Friday 1st March 2019 : Keith Williams in his fourth year as chairman of the Civic Trust Awards National Panel, delivered the keynote speech at a sold out event at the 60th Civic Trust Awards dinner, held at the Imperial War Museum of the North at Salford Quays, Manchester.
Since it was founded in 1959, the Civic Trust Awards has run continuously ever since, making it Europe’s longest running architectural and built environment awards programme. It is also one of this country’s most important and prestigious. Reflecting on the history of the awards programme, Keith walked the audience through some of the great post-war buildings that in the past have received Civic Trust awards. These included the Economist Building by Alison and Peter Smithson, The Humber Bridge, Stansted Airport by Foster and Partners, Tate Modern by Herzog and DeMeuron, Wexford Opera House, and the Olympic Velodrome..all exceptional and all worthy past winners.
For the current 2019 awards round, 240 entries were received primarily from the UK but also from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, South Africa and the USA reflecting the awards’ broad geographic reach.
Of the schemes submitted, 120 were referred to the National Panel for consideration as potential award or commendation winners. 13 applications were received this year for international projects which shows an increase on each of the two previous years. The National Panel included Julian Robinson Director of Estates at the London School of Economics, Isabel Allen, former editor of the Architects Journal, John Davies, Head of Sustainability at Derwent London, Martin Knight of Knight Architects, Aileen Wiswell MBE of the Government Property Agency and Chris Harding, chairman of architects BDP.
22 projects were given Civic Trust awards and 27 received Commendations. In addition 5 Civic Trust Special Awards were distributed including the National Panel Special Award..
Keith presented the final award of the evening, the National Panel Special Award (CTA’s top award) to the team from Heatherwick Studio and executive architect VDMMA for the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in Cape Town. A fitting winner to cap an excellent year for the 60th Civic Trust Awards.