Sibson Building is one of UK’s best new buildings

Martin Herrema

The Sibson Building at the University has been recognised as one of the nation’s best new buildings by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

RIBA’s National Awards are given to buildings across the UK that are recognised as making ‘significant contributions’ to architecture and it follows success in the RIBA regional awards when the Sibson Building was named South-East Building of the Year for 2018.

The building, at the Canterbury campus, was designed by architect Penoyre and Prasad and officially opened in May 2017. It is home to Kent Business School and the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science and is named after the late Professor Robin Sibson, a former vice-chancellor of the University.

Described by RIBA as ‘a very thoughtful building, with a clear architectural concept which has been rigorous enough to withstand the project development and budgetary constraints’, the design concept features zigzagging wings which help to integrate the two schools while allowing them to have their own dedicated spaces.

The RIBA description continues: ‘It was evident that the relationship between the design team and contractor was good, with shared aspirations helped by good communication of design intent. Likewise, there seemed to be a strong sense of trust and respect between client and architect and when we met them the architect’s passion and enthusiasm was infectious.’

The Sibson Building will now be among 49 national winners to be considered for the shortlist – announced on 19 July – for the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize, which is awarded annually for the best building in the UK. The winner of this will be announced on 10 October.