Conservation and client of the Year awards go to Worcester Cathedral's The Undercroft Learning Centre in RIBA West Midlands Regional Awards
Acanthus Clews Architects for Dean & Chapter Of Worcester Cathedral
Contract value: £1,325,000
GIA: 415 m²
Cost per m²: £3,193
Exquisite detailing and light-touch intervention have breathed life into the damp vaults of Worcester Cathedral, creating a versatile venue for the whole community. Identifying a section of Victorian vault enabled access to be opened up. Technical challenges associated with archaeology, environmental conditions and ensuring the former monastic refectory cellar maintained its integrity made a colossal task – and one that has been expertly executed, while dramatically improving the venue’s performance. The new floor zone is used to distribute services. Cleverly hidden vertical ducts within door jambs help make the electricity easily rewirable. The Learning Centre presents a timeless sense of purpose and custodianship in the intelligent use of a forgotten space. Decisions were meticulously thought through with rigour, consistency, purpose and pragmatism that puts the cathedral at the heart of everyday life.