Simpson & Brown’s £16m Lincoln Cathedral Visitor Centre bags regional building of the year accolade

Edinburgh-based Simpson & Brown Architects’ £16m visitor centre for Lincoln Cathedral has topped the winners list in the 2023 RIBA East Midlands Awards.

As well as picking up a regional award, the project has also been named East Midlands Building of the Year. Four other schemes last night emerged as winners from the nine-strong shortlist announced in February.

Simpson & Brown’s visitor centre has seen the conversion of grade I-listed Lincoln Cathedral’s former 19th century Deanery into a refectory, education centre, community rooms and offices. A new link building connects the Deanery to the cathedral cloisters and houses a shop and an exhibition hall where a 12th century Romanesque frieze has been relocated from the cathedral’s West Front.

Awards judges said the visitor centre was “a refined and elegant example of conservation architecture that is as joyful as it is appropriately humble”.

Destination Longshaw_349_Martin Bouchier_ORIGINAL_4

Destination Longshaw by Studio Gedye

Other award winners were Studio Gedye’s “Destination Longshaw” café for the National Trust in the Peak District National Park; Levitate’s “Maple Lodge” contemporary new home in a Leicestershire conservation area; Bauman Lyons Architects’ £17m Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill; and Daykin Marshall Studio’s “Old Four Row” project, which is an oak-framed extension to a 19th century Lincolnshire cottage designed by George Gilbert Scott.

The Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill also won the East Midlands project architect of the year and client of the year special awards. Old Four Row won the small project of the year special award.

Maple Lodge_669_Jim Stephenson_ORIGINAL_5

Maple Lodge by Levitate

RIBA president Simon Allford said all four winning projects represented a “fantastic achievement” in their own right.

“These projects, selected by a rigorous peer review process, represent the very best of the region’s new architecture. Inspiring buildings and spaces bring joy to all our lives, and this year’s award winners certainly fit that bill,” he said. “ Many congratulations to all.”

Old Four Row

Old Four Row by Daykin Marshall Studio

All of the regional award winners will be considered for RIBA National Awards, which are due to be announced towards the end of next month.

The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize is drawn from National Awards winners list.

Derby Silk Museum

Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill by Bauman Lyons Architects