6 May 2011

MSA Design Awards 2011

An exhibition of the Manchester Society of Architects Design Awards opened today (Friday 6th May 2011) at the CUBE Gallery in Manchester. The annual awards, held since 1995, are presented "for buildings that have made a particularly positive contribution to the local environment and are judged, from the exhibited projects, by a jury consisting of architects and non-architects." The competition aims to: promote the value of architectural design; raise the profile of architects and demonstrate the benefits of good design; and demonstrate the design skills of the architect. Over 90 entries are on show this year, across a range of categories including residential, sports, leisure and cultural, commercial, community, conservation and un-built projects. Student projects are also invited to enter, giving students at the Manchester School of Architecture the opportunity to exhibit their designs along side those of the Manchester's practitioners. A blog featuring all of the exhibited entries can be found here.

MSA Design Award 2011. The new RIBA Hub can
be seen taking shape in the distance (more here).
The winners will be decided in judging next week before an awards ceremony on Thursday 12th May 2011. Last year's main prize, 'Building of the Year', was awarded to St John's Primary School, Blackpool by Aedas. All entries will be eligible for the 'People's Prize' which was first introduced last year and will be determined by a ballot of visitors attending the CUBE exhibition before the awards ceremony. Last year the prize went to Dwelle for their sustainable 'micro-buildings'.

View of the Design Awards from lower level.
Entries on display this year show a diverse range of projects undertaken by Manchester's practices and there is a marked increased on projects from last year. The majority of the work appears to be of a high quality and reflects the talent currently operating in the city. A number of the projects may be familiar to visitors, having been featured in national architectural and building press, however one of the merits of the Design Awards is that it offers all entrants an opportunity to exhibit in a nationally recognised gallery. Visitors can discover new schemes and new architects they might otherwise not have been aware of.

Projects from students at the Manchester School of Architecture.

My own work produced during the 2nd Caribbean Winter School, in collaboration with Carrie Bayley will be exhibited as part of the show in the student category.