Two projects win award celebrating building longevity

2 March 2023

Two of our projects have been named winners in the inaugural Architecture Today 'Test of Time' awards!

The awards celebrate buildings that stand the test of time, recognising projects that have been in use for at least three years and that demonstrate a strong track record of delivering on their environmental, functional, community and cultural ambitions.

Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Cambridge, took the prize in the Religion & Culture category and New Court, Trinity College, Cambridge, where our founder Max Fordham once lived as a student, won the Editor’s Special Award.

A panel of expert judges selected winners from a shortlist of 32 entries, measuring key areas of performance criteria, including construction approach, environmental performance, user comfort and well-being, accessibility, inclusivity and legibility, adaptability and flexibility, facilitation of sustainable lifestyles, robustness and resilience, biodiversity and natural capital, social impact, civic pride and sense of place, and contribution to shared learning.

New Court, Trinity College, Cambridge

Architect: 5th Studio
Completed: 2016

Located at the heart of Trinity College, New Court provides 169 highly sustainable student rooms within a Grade I Listed building. This project set a benchmark for balancing conservation with environmental performance and user comfort, setting a sustainability standard and methodology for retrofits across the University’s estate.

Working alongside architects, 5th Studio, we delivered a strategy for the project’s environmental performance, energy consumption and operation of the building services. Last year, five years on from its completion, 5th Studio director, Oliver Smith, wrote a piece for Architecture Today on the lessons learnt from the project

“The opportunity for design research that draws in micro scientific approaches is rare – this team identified an opportunity to take this on and created a rigorous approach to challenging conventions around conservation. The application of the research, and the impact on the project, should and will be replicated. We should be grateful for the team’s willingness to share this work.” Hanif Kara, Co-founder and Design Director, ATKII


“William Wilkins’ New Court has already lasted over two centuries. It has even had the difficult Grade 1 Listed accolade bestowed upon it. This project addresses a vital design question: when the outside and inside are both listed, where does the wiring, plumbing and insulation go? This team has delivered a sympathetic yet critically intelligent model for creating Banham’s well-tempered environment in a way that met with Historic England’s approval. This is a 21st-century reinvention of what Cedric Price termed a ‘medieval castle with 13amp plugs’.” - Simon Allford, RIBA President and Executive Director AHMM

Snape Maltings, Suffolk

Architect: Penoyre & Prasad
Completed: 1999

This £4.5 refurbishment of the Snape Maltings Concert Hall comprised a 100-seat restaurant within a mezzanine floor created by raising the roof 1.5 m on new steel frames. We provided M&E services for the project which included an energy-saving ground water cooling system which improved ventilation, cooling and lighting within the auditorium.

Our founder, Max Fordham, also worked on the site during its conversion to an 800-seat concert hall in 1967

“This project, an adaptative re-use of a previous great Malt House, stands as a proof that the sensitive engineering approach on this project (both structural and MEP), make it an exemplar resilient project to be celebrated.” - Marion Baeli, Partner, PDP


“It’s an inspiration to see how collaboration between the whole design team resulted, not in grand interventions but modest and essential alterations creating spaces that everyone can access and enjoy.” - Sarah Allan, Head of Architecture at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities


“Sunand Prasad offered a masterclass in how buildings can learn at Snape Maltings. This was already a pioneer of adaptive re-use when Derek Sugden of Arup transformed the maltings into a world-class performance space for Britten and Piers in the 60s. Penoyre & Prasad skilfully enhanced the venue, functionally, aesthetically and culturally in ways that have not only enhanced the audience experience over the last ten years, but have also contributed to an upgrade to Grade II* listed status.” - Ben Derbyshire, Chair, HTA and RIBA Past President

Read more about the winners unveiled for the Architecture Today Awards 2022.