RIBA Regional Awards 2014: West Midlands
Centre of Refurbishment Excellence (CoRE), Stoke-on-Trent
Purcell for Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Re-use of the iconic kiln structures as heat recovery ventilation units – and as meeting rooms – is a stroke of genius at the Centre of Refurbishment Excellence. And the spatial quality created around them for teaching, seminars and exhibitions is extraordinary.
As an exemplar sustainable project the centre also showcases the reinstatement of historical structures and demonstrates modern technologies that optimise energy performance. Re-used materials and the sourcing of similar products (local brickwork, timber sash windows and reclaimed Staffordshire blue tiles) were key to preserve the character of the old buildings, while new interventions are clearly expressed as modern components, both externally and internally. The industrial-chic approach is in keeping with the identity of these historical gems.