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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008, 09:11 GMT
'Dustbin' lecture hall wins award
University of Essex lecture hall
The 6m lecture hall set partly in a hill was opened in 2006
A 6m university lecture hall described by the Prince of Wales as looking like a dustbin has won an award.

Prince Charles' comments on modern architecture were made about the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall at the University of Essex's Colchester campus in February.

The remark came as he joked with troops in the stainless-steel hall ahead of their deployment to Afghanistan.

But judges at the Civic Trust Awards, held in Newcastle on Wednesday, described the building as elegant.

The prince, colonel-in-chief of the regiment, told his audience: "I understand around 1,700 of you are crammed in what looks like a dustbin from the outside."

His comments triggered laughter and applause from many of the troops, from the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute regiment, in the round, stainless steel construction set in the side of a hill.

But architectural experts praised the design of the lecture hall, which was of 30 buildings to be recognised at the Civic Trust Awards ceremony.

'Elegant and simple'

The judging panel said: "The highly polished, stainless steel cladding reflects existing mature trees and passing people, giving a lively, people-centred feel to the area.

"The two entrances at different levels make use of the sloping landscape and the bridge links the centre of the campus to the new lecture hall."

The judges also described the building as elegant and simple.

The Civic Trust, of which the prince is a patron, said the awards recognised culturally, socially or economically beneficial buildings.

The Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall is named after the university's former vice-chancellor, Professor Sir Ivor Crewe, and was opened in October 2006.

A University of Essex spokeswoman described the building as a flagship building and dismissed the prince's criticism as a throwaway remark.

The University of Essex describes it as a "flagship building"


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