Uxbridge World War 2 Bunker centre soars to victory in prestigious awards

the front of the new centre the front of the new centre

The new £6 million exhibition and visitor centre at the Battle of Britain Bunker in Uxbridge has won a major architectural award.

Hillingdon Council revealed it scooped the Best Public Service Building accolade at the Local Authority Building Control Awards for London on Friday. The building's design embraces the central themes of flight and planes, with a shell-like form and twisted geometry.

Hillingdon is Here recently took a tour of the new exhibition and heard how the bunker meant that Uxbridge could be considered up there with Hastings or Trafalgar for its importance to British military history. Read this article HERE.

The judges said the building paid fitting tribute to the RAF on its 100th anniversary.

bunker statue.jpg

Daniel Stirland, senior curator at the bunker museum, told Hillingdon is Here: “The work that went on in the bunker in Uxbridge really did decide the outcome of the Battle of Britain and this was a key moment in World War Two. The course of the war could have been very different without the work done here.

The council-owned building now goes forward for the national final, which will be held in November.

It beat 11 other shortlisted buildings, which included Great Ormond Street Hospital Phase 2B,The Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre in Romford and the United States of America Embassy.

Leader of Hillingdon Council, Cllr Ray Puddifoot, said: “The Battle of Britain Bunker Exhibition and Visitor Centre is an amazing building in both design and content, and it has been a real achievement to see it open in just two years after taking over responsibility for it from the Ministry of Defence.”

The council spent £6m on the new centre after it became custodian of the bunker in 2016. It also secured £1 million in government funding to carry out essential repairs to the original.

The new displays include full size replica aircraft, original artefacts, wartime footage and oral histories. For those who cannot take the tour down into the original bunker, the visitor centre also has a full size replica of the original plotting table map as part of a 360 degree touch screen experience.

 

Hillingdon’s Building Control team won the award for its site inspections of the scheme, ensuring the project met the relevant regulations, and for working alongside Hillingdon’s Capital Programme team, who project managed the build along with consultants Faithful & Gould, Pattern Architects and contractor VolkerFitzpatrick, who completed the build.

In total, Hillingdon Council was shortlisted in three categories: best builder, best extension, and best new individual home (which it also won).

The centre is open to the public every day excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day from 10am to 4pm. There are five daily tours of the historic bunker and these can be booked on arrival. Hillingdon residents, current and ex-military, under 16s: free of charge. Over 65s: £5 to visit both. Over 16s: £7 to visit both.

For visiting information see: https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/bunker

 

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