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Yorkshire Sculpture Park's new visitor centre shortlisted for major national architecture prize – 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize

19 Jul 2019

RIBA has announced Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s new £3.6million visitor centre, The Weston, is among six buildings shortlisted for one of architecture’s most prestigious national prizes – 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize – which recognises Britain’s best building. 
 
The Weston opened in March this year to critical acclaim and includes a restaurant, shop, gallery and additional visitor facilities. YSP receives around half a million visitors a year and the light-filled building has significantly increased capacity at the award-winning open-air museum and gallery in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
 
The building was designed by architects Feilden Fowles and constructed by Yorkshire-based company William Birch. It fits sympathetically with the historic landscape of the Park with a low profile that protects it from the motorway – M1 junction 38 is less than a mile away – and forms a sheltered, sunken terrace with views across the Park towards one of the Park’s two lakes, Bretton Hall and, in the far distance, the iconic Emely Moor mast. It includes a wild-flower roof, designed by Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects, inspired by 19th-century Yorkshireman and plant adventurer, Reginald Farrer.
 
The insulation and natural ventilation of the centre, using an air-source heat pump and a pioneering low-energy environmental control system, underline the architects aim to ensure that the building is environmentally sustainable.
 
Peter Murray CBE, Executive and Founding Director, YSP said: “We are delighted that The Weston has been shortlisted for the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize. This stunning building is an important addition to the Park and reflects our ambition to further develop our artistic programme and to welcome visitors all year round. YSP contributes around £10 million each year to the local economy and today’s announcement is also a significant moment for Yorkshire. We are grateful to all those who have helped realise this building from our major supporters, such as The Garfield Weston Foundation and Arts Council England, to our visitors.”
 
Fergus Feilden, Director, Feilden Fowles said: “It was an honour to work on a new building within the historic landscape of YSP, among the esteemed company of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. This is our first realised public project, making it all the more exciting. It is already transforming visitors’ experience of the east part of the Park.”
 
The Weston at Yorkshire Sculpture Park is one of six projects on the shortlist for the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize. They are Cork House, Berkshire; Goldsmith Street, Norwich; London Bridge Station; Nevill Holt Opera, Leicestershire; and The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience, Moray. The winner is announced on 8 October 2019.

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The Weston at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Courtesy Feilden Fowles and YSP. Photo © Peter Cook

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