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Toffee Factory scoops three RIBA Awards, putting it on the longlist for the Stirling Prize

June 22, 2012

The Royal Institute of British Architects recognised the architectural excellence of the redevelopment of Toffee Factory, putting in the running for the architecture’s prestigious Stirling Prize.

The former sweet factory, now a centre for creative businesses was honoured with three 2012 RIBA Awards in recognition of its architectural excellence. For its redevelopment of Toffee Factory Xsite Architecture gained a RIBA Award, one of 58 National Awards and which means that it goes forward on to the longlist for the Stirling Prize.

It was also awarded RIBA North East Sustainable Building of the Year and RIBA North East Building of the Year at the RIBA North ceremony in Leeds last night (20 June 2012).

The RIBA Awards have been running continuously since 1966 with the RIBA Award winning schemes setting the standard for great architecture all across the country.  The Stirling Prize is known as the Oscars of Architecture and the 2012 Stirling Prize winner will be announced 13 October 2012.

Lisa Tolan, Centre Manager of Toffee Factory, for Creative Space Management said:

“We were delighted with RIBA’s recognition of the redevelopment of Toffee Factory with three RIBA North awards last night, and excited to now be in the running for the highly coveted Stirling Prize for Architecture.”

The refurbishment of the old Victorian factory was led by Xsite Architecture, an Ouseburn based practice.  It has produced a blend of bold design and exposed brickwork and had already scooped a number of architectural and design awards, including Project of the Year, Regeneration and highly commended in Design and Innovation and Commercial categories in the North East RICs awards.

Tim Bailey, lead architect of the project from Xsite Architecture added:

“Peer group recognition is always very exciting but we recognise there is a team behind the success of this building and want to share this Awards recognition with them. It was a great project to work on, its impact in the Ouseburn is tangible and we would be delighted to see it become a catalyst for further regeneration of the Valley and East Newcastle.

RIBA judges said:

“The derelict toffee factory, with trees growing out of its ruined shell, has been reincarnated as a managed work space for the creative industries and is almost fully let. It has become a landmark in the regeneration of the Ouseburn Valley and a significant addition to Newcastle’s architectural legacy.

“The original building fabric has been restored, including the distinctive chimney, and an additional floor has been added. The demands of energy conservation have led to an interesting chequerboard of insulation alternating between inside and out, so one is always aware of the original structure. “

Toffee Factory provides creative and digital studio space for growing businesses. Its contemporary office spaces, which opened in December 2011 in the refurbished Maynards Toffee Factory located at the mouth of the Ouseburn Valley, is now home to twenty creative businesses.

Toffee Factory builds upon the Ouseburn Valley’s existing ecology of creative businesses and is a gateway development that connects the valley to the cultural regeneration of Quayside.

The Toffee Factory opens its doors for a very special building tour this Friday 22 June between 4-5pm as part of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) new festival of architecture, Love Architecture.

Visitors can join Toffee Factory Architect Tim Bailey from Xsite Architecture to look behind the scenes of Newcastle’s newest and award winning centre for creative businesses.

Lisa Tolan, Centre Manager of Toffee Factory, for Creative Space Management said:

“What better time to look around the Toffee Factory with its Architect than the week that it won three RIBA awards.  This tour as part of Love Architecture is the opportunity to join us for a very exclusive look behind the scenes and learn about the award-winning conversion of former sweet factory into a home for contemporary creative businesses.”

The Love Architecture Festival runs between from 15 – 24 June 2012 and offers the chance to get involved in a host of activities, including many events specifically for children and families with activities ranging from building tours, cycle tours and exhibitions.  Toffee Factory Love Architecture Building Tour places are free but limited and should be reserved through http://www.lovearchitecture.org/event.html?event=189

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