Zoë Polya-Vitry’s L’Écurie at Dorfold Hall beats schemes by FCBS, Hawkins Brown, Tonkin Liu and Citizens Design Bureau for top regional gong

A resurrection of a long-lost stable building at a grade I-listed estate in Cheshire has been named as the best new building in the North West.

Zoë Polya-Vitry’s L’Écurie at Dorfold Hall has topped a list of seven RIBA North West regional award winners, beating schemes by Hawkins Brown, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Tonkin Liu.

The zinc-clad stable, which will be used as an events space, is based on the scale and plan of a building which once stood in a derelict stable yard at Dorfold Hall.

Judges praised the scheme’s “enchanting” command of light and space and its attention to detail, which they said makes for an “elegant building which sits within its equally beautiful context, influencing every event it now hosts”.

Other winning projects include the Manchester Jewish Museum by Citizens Design Bureau, which also picked up a special award for project architect of the year.

Two higher education schemes made the list, Hawkins Brown’s Student Centre and University Square for the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios’ School of Digital Arts for the Manchester Metropolitan University.

Tonkin Liu’s 40m-tall Tower of Light and Wall of Energy at Manchester’s Civic Quarter Heat Network and Energy Centre was also named, and praised by judges for its use of locally sourced super-thin ceramic tiles.

The list of gong-winners was completed by Stephen Hamilton Risley Studios’ AVRO, a redevelopment of a grade II-listed warehouse building in Manchester, and Scott Donald Architecture’s Cross House, an extension to a grade II-listed house in Chester.

Cross House also bagged a special award for client of the year, while AVRO landed this year’s North West conservation 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 North West 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.