Invisible Studio’s colorful waterfront scheme named RIBA South West Building of Year

The £4.5m gallery, workshops and community center project, built in an abandoned shipyard and designed with Ellis Williams Architects, was also one of 12 projects to win an RIBA regional award in the South West region.

Chosen from 23 finalists, East Quay’s ‘generous and playful’ project was praised by the judges as ‘truly remarkable in both its ambition and scope’ and testament to the team’s ‘perseverance and dedication’, which took over eight years to build.

The project sponsor, a local women-led nonprofit called the Onion Collective, was named the RIBA South West Client of 2023.

Invisible Studio also took home a regional award for their Beezantium, an ‘intriguing’ zany set in rural Somerset.

The other double award winners in the Southwest were Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and BEAM Architects.

The region’s Small Project of the Year award went to Studio Weave’s ‘beautifully considered and delicately designed’ Made of Sand extension to a stone cottage in Devon.

Meanwhile, Nicola du Pisanie of Stonewood Design was named the 2023 RIBA South West Project Architect of the Year for her work on the ‘painfully reconstructed and reimagined’ Roman Villa Experience in Somerset.

The region’s sustainability award was collected by Ecomotive’s Forest Road SNUG house in Bristol.

RIBA President Simon Allford said: ‘Winning an RIBA regional award is a fantastic achievement. These projects, selected through a rigorous peer review process, represent the best of new architecture in the region.

‘Inspiring buildings and spaces bring joy to all of our lives, and this year’s award winners certainly fit that bill. Many congratulations to all.’

The 23 shortlisted projects were evaluated by a regional jury. The winners now compete for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence. The winners of these will be announced on June 22.

The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize for Building of the Year will be drawn from the national award winning projects with the overall winner to be announced in October.

Source: Jim Stephenson

East Quay by Invisible Studio and Ellis Williams Architects – RIBA South West Building of the Year. Jury Citation: “From a distance, as you approach Watchet, your eye is inexplicably drawn to the somewhat idiosyncratic amalgamation of building volumes that rear their heads above the glittering harbor in coastal strips.”

RIBA South West Regional Awards Winners 2023

  • beezantium by unseen studio
  • Blackbird by _and lyons architects with Hamish Herford
  • cove crest by Coffey Architects
  • Barn by David Kohn Architects
  • Dazzle by BEAM Architects
  • east pier by Invisible Studio and Ellis Williams
  • Forest Road SNUG home by Ecomotive
  • made of sand by Studio Weave
  • Grinder by BEAM Architects
  • Clore Learning Center of the Roman Baths by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
  • The experience of the Roman villa by Stonewood Design
  • Bristol University Senate House by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Source: Craig Auckland, photohaus

The Roman Villa Experience is located within the grounds of The Newt, a Somerset estate by Stonewood Design