An abbey on the moors, an inspiring new gallery, libraries new or reordered, a clever 'lean-to' extension… Mark Hodson sets the scene for the awards. Click on the images to find out more
Here is the north, this is where it lies, where it belongs, full of itself, high up above everything else, surrounded by everything that isn’t the north, that’s off the page, somewhere else...
Paul Morley, The North, 2013
Mark Hodson: Yorkshire is a big county, and for added interest in the RIBA Awards we add the Humber fringe of North Lincolnshire to it as well. Dominated by industrial towns and cities set amid rolling green hills and valleys, sliced by the mighty ‘T’ of the M1 and M62, industrial relics and sublime countryside, it is quirky and contradictory.
We embrace the political will driving the Northern Powerhouse – a collective force to rival that of London and the south east. If only to arrest the intellectual exodus, the inevitable draw of London continues.
Yorkshire has five schools of architecture (Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam). The work produced is of the highest standard, always engaging, well communicated and beautifully illustrated. Many students focus on their immediate surroundings, tapping into the deep social and cultural milieu. This energy and investigative drive need to plug into practice.
Civic architecture has always been taken very seriously in this region and that continues in education and practice… but let’s not ignore the power of the small, the carefully detailed and the focused intervention to make an impact.
There is genuine and long awaited optimism on my particular patch in the Humber region. The high tech demands of the offshore wind farm industry are beautifully matched to the redundant fishing industry infrastructure of Hull and Grimsby… who’d have thought it. Hull’s place in the spotlight as City of Culture 2017 is long overdue, it will be spectacular. Tell the world!
This region may not have the wealth of the south but it has soul.
Mark Hodson is founder of Hodson Architects