The North West is a success story of growth and development, as shown by a robust set of award-winners
Manchester is the capital of the Northern Powerhouse, or even the capital of England if we think of London as the capital of the world.
It is a city and a region with strong governance and a continuity of political leadership which has provided the opportunity to look to the long term, focus on redefining the city, its purpose and its ambition.
The repopulation of the urban centre, new jobs and new investment have given architects the opportunity to respond formally through architectural proposition and placemaking. The challenge for the region has however always been one of value and demand. No matter how creative or visionary the architect, without the funds to pay for good quality materials, generous spaces and a beautiful public realm, the threat of compromise hangs over every development. As many architects in the region have demonstrated, persistence, determination and aspiration have led to many high quality buildings across the region, almost an ‘architecture by stealth’. Any team that can create a sustainable and worthwhile addition to the urban fabric has achieved a great result. We live in and welcome a pluralistic approach that allows our cities to constantly change into places where we want to live, work and spend time.
We believe that in a city of the scale of Manchester, individuals can make a difference. Strong public private partnership has encouraged Manchester City to grow. Having started with just 200 residents in the city core 20 years ago, we now hope to have some 200,000 living there. People drive demand and we as architects can respond by creating beautiful spaces and buildings, fit for purpose and sustainable; buildings that reinforce political ambition and the search for investment.
We have enjoyed our first 30 years in practice and hope that we have contributed in some small way to the reimagining of this great city and region.
Ian Simpson and Rachel Haugh are founding partners at SimpsonHaugh
RIBA North West Awards 2017 – The full list
Click on the images to find out more.
Finlays Warehouse, Manchester
City Football Academy, Manchester
Rafael Viñoly Architects
Stubbs Mill, Manchester
Maggie’s at the Robert Parfett Building, Manchester
Foster + Partners
Oldham Town Hall
Caruso St John Architects
Stoller Hall, Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester
The next RIBA Regional Awards will be announced on Thursday 25 May from 11pm at www.ribaj.com.