Sunderland Town Hall and Seventeen Nineteen Church were commended by RIBA

City Hall and Historic Seventeen Nineteen Church beat stiff competition to be among the winners of this year’s RIBA North East Regional Award.

Designed by leading architect FauknerBrowns for Sunderland City Council, the Town Hall is the centerpiece of Riverside Sunderland, one of the UK’s most ambitious urban regeneration projects.

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Since opening in November 2021, the building has won numerous industry awards, including Best Civic Building at the AJ Architecture Awards and Best Corporate Workplace at the British Council for Offices (BCO) Awards.

The jury said: “The partnership between the city council client and the architects has created an inspiring new civic landmark and forward-looking workplace.”

“The location on the former site of the Vaux Brewery in Sunderland is a bold and positive step as part of a broader vision for regeneration of the city and region. An awareness of the physical and cultural context and a commitment to inclusivity and sustainability informed the design.”

The building is one of several major development projects progressing in Riverside Sunderland. It is part of an ambitious vision to double the resident population of the city center and increase employment by 50 per cent, backed by a £100m investment from Legal & General.

Cllr Graeme Miller, Chair of Sunderland City Council, said: “The RIBA Awards have recognized the best architectural projects the UK has to offer for almost 180 years. So it is fantastic to see City Hall join such a prestigious list of projects recognized by the organization throughout history.”

The Northern Echo: The Seventeen Nineteen ChurchThe Seventeen Nineteen Church (Image: press release)

Seventeen Nineteen – originally known as Holy Trinity Church – was once the center of civic activity. It stands on a conservation area in Sunderland’s East End, just over a mile from City Hall and is named after the year it opened. It is now in the care of Churches Conservation Trust.

After being placed on the Heritage at Risk Register, the building was rescued and carefully restored for community use by contractor HPR Ltd, led by Mosedale Gillat Architects, and received three RIBA awards.

“It is a culmination of the amazing dedication of the entire project team and would not have been possible without the expertise and dedication of Churches Conservation Trust,” said Tim Mosedale, Director of Mosedale Gillatt Architects.

The jury said: “The architect faced a great challenge. Long before it was closed as a church in 1988, there had been significant accumulations of moisture in the walls.

“The amount of conservation work required was enormous and the structure is still drying out. The honesty of new interventions and repairs keeps the history of the former church legible for everyone.

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“The building itself has become an educational tool, telling the stories of how people lived in the 17th century when the church was first built. The rare ‘tuck’ joint is retained and new hand crafted brick is seamlessly incorporated into the exterior walls.

“The entire project is an outstanding example of the craftsmanship, imagination and perseverance required to work with a structure that was in incredibly poor condition.

“The jury visited us at the end of a long day, but they were immediately struck by the calm, the understated and austere detailing, the passion and commitment of the client and architect teams, and the sheer beauty of light, materiality and amenities that were shared interwoven.” Sunderland Town Hall and Seventeen Nineteen Church were commended by RIBA

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