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Prestigious RIBA architecture awards recognise JW3 centre alongside the Shard

The JW3 centre in Finchley Road has been commended by RIBA. Picture: Blake Ezra Photography Ltd The JW3 centre in Finchley Road has been commended by RIBA. Picture: Blake Ezra Photography Ltd

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
11:50 AM

A Jewish arts and cultural centre has joined the ranks of the Shard, Tate Britain and The London Aquatics Centre after it received a prestigious design award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

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The London Aquatics Centre was honoured in the same category as the JW3 community centreThe London Aquatics Centre was honoured in the same category as the JW3 community centre

The JW3 centre in Finchley Road, which opened in September last year, was one of eight honoured with an award in the arts and leisure category in London, regarded as the UK’s most competitive region.

The awards recognise excellence in architecture and are part of the RIBA Awards scheme, which culminates in the announcement of the Stirling Prize-winner in September.

The £50million JW3 centre was designed by architects Lifschutz, Davidson and Sandilands (LDS), who designed London’s Oxo Tower.

JW3 chairman Michael Goldstein said everyone at the centre was “thrilled to be awarded this incredible accolade”.

The iconic Shard was also recognised by RIBA. Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty ImagesThe iconic Shard was also recognised by RIBA. Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

“The RIBA awards are the UK’s best respected for architecture and to be winners among a group which includes The London Aquatics Centre, Tate Britain and Rambert Dance HQ is no small achievement,” he said.

“When we asked LDS to create JW3, our vision was a building which would serve the multitude of diverse activities we have here, be environmentally-friendly, easy to navigate and architecturally fresh.

“We asked for a building which would change the Jewish landscape,” he added.

“They gave us that and one which has changed the London landscape too.

“We are delighted RIBA has recognised the amazing job LDS did.”

Architect Alex Lifschutz said the award recognised the “spirit” of all those behind its design.

“JW3 is more than a building,” he said. “It is an engaging place where Jewish culture and life can flourish, so we are delighted that JW3 has been given a RIBA award in this highly competitive year.

“The RIBA awards recognise buildings and spaces that are inherently clear and enjoyable.

“In this context we feel the openness and optimism of JW3 and the spirit of all those who have made the project possible have been fully recognised.”

This year’s RIBA London Building of the Year winner was the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the London School of Economics in Holborn.

The award comes after JW3 chief Raymond Simonson said that the centre has had four times the number of expected visitors in its first six months, with 120,000 people coming through its doors.

It has benefitted from a packed opening season of events, including interviews with high-profile artists and actors, the creation of an outdoor ice rink and a regular series of courses and talks.

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