The best buildings in Wales announced at RSAW Awards 2024

The winners of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales (RSAW) Awards 2024 have been announced.

RIBA writes:

… exploring how historic structures (Hay Castle) and cutting-edge design (sbarc spark, Cardiff University) can both contribute to the lives and experiences of people in Wales. Smaller projects showcase sculptural interventions (Plas Glyn-y-Weddw Arts Centre Café), dramatic sites (Edge House) and the opportunities to adapt built heritage for new uses (Plas Hendy Stable Block.

Presented since 1966, the RIBA Awards set the standard for great architecture across the country. The RSAW 2024 Awards were announced at a ceremony this evening, at which Hay Castle was named as winner of RSAW Building of the Year Award 2024 (sponsored by EH Smith). The judges said that the project is ‘an excellent example of how to approach conservation and heritage with spirit and expertise’ and added that it has ‘delivered a vibrant addition to the civic life of Hay-on-Wye.’

The 2024 RSAW Award winning projects are:

  1. Edge House by Hyde + Hyde Architects

A house that sits upon a dramatic peninsula in Cardiganshire overlooking the Irish Sea

  1. Hay Castle by MICA Architects

The major conservation-led renovation of a Grade-I listed Jacobean castle-house

  1. Plas Glyn-y-Weddw Arts Centre Cafe by Mark Wray Architects, Sanderson Sculptures and Fold Engineering

An intricate structure with ties to the local ecosystem became the inspiration for a new café

  1. Plas Hendy Stable Block by Studio Brassica Architects

A crumbling Arts and Crafts Grade II listed stable block has been rescued and restored to create a home

  1. sbarc | spark, Cardiff University by Hawkins\Brown

The world’s first social science research park, bringing academics and entrepreneurs together in a spirit of innovation, enterprise, and collaboration

The five projects were selected by the expert jury, who visited all shortlisted projects.

RIBA President, Muyiwa Oki, said: ‘This year’s RIBA Award winning schemes showcase the true value of quality architecture, and the positive impact it has on people’s lives. While carefully considering the needs of the environment, these truly remarkable places and spaces deliver for communities, for residents, for visitors, and people of all ages up and down the country. They are pinnacles of design excellence, and show what can be achieved when architects and clients collaborate successfully.’

RSAW Jury Chair, Kevin Hong, said: ‘From historic structures and heritage projects with new interventions to dramatic and idyllic domestic landscapes, there’s colour, craftsmanship and rigour behind every one of these projects. They represent the best new buildings in Wales, and architecture well worth celebrating.’

Full list of the regional special awards announced this evening:

  • Hay Castle – RSAW Building of the Year 2024 (sponsored by EH Smith), RSAW Conservation Award 2024
  • Plas Glyn-y-Weddw Arts Centre Cafe (Oriel Plas Glyn-y-Weddw) – RSAW Client of the Year 2024
  • Plas Hendy Stable Block – RSAW Project Architect of the Year 2024 (Claire Priest), RSAW Sustainability Award 2024 (Sponsored by Autodesk), RSAW Small Project of the Year 2024

The RSAW Award 2024 winners will now be considered for a highly coveted RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, which will be announced on 11 July. The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize for the best building of the year will be drawn from the RIBA National Award-winning projects later in the year.

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