Butcher Bayley Architects win RIBA Award

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Butcher Bayley Architects, are celebrating as their copper-clad extension in Cambridge secured a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) East award – with judges praising ‘the creative value a good architect can bring to the simplest project.’  

The Copper House – an extension of a mid-terrace house in the Mill Road Conservation Area of Cambridge – was the smallest project shortlisted and has been recognised alongside projects like the Magdalene College Library and Ely Museum. 

Luke Butcher, director and co-founder of Butcher Bayley Architects, spoke about the result: “We’re so happy with this win. The Royal Institute of British Architects is a benchmark for quality and prestige in the industry – not just in the UK but around the world. As an architect you always hope to be recognised by them – so this win means a lot. 

“It was a brilliant project to work on and we’d like to thank our clients for sharing their hopes for their dream home – and allowing us to realise their vision in the way we have.” 

Judges were full of praise for the project, which stands out for its copper-clad exterior, saying in their announcement: “What impresses here is that the practice has ensured that the whole house has been considered and integrated into a bravura intervention. 

“With limited means, the architects picked the right elements to focus on. A strong collaboration with the client helped select good materials and critical areas of craftsmanship such as the patinated copper external cladding and terracotta tiles from the client’s native Italy. 

“Light is dropped in at tactical points, dramatising moments like standing at the sink. The new room opens the house up to the garden – reportedly a godsend during lockdown.” 

The win means Butcher Bayley Architects will now go forward into the National RIBA Awards later this year – from which the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize will be chosen. 

Carrie Bayley, fellow Director and Co-founder, concluded: “We hope there’ll be many more RIBA Awards in our future as a practice, but nothing beats the first time – so we’ll certainly enjoy this moment – and then get to work realising more great projects for our clients!”