Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP)’s new £3.6million visitor centre, The Weston, was announced as the winner of RIBA Yorkshire Award 2019 and RIBA Yorkshire Building of the Year Award 2019. YSP also received the special category award for RIBA Yorkshire Client of the Year 2019. 

Shortlisted among other exceptional projects in Yorkshire, YSP – one of the world’s leading open air galleries, set in the grounds of the stunning 18th century Bretton Estate – received the prestigious awards for the new visitor centre designed by London-based architecture practice Feilden Fowles, which opened on 30 March 2019. 

Built on a historic quarry site within the estate, The Weston, which is a result of significant support from family grant-maker, The Garfield Weston Foundation, has upgraded the visitor experience at the East Entrance and increased essential capacity at the Park. The Weston, which was carefully designed to fit sympathetically with the historic landscape, comprises a restaurant (140m2), gallery space (125m2), public foyer (80m2) and shop (50m2). 

Peter Murray CBE, Founding and Executive Director of YSP said: “It really is an honour to be awarded the RIBA Yorkshire Award, Yorkshire Building of the Year and Yorkshire Client of the Year. We built up a strong and special relationship over several years with Feilden Fowles which has resulted in a truly spectacular building. The Weston not only opens up a new area of the Park and enhances visitor experience, but it is also a key factor in supporting YSP’s future sustainability.” 

The RIBA judges said: “The new building has significantly improved its immediate environment, providing a sunny west-facing terrace and giving visitors an opportunity to look across the park from its panoramic glazed wall that gently curves to embrace the landscape. 

“This is a project that has achieved an excellent outcome through the close collaboration between the client and the architect.” 

Fergus Feilden, Director of Feilden Fowles, said: “We are thrilled that The Weston has won Yorkshire Building of the Year at the RIBA Awards and that YSP received Client of the Year, an award which celebrates a client who were passionate, challenging and committed throughout the project. Together the design team, client and contractor have delivered a very special building which serves people and landscape equally.” 

The awards are organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Regional Award winners will be considered for a highly coveted RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will be announced on 27 June 2019. The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize for the best building of the year will be drawn from the RIBA National Award-winning buildings later in the year. 

Projects shortlisted for the 2019 RIBA Yorkshire Awards included: Alsop Fields; Avalon; Corn Yard; The Great Barn, Bolton Abbey; The Hollis Building; Leeds Arts University; Mercia School, Sheffield; Merrion House, Leeds; Mount Grace Priory Café; LVV,RTC and iCAIR; Site Gallery, Sheffield; Scala Yard; Solar Gate; Velvet Mill, Lister Mills; and The Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Park. 


Image credit: The Weston at Yorkshire Sculpture Park courtesy feilden fowles and ysp photo © Peter Cook