The Young Vic theatre in The Cut has been named London Building of the Year by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Nearby Palestra has also picked up an award.
Haworth Tompkins' £7 million rebuild of the Young Vic has won the inaugural RIBA London Building of the Year award. Opened on time and on budget in October 2006, the new building provides three performance spaces and radically expanded front and back of house facilities.
"Winning this award is a real honour in such strong company, and a vindication of the intense effort that has gone into the project over the past five years." says Steve Tompkins.
"We've tried to make a friendly, loose-fit building that will continue to project the Young Vic's demotic, classless identity and be robust enough to survive the hard use it's already getting."
Young Vic artistic director David Lan added: "We had such an inspiring time working with Haworth Tompkins and have so greatly enjoyed our first six months of living and working in our brilliant building that receiving this level of acclaim feels almost superfluous. But it is not. It is thrilling. And it is a thrill that will be shared by our audiences and artists for years to come."
The London Development Agency already occupies the building; they will be joined by Transport for London later in the year.
Palestra has not found universal favour, notably with residents of the nearby Rochester Estate whose sunlight and television reception has been blocked by the new building.
The building hit the headlines in January when the 14 wind turbines were removed from its roof. At the time the London Development Agency claimed that the turbines had been recalled by the manufacturer and would be reinstated in approximately one month.
More than three months later the turbines are still missing from the rooftop. This week the London SE1 website was contacted by Edinburgh-based manufacturer Renewable Devices which denied that any safety recall had been issued. They insist that the turbines have been removed for "upgrade work" and "will be re-installed in the next few weeks".
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