Commissioning authority: Cass Sculpture Foundation
Principal designer: Studio Downie Architects
Principal contractor: Ceecom Construction
The Cass Foundation provides a new home for British sculpture, set in a wooded estate of outstanding natural beauty – a world-class centre for sculpture.
The visionary client has got fantastic value for an extraordinarily low cost of £760,000, thanks to an inspired design and delivery team. Despite a rapidly changing brief and rapid design process, it has ended up with a building of exceptionally high quality.
The solid reinforced-concrete and blockwork structure contrasts with the landscape, and the timber fins reflect the woodland setting. The sedum roof works with the surrounding grass slopes, and concrete fingers help to encourage new planting.
By using a small palette of high-quality, low-cost materials and a high level of natural finishes, long lifespans were achieved for finishes with minimum maintenance. The building also uses a number of energy-saving heating and ventilation techniques which, combined with the high thermal capacity of the concrete structure, gave the project a good-to-excellent BREEAM rating.
Overall, the client considered that the building had "considerably strengthened the value of the foundation to the cultural and educational aspirations of the region".
Entries: 39; Shortlist: 5
Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood
Dalby Forest Visitor Centre, Yorkshire
The Rooftop Nursery, London E5
Paradise Park Children’s Centre, London N7
RSPB Environment and Educational Centre, Purfleet
For a building scheme valued at under £3 million. Sponsored by The Architects' Journal.