The Depot in Lewes was announced as the winner of the Best Public Service Building at the Grand Finals of the 2018 LABC Building Excellence Awards, held on Friday evening. As the winner earlier this year of the South East Regional Award, is was judged against the category winners for each of the other eleven regions and awarded the national prize.
The Depot is a new three-screen community cinema, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer, on the site of the modest but much loved existing warehouse of the old Harvey’s brewery depot in Lewes. The three screens have been discreetly inserted within the saved brick shell, with the major design move being to attach a new glazed extension with the depot structure fully visible as the historic backdrop to the new box office, café bar, restaurant and film education and training facilities. Reflecting the historic site layout of orchards and meadows, the former tarmacked service yard is landscaped to provide a new public realm.
The Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Awards showcase buildings and design teams that have had to tackle tussle with complex technical or construction issues and building site constraints. They highlight innovative and creative solutions and building control professionalism that leads to safe, sustainable and high quality construction projects.
A panel of industry experts judged a shortlist of the highest quality projects from around England and Wales to reward the best in technical innovation, sustainability and design. The panel of expert judges said “The Depot is a lively cinema hub with exhibition space, café and restaurant. Its design and innovative use of technology ensures it’s fully inclusive for the whole community. External lighting minimises light pollution and the extensive green roof of local plants responds to the special character of the South Downs.”
After the award was announced @LewesDepot tweeted “Thank you @BFFarchitects – our community in #Lewes is fortunate indeed to have such a beautifully designed building”.