Best building in Devon and Cornwall… it’s in Plymouth!

The Millfields Trust’s new state-of-the-art building Genesis was crowned “Building of the Year 2015” by The Building Forum for Devon and Cornwall at a glittering ceremony last week.

The annual award aims to unite local people and organisations involved in the design and construction of buildings and the built environment. The Building Forum look to foster what it describes as “an intelligent and open-minded” approach to working on building projects in the region.

Genesis is the first phase of redeveloping the Millfields Trust HQ site that lies at the heart of Union Street, a civic spine that connects the three old towns of Plymouth.

The pioneering, ERDF and Heart of the South West LEP’s Growing Places funded project is designed to create employment and serve the local community. It comprises of flexible workspaces, meeting rooms, a full height internal atrium and Plymouth’s first living walls.

The building, designed by local Architects, Form Design features Portland stone cladding, the only vertical gardens in the South West and carved reliefs on each elevation. Built by Midas Construction, the project provided opportunities for community involvement, work placements and apprenticeships for local residents, ensuring ownership and pride in the achievement.

Andy McAdam, Divisional Director for Midas Construction in Devon and Cornwall, said:

“We are very proud that Genesis has been named Building of the Year. It was a truly collaborative project and one that everyone at Midas enjoyed working on hugely. As a local construction company, Midas was well placed to support apprenticeship schemes and create jobs in the local area through our strong network of sub-contractors, as well as being committed to providing training opportunities to help local people explore career opportunities in the construction industry.”

Steve Hindley, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) said:

“The Genesis Centre is a great example of development that benefits the local environment as well as the community by providing much needed employment space with and original and eye-catching architectural design. The project is an exemplar of the LEP’s Growing Places Fund, which is designed to unlock growth and create new jobs.

“As Chair of Midas – the contractor for the project – as well as being Chair of the LEP – which has the strategic mission to generate funding – I am doubly proud to be part of this exciting new asset to Plymouth’s city-scape.”

Council leader Tudor Evans said:

“I’m delighted that this building has been awarded this accolade – it’s a great building, with really striking features that is making a big impact on one of Plymouth’s best known streets.”

“It’s great to see a project which is doing so much to raise ambition, encourage enterprise in the community be recognised regionally in this way.”