Hackney Wick station – transformed into a modern London rail hub – was the Outright Winner at the 51st Concrete Society Awards, which were held in London recently
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Claridge’s Hotel – New Basement, London.

Hackney Wick station – transformed into a modern London rail hub – was the Outright Winner at the 51st Concrete Society Awards, which were held in London recently.

The project, nominated by Mott MacDonald, uses carefully crafted in-situ concrete as the primary visual finish for the station as well as forming the technically complex earth-retaining walls and subway portal necessary to form rail passenger and public links beneath the railway.

The Olympic legacy project has provided much-improved access to the Overground network with the provision of new lifts, stairs, ticketing and customer support facilities. But it also forms a key new urban connection beneath the raised railway embankment for the local community, as part of the wider regeneration of Hackney Wick.

Hawley Wharf, London.

On announcing the winner at this year’s ceremony in late November, guest presenter and star of Strictly Come Dancing Anton Du Beke, said the project was a worthy winner for its, “high quality, showing many different executions and appearance that can be achieved with concrete.”

More than 400 Society members, guests and construction industry representatives attended The Concrete Society Awards Dinner held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel. The event celebrates excellence in concrete and is one of the longest-running awards programmes in the UK construction industry.

Sevenoaks School Science, Technology & Global Study Centre, Kent.

Judges from The Concrete Society, the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Institution of Civil Engineers visited all nominated projects. Unique among construction awards programmes, The Society Awards are based on expert appraisal in person, not just decided in committee.

The Outright Winner was unanimously agreed for an overtly concrete structure that brings together functional civil engineering as well as finesse from exceptionally well-formed visual surfaces.

Five further highly commended projects:


1.) Claridge’s Hotel – New Basement, London. This five-storey mega basement was built directly below the existing nine-storey Grade II listed hotel, which remained open throughout construction.

Working below the 80-year-old reinforced concrete raft foundation, 62 new RC columns were built inside 1800mm-diameter shafts hand dug by miners.

2.) Hawley Wharf, London. Mixed-use development with eight buildings in a compact site restrained by two rail viaducts, canal and two underground spurs.

Concrete is omnipresent, forming the structure and, where exposed, creates a highly expressive finish. Adjacent precast and in-situ elements match well. Polished exposed-aggregate slabs provide visual as well as practical surfaces.

3.) Sevenoaks School Science, Technology & Global Study Centre, Kent. This state-of-the-art centre highlights the versatility of concrete as an integral part of the structural, architectural and MEP strategy.

The Royal College of Pathologists, London.

A stand-out feature is the expressive structure’s ribbed precast concrete roof panels – facilitating slender 7m-wide pitched spans, integrating services and providing thermal mass.

4.) The Royal College of Pathologists, London. The exposed concrete frame with large spans and few columns provides an open-plan flexibility to accommodate educational space, break-out areas and meeting rooms.

Light-coloured polished concrete floors and board-marked concrete walls are complemented by timber panelling and masonry. Environmentally, the concrete’s thermal mass and coffered slabs form part of the passive cooling strategy.

5.) UCL Student Centre, London. This four-storey and two-basement student hub is a hybrid of precast and in-situ concrete. Externally, white acid-etched precast elevations feature extensively.

UCL Student Centre, London.

Internally, exposed concrete is prominent throughout, contributing to the building’s low-energy, low-carbon strategy and thermal stability, with 10km of embedded cooling pipes connected to ground-source boreholes. The quality of both precast and in-situ concrete is exceptional with clean, precise detailing.

Enduring appeal of concrete as a structural material


Kathy Calverley, managing director of the Concrete Society, said: “The overall number of entries received is testimony to both the enduring appeal of concrete as a structural material and the prestige of the Society Awards.

“It is evident from the 2019 nominations that for complex structures with functionality and architectural presence, the longevity and sustainability of concrete is why it remains the most widely used material in construction.

“Congratulations to all our 2019 winners, with a special mention to the Outright Winner, Hackney Wick station.

“The society thanks all the participating project teams, as we appreciate the effort and time it takes to put the submissions together.

“Thanks also go to our judging panel, who visit each shortlisted project to ensure the integrity of the most respected awards in the construction industry. We also thank all our sponsors – with a special mention to our Premier Sponsor, Sika – who enabled us to make the event such a success.”

The society’s 2020 awards scheme will start in January and the competition will be open to structures completed between October 2018 and April 2020.

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Hackney Wick station – transformed into a modern London rail hub – was the Outright Winner at the 51st Concrete Society Awards, which were held in London recently. The project, nominated by Mott MacDonald, uses carefully crafted in-situ concrete as the primary visual finish for the station as well as...