Stuart McLarty, Co-Founder and Director of dn-a architecture and Regional Chair of the RIBA South Jury, unveiled the winners of the RIBA South Awards last night at the RIBA South/South East Awards Celebration 2019 at Newbury Racecourse.

As the Regional Chair of the RIBA South Awards Jury, Stuart has been involved in coordinating the RIBA South Jury team and visiting all of the dynamic, intriguing and innovative shortlisted projects.

This year’s list was a wonderful spectrum of architectural forms and uses, from the experimental to the institutional, from residential to infrastructure, all delivered to project budgets from the 100’s of thousands to the 100’s of millions!  Very well done and congratulations to all who made it to the shortlist.

Every project the jury visited reinforced the worth of the architect; so many of the schemes would have been so mundane, so dull without the architect’s imaginative and creative contribution.  The challenging of the norm and the rethinking of building types produced exceptional works that have created aesthetic, economic, and sustainable benefits for all stakeholders to take pride in and enjoy!

What also stood out amongst the winners was the wonderfully honest use and expression of warm materials and finishes. Natural stone, oak, brick, copper, bronze, concrete, all exquisitely detailed in the way they connected or turned a corner, regardless of budget.

In addition, the partnership between client and architect was strongly evident in the way they went to great lengths to understand all the contextual fundamentals, from basic human enjoyment to environmental footprint. The inventive, architect conceived solutions to a range of social and environmental challenges hold centre stage this year, and the successful synergy between client and architect continues to be the key in achieving an exquisite outcome.

In this dynamic world, now more than ever we need the architects who continue to push, to disrupt, to challenge the norms, not accept the ordinary, and ultimately, deliver sustainable solutions that benefit all.

Many thanks and congratulations to all those architects working hard to make this a reality.

Stuart would like to say a huge thank you to all the jury members, Catherine Wilson, Rachel White and Hugh Conway-Morris who were wonderful company during the week of visits, contributing essential, insightful and measured debate during deliberations.  Despite the jury originating from very different areas of the architectural world, a delightful synergy was achieved in agreeing the well-deserved winning entries. So congratulations to those winners!

A special thanks to the fine stewardship and guidance offered by James Robinson, RIBA Regional Director for the South & South East Regions, and his two hard working and most able assistants Sarah Briginshaw and Emma Hardy.  As Stuart’s first time as a jury chairman they guided him expertly through the process and made the whole experience an absolute pleasure.

Finally, a very large thank you to all of the architects who provided the extraordinary, enlightening and exciting entries to this year’s awards that the jury had the pleasure of visiting and experiencing firsthand.