Green RSPB centre in running for £20,000 architecture prize

The RSPB's education and environment centre at the Rainham Reserve has been named one of the top 14 buildings in the UK by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The RSPB's Rainham Reserve building. Photo: Simon Williams for the RSPB
The RSPB's Rainham Reserve building. Photo: Simon Williams for the RSPB
This award puts the Rainham Reserve in the running for the annual RIBA Stirling Prize in which the winner receives £20,000 at a live televised event.

The RIBA publicly described the building, which is adjacent to the Thames, as “exemplary, accessible, friendly”.

RIBA head judge Niall McLaughlin honoured the building’s “intelligent” architects for making the building environmentally conscious as well as welcoming and accessible to visitors. “It has a pleasant internal environment bathed in natural light and exposed to panoramic views,” said McLaughlin. “The environmental measures are exemplary.”

Niall Lindsay, Chief Executive of the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation, which provided funding and support for the project, said: “The new RSPB Visitor Centre exemplifies both building quality and design with distinction against a particularly challenging and environmentally sensitive marshland environment adjacent to the river Thames.”

The reserve, which was opened to the public in November 2006, is a home and breeding ground to nearly 7,000 birds in the summer.

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