After much deliberation from the jury the prestigious Young Architect of the Year Award (YAYA) went to Kapil Gupta and Chris Lee from Serie Architects

And the prize for the Architect of the Year goes to...

Andrea Klettner profiles the winning practices of 'Building Design's' prestigious awards

Unlike other honours, the annual Architect of the Year Awards - organised by UK architecture weekly Building Design and presented last week in London - evaluate a whole body of work in a particular sector. This year’s awards - the seventh - spanned 12 sectors, as well as offering an overall prize for the architect of the year.

This year the over-arching honour went to DSDHA, which won the Richard Feilden Architect of the Year award for its work in the education sector, beating stiff competition from BDP, dRMM, Haverstock Associates, John McAslan & Partners and Penoyre & Prasad. The South-London practice, which also bagged the award for Education Architect of the Year, received great appraisal for the 2010 Stirling Prize-shortlisted Christ’s College in Guildford and the neighbouring Pond Meadow Special Needs School.

The prestigious Young Architect of the Year Award (YAYA) went to Serie Architects’ Kapil Gupta and Chris Lee following hours of deliberation by a jury that included designer Margaret Howell. Erect Architecture’s Susanne Tutsch and Barbara Kaucky also received a special commendation for their work. Building Design editor, Ellis Woodman said: “The YAYA award has proved remarkably sure-footed in its ability to spot emerging talent. Recent winners NORD have gone on to build the 2012 Olympic park whilst Carmody Groarke last year realised the memorial to the victims of the 7/7 bombings. We’re confident that Serie Architects will be the next to be making headlines.”

Glenn Howells Architects took the prize for Office Architect of the Year beating, among others, Terry Farrell & Partners and London Eye designer Marks Barfield Architects. The practice was commended in particular for its work at 11 Brindleyplace, Birmingham.

As always the housing category was one of the most eagerly anticipated awards of the evening. Top honours went to Peter Barber Architects, whose work includes the Spring Gardens homeless facility in Lewisham and Villiers Road Studios in Brent. The practice closely fought competition from Allies & Morrison, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Levitt Bernstein Associates, Waugh Thistleton Architects.

Edward Cullinan Architects took home the prize for the Public Building category. The practice designed The John Hope Gateway for the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh and the Herbarium and Library Wing at Kew. The jury particularly praised the practice's approach to sustainability and the relationship between the buildings and their landscape settings.

Also hotly contested were the Healthcare and Hotel & Leisure categories, which were won by ORMS Architecture Design and Maccreanor Lavington respectively. The jury praised ORMS' work, particularly its Teenage Cancer Trust centre at Heath Hospital in Cardiff, for considering individual patients needs, as well as the technical demands encountered when designing health facilities. Maccreanor Lavington, a relative newcomer to the hotel and leisure sector, impressed the jury with its H10 hotel in south London, as well as its planner cluster of four hotels within the wider masterplan of the Royal Docks in London.


_Andrea Klettner is a freelance journalist and the editor of _Love London Council Housing