The National Trust has been named the 2013 RIBA Client of the Year, an award that honours the key role that a good client plays in the creation of fine architecture. The judges consider clients of the 2013 RIBA award-winning schemes and take into account a track record of previous successful commissioning, particularly where this has led to previous RIBA awards.
The judges consider clients of the 2013 RIBA award-winning schemes and take into account a track record of previous successful commissioning, particularly where this has led to previous RIBA awards.
The National Trust has commissioned a formidable portfolio of projects including Chedworth Roman Villa by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Giant’s Causeway by heneghan peng architects and Stowe Visitor Centre by Cowper Griffith Architects. The judges remarked on the ‘enlightened approach that has informed a series of previous award-winning projects, not least Heelis, its own 2006 headquarters building.’
Philip Gumuchdjian, acting Chair of the RIBA Awards Group said:
"Good patronage is the single most important influence on the quality of our built heritage. The National Trust have won the 2013 Client of the Year Award because of the way they create the heritage of the future while protecting the heritage of the past, making special places even more special. They commission talented, innovative, and often young practices to develop practical and beautiful projects that respond and add to the quality, enjoyment and appreciation of our stock of cultural and environmental wealth. It takes a great and courageous client to deliver a great building and the Trust have proven their worth time and again."
The announcement was made at the RIBA Stirling Prize 2013 event this evening (Thursday 26 September) at Central Saint Martins in London. The award was judged by architects Julia Barfield, Philip Gumuchdjian and Tony Chapman, Head of RIBA Awards.
Also shortlisted for the award were:
- Hampshire County Council for Runway’s End Outdoor Centre by Hampshire County Council Property Services
- Linden Homes/Galliford Try for Newhall Be by Alison Brooks Architects
- Manchester Metropolitan University for MMU Business School by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
The Architects’ Journal is the media partner for the RIBA Stirling Prize and RIBA special awards.
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Notes to editors
1.For further press information regarding the RIBA Client of the Year 2013 please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 020 7307 3813; mobile 07805 173681
2.Selected images of the National Trust buildings that were considered as part of this award, can be downloaded from this site: https://app.box.com/s/1u8o22revl2mginc6nhn
3.The first RIBA Client of the Year was named in 1998. The award recognizes the role good clients play in the delivery of fine architecture. The full judges citation reads:
The National Trust is a non-governmental charity with the principal aim to “help protect some of the UK’s most special places”. It is an exceptional client to work for, providing a depth of in-house expertise and passion for both conservation and architecture. It believes in economic viability to support its endeavours to make public engagement sustainable.
The National Trust is named Client of the Year because it believes in and delivers projects that enhance the qualities of special places, encourages public engagement and participation and continues its work after the design team has been and gone. It is passionate, supportive and collaborative in the design and construction process. It takes a great client to deliver a great building and the Trust is responsible for the realisation of many fine buildings.
The same enlightened approach has informed a series of previous and current award-winning projects, not least ‘Heelis, the Trust’s own headquarters which won the 2006 RIBA Sustainability Award (such is its commitment to this vital issue). In 2013 the National Trust won three RIBA Awards – Chedworth Roman Villa, Stowe Visitor Centre by Cowper Griffith Architect, and the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlisted Giant’s Causeway by Heneghan Peng. This remarkable project alone might have clinched the Trust the Client Award, because of the way in which it chose an ambitious scheme from thoughtful designers and stuck with it despite the difficulties and constraints of site, history, planning and programme.
We agreed the National Trust should be the 2013 Client of the Year because of the way they create the heritage of the future as well as protecting the heritage of the past, making special places even more special. They show the same passion and professionalism throughout the whole process, engaging the public, supporting and collaborating with the architects and standing up for the integrity of the architecture in use. It takes a great client to deliver a great building and the Trust is responsible for the realisation of many fine buildings.’
4.The Royal Institute of British Architects champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members. www.architecture.com @RIBA
5.Established in 1895, The Architects' Journal has consistently been at the forefront of architectural publishing. Its weekly news coverage, comprehensive building studies and in-depth technical and practice features make it essential reading for the profession, and its incisive commentary makes it a must-read for opinion formers. The AJ is the UK's leading independent architectural magazine, whose authoritative voice has informed generations of architects. For more information on the RIBA Awards programme visit the AJ website at