Architect award for Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral Open Treasure.
Durham Cathedral Open Treasure.
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A Durham Cathedral project has clinched a national award.

The Durham Cathedral Open Treasure exhibition has clinched a 2018 RIBA National Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Creators, Purcell, received the award in recognition of its architectural excellence.

The project was recently recognised with an RIBA North East 2018 Award, as well as the 2018 RIBA North East Building of the Year and RIBA North East Conservation award.

The Jury panel said: "The works to Durham Cathedral are a subtle and elegant addition to the medieval, Grade I listed structure.

"Working with the cathedral staff for over seven years the architects have created an inspiring visitor experience that celebrates the architecture of the building and showcases its historic collections by remodelling previously hidden spaces.

"The sequence of spaces have been carefully adapted to create a range of environmental conditions that respond to the differing needs of the collection from medieval stonework and book collections through to Anglo-Saxon artefacts.

Judges said the design seamlessly integrates historic features and modern interventions that include creative repair and conservation and adaptive re-use of the historic buildings.

They were particularly impressed by the quality of the workmanship and detailing.

RIBA President, Ben Derbyshire, said: "For over 50 years the RIBA Awards have celebrated the best new buildings, large or small; shining a light on trends in the construction industry, and illustrating why the UK’s architects and architecture have an enviable global reputation."

Tim Bailey, RIBA North East Regional Chairman, said: "The challenge of working in the context of a 900-year-old World Heritage Site is momentous.

"To be able to rise to that challenge in a contemporary, sensitive way that is recognised with a RIBA National Award is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

"Purcell have excelled and I am delighted that this new visitor experience at one of the region's best loved buildings has caught the imagination of this year's judges.”