11 May 2016
The Weston Library has won two prestigious awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The Library, which is part of the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries, won a RIBA South Regional Award as well as the prestigious overall award: RIBA South Building of the Year 2016. The awards were announced at a ceremony on 28 April at Ascot Racecourse.
The Weston Library opened to the public in March 2015 following a dramatic, three-year transformation by Wilkinson Eyre architects. The refurbishment transformed the 1930s listed building, originally designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, into a new cultural and intellectual landmark that has proved hugely popular with everyone from local residents and tourists to students and scholars.
The Weston Library now serves as both a 21st century research library and a public space with exhibition galleries, a lecture theatre, event space, café and shop. RIBA called the renovation a 'stunning solution' to a 'complex brief' and stated that the 'project has made a significant contribution to its immediate environment.'
In total, 17 buildings in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire were awarded for 'architectural excellence' by RIBA including a total of five buildings at the University of Oxford. The 17 regional award winners were drawn from a shortlist of 30 projects, from 64 entries. A full list of RIBA South Award winners can be found on the RIBA website. All winners will now be entered for the RIBA National Awards, which will be announced on 23 June, 2016.
This latest honour for the Weston Library follows a number of accolades. The building won an Oxford Preservation Trust Award in 2015 and has been shortlisted for several awards, including the Building Magazine Project of the Year (2015) and the Architects' Journal AJ100 Awards due to be announced on 8 June 2016.