16 September 2016
The Weston Library has been named as one of the winners of the Architects' Journal 2016 Retrofit Awards.
The awards, given by the UK's leading architecture magazine, are the first and only awards recognising design, engineering and construction excellence that prolongs and improves the life of the built environment.
The Weston Library, which is part of the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries, opened to the public in March 2015 following a three-year transformation by WilkinsonEyre architects. This latest award follows a string of architectural accolades for the refurbished Library, which has also been shortlisted for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize 2016.
The Architects' Journal 2016 Retrofit Awards were announced at an event in London on 14 September, with sixteen remarkable buildings scooping awards. The Weston Library won in the category for Listed Buildings - Over £5million.
Architect's Journal Editor-in-Chief Christine Murray
Architect's Journal Editor-in-Chief Christine Murray said: 'The Retrofit Awards celebrate the exemplary remodelling of existing buildings to extend the life of the built environment. These projects breathe new life into our built heritage, showcase architectural ingenuity, and make significant energy savings while boosting building performance.'
The jury for the Listed Building Over £5million category commended WilkinsonEyre for their 'innovative approach to transforming an inwardly focused building into a welcoming library by creating an external colonnade which relates to the street and an internal light-filled court which immediately orients visitors to the building.'
WilkinsonEyre's refurbishment of the Weston Library transformed the 1930s listed building, originally designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, into a new cultural and intellectual landmark that has proved popular with everyone from local residents and tourists to scholars at Oxford and from around the world. The renovated Library includes study rooms, reading rooms, a Visiting Scholars Centre and a Centre for Digital Scholarship, and also welcomes members of the public to its two exhibition spaces, a lecture theatre, café and shop. This world-class facility has been fully open for over a year and has received over 1 million visitors. It was formally opened by HRH the Duke of Cambridge in May 2016.
The Weston Library has earned high praise from the architecture and design community. In addition to being shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize, the building has won a RIBA National Award, a RIBA South Regional Award, the RIBA South Building of the Year 2016, the Architects' Journal's 2016 Building of the Year award and an Oxford Preservation Trust Award. The University of Oxford has also been shortlisted for the 2016 RIBA Client of the Year award as WilkinsonEyre's client during the redevelopment of the Weston Library. This award will be announced alongside the RIBA Stirling Prize 2016 at a ceremony on 6 October.