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Project to transform North Shields building up for regional award

YMCA building in North Shields
YMCA building in North Shields

Work to transform a run-down town centre building into a community hub has been shortlisted for a regional award.

The YMCA building in North Shields is among 12 buildings shortlisted in the RIBA North East (Royal Institute of British Architects) Awards 2018 to be held on May 24.

The project, which was carried out by Grace Choi Architecture, has been highlighted for turning the run-down building into an open community building on a “painfully tight budget”.

After being shortlisted, initial judges said: “North Shields appears to be an unwelcoming place, with visible signs of deprivation. But the community is warm, hard working and rich with memories about the YMCA building.

“The refurbishment was co-ordinated whilst the building was occupied, within programme and budget set.

“An institutional aesthetic was transformed into a bright, open, accessible interior, conveying the progressive spirit of the YMCA and meeting its objective.”

RIBA North East chairman Tim Bailey said: “I am really delighted that this RIBA Regional Awards shortlist showcases the excellent breadth of architect’s work in the north east.

“The inclusion of new-build, conservation and refurbishment work, projects at large and small scales, and in urban, suburban and rural settings, illustrates the value and impact that great design can bring to any setting and all communities.

“Congratulations to all those making the shortlist.”

All shortlisted buildings will be assessed by a regional jury and the winning buildings will be announced at the RIBA North East Awards on May 24.

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 in June.