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Construction Award Hat-Trick for The Word

The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, completed an unique construction award hat-trick on Friday Night by winning the third of the regions’ major new building awards.

The Constructing Excellence North East Awards celebrate the achievements of the region’s construction sector with The Word being chosen winner in the highly competitive ‘Value’ category and now goes forward to the Constructing Excellence National Final in London in November.

Opening to national acclaim in October and welcoming over 236,000 visitors in its first seven months, The Word was designed by FaulknerBrown Architects and constructed by lead contractor, Bowmer & Kirkland, as a library for the 21st century. The building incorporates a library, exhibition space, FabLab with 3D printers and vinyl and laser cutters, television and radio studio, children’s immersive storytelling area, OpenZone IT suite, café, and a rooftop viewing terrace with views out over the River Tyne.

The Constructing Excellence judgement read, “The Word sits at the centre of a substantial regeneration project and it is always intended that this building would set the standard high for both design response and public expectation for their town centre”

“The word is clearly forging new territory in library design. Attempting to address traditional and new digital media in a public setting that appeals to all sections of the community. The visitor/borrower numbers are extremely impressive and the design acts as a spectacular centrepiece for South Shields and a worthy leader for the regeneration that follows.”

Steve McIntyre, Partner at FaulknerBrowns, “In the delivery of The Word, the project team has worked tirelessly together to design a building that not only represents value from a construction cost perspective, but also social value to the community, and long term value to South Shields through the ongoing regeneration of the town centre. We are all delighted that this has been recognised by the Constructing Excellence judges with this award.”

The iconic building is just the first phase of South Tyneside Council and developer Muse Developments’ ambitious £100m South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan to transform the town centre and has already helped to transform an area of South Shields in addition to providing a vital community resource.

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