Southwater Square, Telford

Visual strength appears effortless

· Credit: Martine Hamilton Knight

Associated Architects for Telford & Wrekin Council

Contract value: £11.3 million

GIA: 4500m2

Client of the Year (Telford & Wrekin Council)

Project Architect of the Year sponsored by Lafarge Tarmac (Rupert Walshe)

Southwater One provides Telford town centre with a striking public building that houses the Telford and Wrekin Council’s ‘First Point’ services, a new public library, a café and more. Curvilinear bands articulate the building, brickwork providing visual weight to the base and wrapping into the building at the entrance. Upper storeys are clad in vertically seamed gold coloured aluminium panels with vertical fins in front of glazed sections – the whole producing an attractively sculptured effect that is echoed in the concrete soffit and balconies inside.  

  • · Credit: Martine Hamilton Knight
  • · Credit: Martine Hamilton Knight
  • · Credit: Martine Hamilton Knight

The composition’s ‘visual strength’ appears effortlessly to accommodate the variety of internal uses and furniture layouts.  Brightly coloured internal screens, which reflect the fins of the exterior, create a vibrant interior where spaces flow within a light and airy space. The jury felt that the architect had worked closely with a forward-thinking client to produce a stimulating building that breaks the mould of many similar facilities.

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