A RIBA Prize for Houlton School

This year, the RIBA launched its very first RIBA award for Reinvention, recognising buildings that have been creatively reused to improve their environmental, social, or economic sustainability– increasing the longevity and energy efficiency of existing buildings and reducing the need for demolition and new construction.  

The inaugural winner was Houlton School in Rugby – a scheme on which OFR is part of the design team.

Congratulations to van Heyningen and Haward Architects who won the inaugural RIBA Reinvention Award at the prestigious Stirling Prize celebrations this month.

The award was given to the practice’s designs for Houlton School in Rugby – a pioneering example of retrofit. 

OFR is proud to have been a part of the design team for the scheme, working alongside the architects on the concept which saw the successful restoration of the Grade II-listed transmitter building, C Station, as well as the creation of three new state-of-the-art school blocks arranged around a central courtyard.

Judges commented on the site’s “careful conservation and sensitive interventions” – including the restoration of degraded building fabrics and sourcing of locally produced materials. That can often present a challenge in fire engineering, but working together as part of a progressive design team allowed the transformation to come to fruition – with a scheme that protects people while also retaining the impressive heritage architecture on display.

Congratulations to all involved; you can read more about the RIBA Award here.


Simon Lay


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