CLAW 2013 Annual General Meeting

The CLAW 2013 AGM was hosted by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council on 14th and 15th November 2014. Blaenau Gwent had organised an extensive site tour of a major redevelopment known as The Works, Ebbw Vale. This ambitious £350M scheme sees the redevelopment of the former Ebbw Vale Steelworks which closed down in 2002. The delegates were taken on an informative and extensive tour of the site and around some of the iconic environmentally sustainable buildings already completed. These included the General Offices, the Leisure Centre, Primary School, Energy Centre and Learning Zone.

At the Member’s Dinner the 2013 winners of the CLAW Building of the Year Award and Commendation Awards were announced and awards presented. The winner of the CLAW Building of the Year for 2013 was the Gwyn Hall Redevelopment, Neath designed by Wilco Stekkinger, Holder Mathias Architects for Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council. The Gwyn Hall was a Grade II-listed building that had been devastated by a major fire and the judges were impressed by the ingenious strategy adopted by the designers to incorporate the key elements of the brief for such an arts centre within the envelope of the original building.

The judges were very impressed at the quality of many of the other projects submitted for the 2013 Building of the Year Award. Among the many good quality school projects submitted the judges considered that Flintshire’s Caer Nant Primary School, Connah’s Quay worthy of a 2013 CLAW Commendation Award. The project was designed by Flintshire County Council’s in-house design team and there was evidence that there had been a large amount of engagement with stakeholders during the design process resulting in a high degree of user satisfaction. The other winner of a 2013 CLAW Commendation Award is the Rural Heritage Centre at Llanyrafon Manor, Cwmbran for Torfaen County Borough Council. This renovation project of a Grade II*-listed building was designed by Austin-Smith: Lord of Cardiff. The judges were pleased to see an authority caring for its built heritage with a scheme that clearly demonstrated a sympathetic and high standard of historic building conservation practice.