Hoskins Architects win big at Civic Trust Awards with two projects and Strawberry Field is one of them

5th March, 2021

With two of our projects among just 40 winners from around the globe, Hoskins Architects are thrilled to have won the National Panel Special Award, for our transformational project at Aberdeen Art Gallery. Our project at Strawberry Field, a visitor and training centre for young people with learning disabilities, for the Salvation Army, was also a winner in the Selwyn Goldsmith award.

Established in 1959 the Civic Trust Awards is the longest standing built environment awards scheme in Europe, and one of the only remaining independent built environment awards schemes, not linked to any organisation, institution, or publication. The scheme recognises and champions projects which offer a positive cultural, social, economic or environmental benefit to the public and their community, often focusing on: design, sustainability, inclusiveness and accessibility. The scheme encourages the very best in architecture and design.

These principles sit at the very heart of Hoskins Architects’ design process; at Aberdeen Art Gallery, the redevelopment was focussed heavily on accessibility and inclusivity, as well as improving its educational facilities and cultural offering, leading to greater public participation and a sense of ownership. The redevelopment also provided a fresh new approach to displaying the collection, creating a rich variety of experiences for visitors of all ages and abilities.

“An absolute triumph. This is an exemplar project, meticulously carried out and benefits generations to come” - Civic Trust Awards National Judging Panel

In addition to winning a Civic Trust Award, the project scooped the top prize, the National Panel Special Award. Panel members select their favourite scheme from this year’s award winning projects and we are delighted that Aberdeen Art Gallery was voted for unanimously by the judges.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson said – “Aberdeen Art Gallery will be a vital building block in Aberdeen’s social and economic recovery post-pandemic. The revitalised building offers us a safe space to meet friends and family, or to take time out by ourselves to be inspired by the collections in uplifting surroundings. As well as supporting our wellbeing, the redeveloped Art Gallery is a beacon for Aberdeen as a vibrant cultural destination, something we can all take a huge amount of civic pride in. We’re grateful to the Civic Trust Award judges for recognising the landmark redevelopment with their top award.”

Our project at Strawberry Field also won, taking the Selwyn Goldsmith award for Universal Design. Delivered in parallel with the Civic Trust Awards application process, all CTA entries are automatically considered for the Selwyn Goldsmith Award with the winner selected by a specially convened panel of universal design experts.

Civic Trust Award assessor David Simister commented – “Frankly fabulous! Simple, always good in my mind, well detailed, robust materials, and a great use of the sloping site”

Universal Design is about ensuring that places work for all people, no matter your age, ethnicity, gender or ability; environments or buildings are responsive, flexible, welcoming, easy to use and occupy; allowing all to use with dignity and equality. The Selwyn Goldsmith Awards (SGA) seek to promote and applaud those schemes which achieve this and exceed regulation.

Strawberry Field is a new 1,360m2, training and visitors centre for The Salvation Army, on the site in Liverpool made famous by John Lennon. It provides a specialist educational hub for young adults with learning disabilities, alongside a visitor destination. The exhibition, cafe and shop support the training programme and generate opportunities for young people to overcome barriers to employment. The building and grounds weave together educational, cultural, heritage and spiritual exploration.

Major Kathy Versfeld, Mission Director of Strawberry Field said – “The brief given to Hoskins Architects, to design a new centre for the world famous ‘Strawberry Field’ was a tall order. We wanted a world-class visitor centre that would deliver the ‘wow’ factor to visitors from around the world, but it also needed to be flexible enough to cater for the diverse needs of the local community, providing a place of refuge and inspiration to all. Hoskins Architects responded with a design that is beautiful but practical, creating a space that is a pleasure to work in, to learn in and to dream in. Well done on a fine achievement!”

"It’s a wonderful idea that The Salvation Army is going to cultivate youngsters in the precious soil of Strawberry Field."

Julia Baird, Honorary President