SPELLER METCALFE’S MASTER’S HOUSE TRANSFORMATION SCOOPS PRESTIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE PRIZE
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the winners of the West Midlands Regional Awards for 2016, with the historic restoration scooping Conservation Project of the Year and the coveted Building of the Year awards.
Renowned local contractor Speller Metcalfe undertook the extensive renovations to the Master’s House, which was reshaped and designed by Butler Hegarty Architects following extensive forensic exploration.
In a £3.2m framework scheme with Herefordshire Council, the team delivered a highly detailed restoration of the Grade II* listed building, most of which had previously been hidden away to visitors by poor quality extensions and alterations.
Supported throughout by the enthusiasm of the building’s local Ledbury volunteer ‘Friends of the Master’s House’, together the team has successful transformed what was a fairly unassuming building in the middle of St Katherine’s car park into a magnificent structure that hosts the local library, council offices and the John Masefield archive.
In today’s challenging times for library services, the Masters House has achieved a 40% increase in library membership and book loans in its first year of operation, and has become adopted as a social hub by the local community.
Jonathan Hines, RIBA West Midlands Jury Chair said:
“Choosing the winners was really tough. The shortlisted schemes were so diverse but I think we’ve been able to select four well-crafted and skilfully executed buildings. Congratulations to both the shortlisted schemes and to this year’s winners!”
The win follows a series of awards nominations for the Master’s House, which has also been shortlisted as a finalist for the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors), LABC (Local Authority Building Control), West Midlands Celebrating Construction and Construction News awards and will be put forward for the national RIBA awards in June.