a light on “retrofitting”, increasing the longevity and energy efficiency of existing buildings, and reducing the need for demolition and new construction.
The projects that have been shortlisted are:
Houlton School in Warwickshire by van Heyningen and Haward Architects
Museum of the Home in Hackney by Wright & Wright Architects
The judges note that, in addition to their environmental benefit, each project also demonstrates how reinvention projects can have wider social impacts:
In central London, the refurbishment and extension of a community gym (Great Things Lie Ahead) provides a more visible and accessible community building that facilitates a wider range of cultural, social, and sporting activities.
In Warwickshire, the Houlton School scheme sensitively reimagines the iconic Grade II-listed Rugby Radio Station transmitter building and provides three new state-of-the-art school blocks arranged around a central courtyard.
In east London, the renovation and extension of the Museum of the Home is informed by the rich history of its Grade I-listed alms house buildings and public gardens, increasing the museum’s public reach and creating one of the largest green spaces in the area.
Wolverhampton’s dilapidated Mitchells & Butlers Brewery is given new life as a dynamic education facility with exemplary design reflecting the site's rich industrial heritage (University of Wolverhampton School of Architecture and the Built Environment).
These remarkable projects all demonstrate that the architecture of reinvention, requires immense talent, vision and creativity - RIBA President Simon Allford
The shortlist was selected from 2023 RIBA Regional Award winners by an expert panel of judges: Simon Allford, RIBA President; Marion Baeli, Partner at Studio PDP; and Roger Harrabin, former BBC Energy and Environment Analyst.
Eligible projects reused an existing building or structure, supplied carbon and operational energy where applicable, and demonstrated how the project had improved the building or structure by achieving one or more of the sustainable outcomes in RIBA’s Sustainable Outcomes Guide.
The inaugural winner of the 2023 Reinvention Award will be announced at the RIBA Stirling Prize ceremony for the UK’s best new building on Thursday 19 October 2023 at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester.