Wales

Snowdon summit centre on PM's award shortlist

Hafod Eryri visitors' centre, Snowdon, opened on June 12, 2009
Image caption Hafod Eryri visitors' centre on Snowdon opened to the public a year ago, costing £8.4m and taking three years to finish

The Snowdon summit centre has been shortlisted for an award for public buildings from the prime minister.

The Hafod Eryri visitors' centre on the highest Welsh peak is among 22 projects being recognised by Downing Street.

Other shortlisted buildings include the Victoria & Albert Museum's medieval and renaissance galleries and the Hull Truck Theatre.

Architects for the Snowdon project, Ray Hole, said they were "delighted and honoured" to be included.

Gary Reynolds, who was project architect on Hafod Eryri, said inclusion on the shortlist recognised the immense challenge faced in building a visitors' centre 3,560ft (1,085m) on a mountain.

"It was a really hard slog - an immense team effort," said Mr Reynolds.

"You can't praise enough the guys who were at the coal face throughout this project.

Cultural life

"I think it is an extraordinary building, an extraordinary design and an extraordinary team effort to build something in that location."

Downing Street said Hafod Eryri had been included on the 'better public building award' shortlist because it had been built on such a "highly inhospitable construction site" and continued to celebrate the mountain's history and folklore.

Mr Reynolds added: "I think this is also a tribute to the Snowdonia National Park Authority, to build something so contemporary and forward looking in such a sensitive location."

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "'I congratulate all those involved in these outstanding projects.

"They are helping us to enhance the cultural life of the nation and provide better education and healthcare, as well as creating a more sustainable environment."

The winner of the Prime Minister's Award will be announced on 13 October at the British construction industry awards annual dinner.

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