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General News20th July 2017

Shortlisted for the National RIBA Stirling Prize

We have some exciting news to announce this morning!

Alongside with Baynes and Mitchell Architects we are delighted to announce that the Command of the Oceans project has been shortlisted for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize.

The RIBA Stirling Prize is presented to RIBA Chartered Architects and International Fellows for buildings in the UK which have made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year.  It is regarded as the finest architectural accolade a project can receive in the UK.

This announcement follows on from the project winning 3 RIBA South East Regional Awards (Conservation, Regional Award and South East Building of the Year) and a RIBA National Award.

Upon winning the RIBA South East Awards, the judges said, “This project is a champion for progressive conservation, inventive re-use and adaptation of existing fabric.” The judges’ full report can be seen here:

Command of the Oceans


Alan Mitchell, Director of Baynes and Mitchell Architects, said “We feel extremely honoured that Command of the Oceans has been shortlisted for this year’s Stirling Prize. The nomination reflects the passion, effort and support of the whole design, client and building team throughout the process, from tiny, initial sketch to beautiful, completed project.

The project is the last significant piece of a jigsaw forming the core of the publicly accessible Dockyard site in Chatham. Its success is founded on developing a robust, functional architectural solution which responded elegantly to the complex brief and the extraordinarily strong historic, industrial context of the site.

It has been a pleasure to have had the opportunity to work in such an interesting and important historic location.”

Bill Ferris OBE DL, Chief Executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust said, “This project represents the epitome of what can be achieved in a highly sensitive historic environment, working with scheduled monuments and incredibly important archaeology, to provide 21st Century facilities and galleries that place the heritage to the fore. The use of stunning contemporary architecture that enhances the significant heritage here at The Historic Dockyard represents the genius of the solution, which could only be delivered by a fully integrated architectural, professional and client team.  After just over a year of operation, the public reaction to the project has been extremely positive and the functionality of the spaces has surpassed our high expectations. We are thrilled that the project has been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize – a significant achievement in its own right and we look forward to the eventual winners being announced in October.”



For a bit of background… 

Command of the Oceans is a heritage landscape and scheduled monument, conservation and re-use project with a significant new build element. It unlocks the potential of unique historic buildings at The Historic Dockyard Chatham allowing them to be used as 21st century visitor facilities and galleries. Works comprise the preservation, display and interpretation of the Namur, ‘the ship beneath the floor’ uncovered by chance in 1995; the preservation of the Mast House and Mould Loft, the Mast Ponds and their related external landscape; the creation of orientation and interpretation galleries; and the resolution of visitor welcome and hospitality services.

The project was made possible with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and generous support from the Homes and Communities Agency, individuals, trusts and foundations and was completed and opened to the public on 27 May 2016.

We are delighted to be shortlisted and have our fingers crossed but it is wonderful enough to be on the list giving us a platform to celebrate our fantastic building. Thank you to everyone for their support and messages.

The final winner of the Stirling Prize will be announced on 31st October 2017 at the Camden Roundhouse.  The full shortlist can be viewed from Thursday 20th July 2017:

RIBA Stirling Prize 

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