Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre, Hereford

Raising the bar for design

· Credit: Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

Architype for Herefordshire County Council

Contract value: £6,350,000

GIA: 3,350m2

The Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre uses PD5454 and Passivhaus to start reconciling the long-term preservation of collections with the need to reduce energy. This new building, in the recently designated Hereford Enterprise Zone, performs an important function of ‘raising the bar’ for design, both visually and in terms of sustainability aspirations (it is built to Passivhaus standards).

  • · Credit: Dennis Gilbert/VIEW
  • · Credit: Dennis Gilbert/VIEW
  • · Credit: Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

A windowless three-storey high, cedar-clad concrete box contains the archive store, while the administration, public research areas and restoration laboratories are set within the two storey timber-framed building facing the main road frontage. Careful placing of timber columns and beams creates a visually calm environment and a welcome warmth to the interior.  The two elements are separated by a linear atrium that provides thermal buffering for the store and stack ventilation, as well as space for exhibition and display. 

The project deals with security and sustainability in an assured way. It is a highly legible building that creates a pleasant, accessible and controllable environment for research and restoration of archive materials.

See other winners in the RIBA Regional Awards 2015 – West Midlands