Five-storey Folkestone scheme described by judges as a “labour of love”

Hollaway Studio’s multi-storey skatepark in Folkestone has been named as the winner of this year’s RIBA South East Awards.

The five-storey F51 skatepark, commissioned by billionaire philanthropist Roger De Haan, was described by judges as a “labour of love”.

The scheme, which was originally planned as a multi-storey car park, was praised for its “exceptional craftsmanship in providing a space for nurturing young people”.

It topped a list of eight winners, including Wilkinson Eyre’s research and visitor centre for the Royal Horticultural Society, Allies and Morrison’s Bayside in Worthing, and another Hollaway scheme, Upper Maxted, a redesign of a grade II-listed farmhouse.

Others on the list included Waterfield House by pH+ Architects, House in Hove by Farshid Moussavi Architecture, Middle Avenue by Rural Office and Hapa Architects’ Black Timber House, which was also handed the South East small project of the year award.

Hollaway’s F51 also won this year’s client of the year special award.

RIBA President, Simon Allford, said: “Winning a RIBA regional award is a fantastic achievement. 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. Many congratulations to all.”

RIBA South East Award winners will now be considered for a RIBA National Award, which will be announced on 22 June. 

The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize for the best building of the year will be drawn from the RIBA National Award-winning projects later in the year.