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Civic Trust awards for RFH, Young Vic and Empire Square

The Royal Festival Hall, the Young Vic and Empire Square have all won awards from the Civic Trust for their "outstanding contribution" to the quality and appearance of the environment.

Royal Festival Hall
Young Vic

The Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank won the 'NightVision' award for its contribution to the capital's night time economy. The RFH reopened last summer after a major refurbishment overseen by local architects Allies & Morrison.

"This scheme has made a fantastic contribution to the public realm, bringing life and activity to the South Bank area," says the citation for the award.

"The reopening of this listed building marks a revival both for the fabric of the building and its position at the centre of London life.

"Queen's Walk has been transformed into a highly successful animated public promenade, which is now used during both day and night. A safe and welcoming space, the scheme has made a dramatic impact upon the area... The scheme has reshaped the entire environment surrounding the Royal Festival Hall, and has been critical to the renaissance of London's South Bank, providing a world class public space."

The rebuilt Young Vic in The Cut – designed by Haworth Tompkins – also picked up an award at the ceremony held in Newcastle last week.

The citation reads: "The theatre is a mixture of different shapes and materials, and is a modest and unpretentious scheme. The re-building of these facilities has acted as a local catalyst and has encouraged the community to use the facility as a venue and meeting place.

"Local people, theatre users, performers and staff were all consulted about the design, and their continuing involvement is evidence of the success of the scheme.

"Teaching, performing and workshops all take place within the Young Vic, and the irregular buildings reflect the vibrancy and energy of the people who visit here."

Berkeley Homes' Empire Square – aka Tabard Square – in Long Lane won a commendation.

"This scheme brings life and vitality to the area," says David Pritchard, chairman of the Civic Trust national panel.

"It is a predominantly residential scheme which has increased housing density, and includes accommodation for key workers. The design and detailing are of a high standard, with the 22 storey tower being the central focus of the development. The elegant proportions and materials create a confident, modern style. Soft and hard landscaping in the public areas is well designed and softens the environment."

Berkeley Homes boss Tony Pidgley commented: "The Civic Trust's commitment to quality and the need to create vibrant communities strongly echo our own core principles, making our recognition in these awards all the more pleasing."

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