RIBA East has awarded John McAslan + Partners with a Regional Award and a Conservation Award for their transformation of St Albans Museum + Gallery.
At a ceremony on 9th May 2019, the jury commended how the project reveals 'the building for what it is – a very important civic building set at the commercial and cultural heart of the city…' and rediscovers 'the civic significance of the structure and adapts its purpose to serve the modern City.'
Cllr Annie Brewster, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Sport at St Albans City & District Council said: 'To win the overall Conservation Award is absolutely incredible. This accolade is the highest honour and we are delighted they were so taken with the repurposing of our iconic city centre landmark.'
John McAslan, Executive Chairman, John McAslan + Partners, says: 'We’re grateful to the RIBA for this award, which recognises our transformation of this important historic building into an exciting cultural destination in the heart of St Albans.'
John McAslan + Partners led the multidisciplinary team, delivering a conservation-led sustainable future for the historic building. The 19th century stuccoed elevations, Assembly Room and Courtroom have all been painstakingly refurbished and upgraded with integrated modern services. The Assembly Room is now repurposed as a gallery to showcase the rich history of St Albans City, while the Courtroom has been refurbished as a creative educational resource and café seating area. Visitors can also explore the basement below, which houses the Victorian cells as well as a new gallery providing an environmentally controlled exhibition space to accommodate touring exhibitions and contemporary art shows. On the ground floor, a visitor information centre, café, and further exhibition and educational spaces have transformed this historic building into a major cultural destination, while new glazed wings at first-floor level allow visitors to circulate through the building and enjoy impressive views of the surrounding townscape and cathedral.