Powdertech (Corby) Ltd is pleased to be sponsoring the Society of Facade Engineering Competition 2016. The competition invites designers, architects and engineers to submit imaginative and innovative building facades. These will be judged by some of the world’s leading exponents of facade engineering.

“As a niche supplier of specialist metal finishing to the architectural sector we are highly appreciative of the technical competence and design skills displayed in facade form and function,” said Richard Besant, Sales and Marketing Director, Powdertech (Corby) Ltd. “We have seen excellence and creativity in facade design grow year upon year, and supporting the Society of Facade Engineers is a natural fit with our business. We look forward to seeing the final winning entries.”

The winners will be announced at the SFE’s Glass Supper held on December 1st in the splendid Gibson Hall in the City of London.

For more information please visit

Local cafes around the UK are vying for the title of Britain’s Best Cafe, in a national competition where everyone will get the chance to vote for their favourite.

With thousands of cafes in the UK helping the nation to get to work every morning courtesy of the famous morning cuppa, Bacon Buttie or the legendary British Breakfast every vote will count.

The national competition is being organised by SIG Roofing and its 120 local branches will be supporting the cafes in their bid to win the title. When votes are counted at the end of October this year, 14 regional winners will be announced and cafe owners and their guest will be on their way to a celebratory lunch in London’s famous Chiswell Street Brewery in November.

There, SIG Roofing Managing Director Andrew Wakelin will announce the national title holder of Britain’s Best Cafe and the winning cafe proprietor, together with their guest, will be heading for a four-day trip to New York City – including a taste of New York’s finest breakfast at Ellen’s Stardust Diner on Broadway and 51st Street, just off the legendary Times Square.

SIG Roofing supplies more than 40,000 products across pitched, flat roofing and industrial roofing and cladding and the competition is a sign of commitment to its customers, along with its determination to preserve the long-term relationship that the local SIG Roofing branches have built with them over the years.

Marketing Manager Janine Brady explains how their branches, their customers and the local cafes have important links – all playing a part in each other’s day to day lives, with valuable relationships built up over many years. Britain’s Best Cafe is SIG Roofing’s way of recognising and thanking the cafes for all that they do feeding their hungry customers and those in the local area!

“Our customers are at the centre of all that we do and we believe the roofers and contractors who make up our loyal customers are the best people to judge what makes a great British Breakfast – many of them have a regular cafe which not only provides a great British Breakfast but it’s also a place they can meet and relax before a hard day’s work. For SIG Roofing the competition is a thank you to our customers, a renewal of the relationship with the local branch, and a chance for the general public to join in the fun.”

As part of the competition, customers, contractors from all trades and the general public can visit their local SIG Roofing branch to cast their vote in-branch.

Thousands of cafes throughout the UK were invited to register for the competition, with many of them having signed up for their chance to win! To find out if your local cafe has registered just visit Registered cafes will also be displaying posters, voting forms and till ‘wobblers’ – all ready to encourage their customers to cast their vote too.

SIG Roofing will also be running a number of PR stunts from the start of voting on 5th September to the close on 28th October, together with local media involvement and a full range of social media support… so be sure to watch out for more coming soon and see how you can get involved.

Complete details can be found at and anyone who wants to support their cafe in the bid for the title Britain’s Best Cafe can vote in any branch of SIG Roofing or online via the dedicated website.

From April to July, roofing apprentices from around the UK demonstrated their skills at regional heats to gain a place at this year’s SkillBuild Final, taking place on the 17th-19th November, at NEC Birmingham.

The competition, organised by the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), saw fifty-five competitors taking part in one of eight heats, which were overseen by three judges, Matt Timby, Simon Dixon and Bob Coutts, who’s vast experience of roofing competitions range from a past SkillBuild winner to a recognised mentor for the international competition: World Championship for Young Roofers.

NFRC are pleased to announce that the following eight young roofers, who secured highest marks from across all the regional heats, will be heading to the final:

  • Andrew Emerton – Emerton Roofing (Western) Ltd
  • Harry Hillam – Thompson – Timby Traditional Roofing
  • Harry Pennock – J Chillingsworth Roofing Contractor
  • Lee Dowding – Dylan Faber Roofing Ltd
  • Liam Watson – West Country Tiling Co.
  • Sam Blount Graham – Barker Roofing Services
  • Tom Knight – Wheeler Roofing Services Limited
  • William Emerton – Emerton Roofing (Western) Ltd

The competition forms a part of the Skills Show, the nation’s largest skills and careers event, giving the competitors and the roofing industry a greater platform in which to showcase roofing.

Looking ahead to the final, Livia Williams, Head of Training for NFRC, said, “We are looking forward to this year’s final, where the best roof slating and tiling apprentices across the UK will be going head to head, to deliver the highest level of skill to claim the Gold Medal and to secure a coveted place in the UK Team for the Young Roofer World competition (IFD).”

“Over the years, NFRC has taken a leading role in organising the national SkillBuild roofing competition and working closely with roofing colleges, employers, Supplier manufacturing members and CITB. We have seen an immense value in encouraging and showcasing our best young talent and creating role models to inspire the next generation.”

“The Skills Show is, therefore, a great opportunity for the roofing industry, with the support from the regional roof training groups, in engaging with Year 11 school leavers, and their parents, in helping to address industry image, recruitment of new entrants and promoting careers in roofing.”

Throughout the heats, and for the final, special thanks must go to the three NFRC Supplier Members who have kindly provided materials; John Brash & Co. Limited, Klober Ltd and Wienerberger Ltd.

We wish all competitors the very best of luck for the final. Those interested in supporting the competitors, and to gain a better understanding of the competition, can book free tickets at

The shortlist for the prestigious 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best new building has been announced today (Thursday 14 July). The six shortlisted buildings will now go head-to-head for architecture’s highest accolade, to be awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on Thursday 6 October 2016. Now in its 21st year, the 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize is sponsored by Almacantar.

A partly-subterranean house on a sloping plot in the Forest of Dean (Outhouse); the conversion of an entire street of listed industrial buildings into a free public gallery for artist Damien Hirst’s private collection (Newport Street Gallery); a radical new landmark university building in Oxford (Blavatnik School of Government); a flagship high density housing development on a regenerated site in south London (Trafalgar Place), a new college campus that reinstates the value placed on civic education in post-industrial Glasgow (City of Glasgow College) and the restoration and significant reinvigoration of a Grade II listed building that is home to one of the world’s greatest research libraries (Weston Library). This is the 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist:


Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford by Herzog & de Meuron

Blavatnik School of Government_PressImage_Iwan_Baan_1



City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus by Michael Laird Architects & Reiach and Hall Architects


Newport Street Gallery, Vauxhall, London by Caruso St John Architects

Newport Street Gallery_PressImage_Hélène_Binet_2


Outhouse Gloucestershire by Loyn & Co Architects



Trafalgar Place, Elephant and Castle, London by dRMM Architects

Trafalgar Place - Elephant and Castle_PressImage_Alex_de Rijke_4


Weston Library, University of Oxford by WilkinsonEyre

Weston Library_PressImage_John_Cairns_4


Half the shortlist are education buildings, with one client, the University of Oxford, responsible for an unprecedented two of the six projects. The Blavatnik School of Government, a contemporary new building in a conservation area takes the traditional Oxford quad and tears up the rule book; Herzog & de Meuron have created a succession of wide twisting staircases, offset balconies and communal spaces that encourage greater debate and interaction for aspiring civil servants and politicians. Elsewhere in Oxford, WilkinsonEyre have opened up the Bodleian’s Weston Library to the world. This Giles Gilbert Scott Grade II listed gem was once rather insular but has been transformed by a bold new glazed mezzanine to reveal to the public the treasures contained inside. In Glasgow, the city benefits from a bold statement about the importance of civic education with the addition of City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus; the architects Michael Laird Architects & Reiach and Hall Architects have created a new icon on the Glasgow skyline with a campus anchored by two generous civic spaces, a cloistered garden and grand hall.

Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall is the new home of artist Damien Hirst’s private collection. Three Victorian workshops that were once used to create sets for West End productions have been bookended by Caruso St John’s new buildings; the five buildings now joined together seamlessly to create superb gallery spaces and a beautifully curated new street.

Trafalgar Place, the first results of the wholescale redevelopment of Elephant and Castle’s 1970s Heygate Estate, are on the shortlist. Here dRMM Architects have designed a flagship development of 235 high density, high-quality homes set amongst retained mature trees and extensive landscaping; bringing a sense of tranquillity to a very urban location. Clever use of brickwork gives the new buildings an identity of their own; eight types of brick have been used, each one chosen to reference neighbouring buildings.

Outhouse by Loyn & Co is the first private house to feature on the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist for 15 years (The Lawns by Smerin Architects was shortlisted in 2001). An exemplary concrete house on the Welsh borders, designed for a couple of retired artists, it delights with unexpected spaces, some underground, with a field as the roof. The architect’s use of light, air and vistas make the absolute most of its sloping site and wide views.

The shortlist features projects by previous RIBA Stirling Prize winners, Herzog & de Meuron (Laban Dance Centre, 2003) and Wilkinson Eyre (Magna Centre, Rotherham, 2001; Gateshead Millennium Bridge, 2002). Reiach and Hall, Caruso St John and dRMM have all been nominated once before. Michael Laird Architects and Loyn & Co Architects are shortlisted for the first time.

Speaking about the shortlist RIBA President Jane Duncan said “The RIBA Stirling Prize is awarded to the building that has made the biggest contribution to the evolution of architecture in a given year.

“Every one of the six buildings shortlisted today illustrates the huge benefit that well-designed buildings can bring to people’s lives. As seen at Trafalgar Place and Newport Street Gallery, they can breathe life and kick-start regeneration in neglected urban pockets to create new, desirable destinations and communities; as with Blavatnik School of Government, Weston Library and City of Glasgow College, they can give cities and institutions a new landmark to delight and draw in visitors, improve education potential, and increase civic pride. Meanwhile Outhouse provides a fantastic model for a private house – one that delights its owners and responds exceptionally sensitively to its treasured rural position.

“With the dominance of university and further education buildings on the shortlist, it is clear that quality architecture’s main patrons this year are from the education sector. I commend these enlightened clients and supporters who have bestowed such remarkable education buildings. Sponsors, such as the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation, and Damien Hirst are continuing in the proud history of private patronage of architecture, and their continued support contrasts the slump in publicly-funded architecture.

“The shortlisted projects are each fantastic new additions to their individual locations – on an urban street, a city riverside, an estate regeneration, an historic city centre and a hidden part of the countryside – but their stand-out common quality is the inspiration they will bring to those who study, live, visit and pass by them, for generations to come. To me, this shortlist reflects everything that is great about UK architecture – a blend of experimental, artistic vision and a commitment to changing people’s lives for the better.”

The winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize will be announced on Thursday 6 October 2016.

The Architects’ Journal is the professional media partner for the RIBA Stirling Prize.

Use #StirlingPrize in your social media posts about the shortlist.