Stirling Prize 2009: Crown Estate Conservation Award

Union North have won the Crown Estate Conservation Award at the Stirling Prize 2009, one of five specialist category awards.

RIBA Press Release

The Midland Hotel in Morecambe by Union North has won the RIBA Crown Estate Conservation Award.

Now in its twelfth year, this award is presented for the best work of conservation that demonstrates the successful restoration and/or adaptation of an architecturally significant building. The Crown Estate manages a large and uniquely diverse portfolio of land and buildings across the United Kingdom. One of its primary concerns is to demonstrate that conservation is not a dry, academic discipline but a practical art, making yesterday’s buildings work for people today.

The announcement was made on Saturday 17 October at a special awards ceremony for the RIBA Stirling Prize in association with The Architects’ Journal and Crystal CG at Old Billingsgate in London. The winner was announced by Tom Dyckhoff, Architecture critic for The Times newspaper, and the winning practice presented with their award by Roger Bright, chief executive of the Crown Estate. The award was judged by Richard Griffiths, conservation architect; Paul Velluet, conservation architect, HOK; Roger Bright, chief executive of the Crown Estate; and Tony Chapman, RIBA head of awards.

The project has carefully upgraded and repaired the existing fabric, preserving important historic features, most notably the wall panels by Eric Gill. Re-organising the interior of the hotel and adding discrete extensions has provided a modern efficient and functional hotel environment without losing the character of the existing building.  Interior spaces have been developed with flair and originality to create a range of remarkable public spaces, as well as stylish contemporary bedrooms.

Speaking about the hotel, Roger Bright said:

“The specialist conservation judges were particularly impressed by the adoption of a creative and intelligent approach to the conservation of a major Modern Movement building, reflected in the retention and reinstatement of the most significant qualities and features of the original building, and the introduction of explicitly new work, sympathetic to the particular character of Hill’s work, the use of sympathetic polymer render incorporating three type of glass to make it sparkle in the sun, and the wit of using Marion Dorn’s seahorse motif in the stainless steel grills in the showers as well in the floor mosaic in the entrance lounge and on the stair banister.”