Patrick Parsons triumphed at the 60th Anniversary Civic Trust Awards, scooping the AABC Conservation Award with Purcell Architects.
The ceremony, which took place at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester on 1st March, aims to reward projects that offer a positive social, cultural, environmental or economic benefit to their local communities.
The AABC Conservation award was won by the Open Treasure Exhibition at Durham Cathedral, a £10m project to create new spaces in medieval buildings around the Cathedral Cloister and a stunning new state-of-the-art two-storey gallery space.
As appointed civil and structural engineers, Patrick Parsons was responsible for the design of the new structures to allow the passage of services within floor zones, as well as the design of the plenum and floor structure arrangement to control the air flow in the Great Kitchen exhibition area.
Restoring a building such as Durham Cathedral without causing irreparable damage, or including inappropriate additions, is a major challenge. Patrick Parsons’ team of heritage and conservation experts overcame this with structural designs that used traditional methods that were sympathetic to the existing structure.
Leon Walsh, Senior Structural Engineer at Patrick Parsons, said: “Open Treasures is the largest investment in the Cathedral in modern times and, because of the fluidity of this type of historic project, we faced many challenges and design changes. This was due to the exposure of archaeology and uncovering of areas on site that required amendments to the structural design without affecting the historic structure.
“All structural elements specified built into the Cathedral, such as lintels and pad stones, are sympathetic to the existing structure and new connections into the existing building were kept to an absolute minimum. Membranes were also laid below new concrete to protect the historic sub floor and to allow easy removal if required in future.
“We’re privileged and proud to have been involved in this fantastic project, which thoroughly deserved to win its award.”
In addition to the Open Treasure Exhibition, Patrick Parsons was also associated with another award-winning project at the ceremony as The Sill Landscape Discovery Centre in Northumberland picked up the Selwyn Goldsmith Award.