RIBA Regional and International Awards 2024: Eight wins for Max Fordham projects

Aerial colour photo of Hampate Ba school football pitch with children playing.

Following the announcement of this year's RIBA Regional Awards and RIBA International Awards, we are pleased to announce that our projects have won eight prizes. The RIBA Judges said the successful projects reflect changes and innovations in architecture, but at their core display a commitment to designing and developing buildings and spaces for the improvement and enhancement of people’s lives. 

You can read about our winning projects below. 

Collège Amadou Hampaté Bâ, Niger

Inside a classroom in Niger, with schoolchildren writing at desks.

© Article 25

Collège Amadou Hampaté Bâ is a low carbon and passively ventilated school located in Niamey, Niger. Located in the north of Niger’s capital city Niamey, College Hampate Ba provides subsidised education to children from lower income families. The project transformed an existing middle school into an extraordinary secondary school by refurbishing existing buildings and introducing new naturally ventilated teaching, latrines and administration blocks.

With an emphasis on locally sourced materials, the school has been designed to reduce solar heat gains and maximise passive natural ventilation to create beautiful spaces with internal environments suitable for teaching without the need for mechanical systems.

The project was named the winner of the 2024 RIBA International Award for Excellence - a special award presented to projects worldwide that stretch the boundaries of architecture and standards of excellence.

The Bluebird Project

The exterior of a brick building, lit by sunshine

© Bill Haynes

The Bluebird Project is a 35-bedroom Passivhaus-certified homeless shelter for Southend’s leading Homeless Charity, HARP. It is designed to enable HARP to provide last stage accommodation for people in the final stages of their journey through HARP’s services.

Max Fordham provided Passivhaus consultancy and MEP engineering services on the new-build mews scheme, which is fossil fuel-free and heated with air source heat pumps. 

As well as winning a RIBA East Award, the Bluebird Project also won the RIBA East Sustainability Award and was named RIBA East Client of the Year.

The Grade I-listed National Portrait Gallery, London, houses the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Our goal was to improve the internal conditions of the gallery in the most sustainable, energy-efficient, and sensitive way possible.

We were tasked with integrating state-of-the-art engineering systems as well as safely reintroducing daylight into the galleries through windows which had been hidden for nearly 100 years.

Now, the National Portrait Gallery has been named a winner of a RIBA London Award 2024

Homerton College Dining Hall

Exterior shot of Homerton College Dining Hall through trees.

© Jim Stephenson / clickclickjim

Beyond its distinctive exterior featuring a dramatic roof clad in 3,200 green ceramic tiles, Homerton College Dining Hall delivers numerous considerable improvements for Cambridge’s largest college community. The new dining hall was designed to host much bigger events, all main social spaces feature large integrated openings that deliver natural ventilation for comfort and fresh air during most of the year, and the plant space has been carefully positioned alongside the large catering kitchen to simplify integration of ventilation equipment and facilitate maintenance. 

The project has been named a winner of a RIBA East Award 2024

Avery Court has been transformed by the addition of the WongAvery Music Gallery, a state-of-the-art musical recital and rehearsal space. The 77m² stone-built rehearsal and recital space sits in the centre of Avery Court at the college’s central campus Trinity Hall, one of Cambridge University’s oldest colleges. It is named after the project’s primary funders, the family of the late college fellow Dennis Avery.

The discreetly serviced building provides stable conditions for long-term instrument storage in a characterful, daylit space. Composed of cubic forms, the new space is made of thin stone columns and beams, with the four different types of stone all sourced in the UK.

This unique project has been recognised with a RIBA East Award 2024.

John Bradfield Court, Darwin College

Exterior of a building, with a veranda overlooking the River Cam in Cambridge

John Bradfield Court is the most recent addition to Darwin College, Cambridge, a rich collage of buildings and layering of historical periods. It addresses the oldest part of the college, restoring the Grade II-listed Old Granary. First remodelled into residential use in the 1880s by architect J.J. Stevenson, the Old Granary had been converted into student accommodation in the 1960s with little consideration to the quality of its historic spaces. Architects Allies and Morrison have now restored it in an exemplary fashion, delivering contemporary student accommodation while re-establishing the character and integrity of the original building.

It has been awarded a RIBA East Award 2024