RIBA Regional Awards 2014: Yorkshire
Doncaster Civic Offices
Cartwright Pickard Architects for Muse Developments
Contract £20.1m. GIA 17,187m2
There’s more than a touch of the 1960s to Doncaster’s £20m exercise in estate rationalisation (a similar bringing together of departments to that at Rochdale, in the North West). It’s to do with the exposed frame, fenestration pattern and separately-expressed council chamber with busy patterning (‘terracotta baguettes’, apparently) embellished with the proudly large civic crest. But there is nothing 1960s-ish about the building’s BREEAM Excellent energy credentials. It’s also designed to be robust and low-maintenance, despite a challengingly low budget of £1,171/m2.
Cartwright Pickard designed to British Council for Offices standards, so the council can rent areas to raise rental income. The architect acted for a developer client but with a clear brief from Doncaster Council that the building should serve citizens better, offering new ways of providing services, a sense of welcome and openness.