A MUSEUM could be crowned one of the UK’s best buildings after being shortlisted for the country’s most prestigious architecture award.

Windermere Jetty Museum is one of six buildings shortlisted by the Royal British Institute of Architects (RIBA) for this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize and the winner will be announced tonight (October 14) at 7:30pm on the BBC News channel.

Ahead of the announcement, Lakeland Arts published an interview with the museum’s architect Andy Groarke on its website, who explained his vision for the project and described how it felt for his building to be judged as one of Britain’s best.

“It’s an incredible honour for Windermere Jetty Museum to have been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize,” he said.

“It has come almost ten years to the day since we submitted our proposals for the design competition, and we are indebted to Lakeland Arts and the entire project team for their tenacity and dedication in realising the project.

“The building has been designed around the visitor experience to make a connection between people, boats and water.

“The design reinterprets the site’s industrial heritage (as a gravel extraction site) and Windermere’s picturesque landscape, to create a public building which is simultaneously civic and welcoming.”

Mr Groarke’s London based architect company Carmody Groarke competed in an international competition to design the museum, and on winning its team spent a year working closely with Lakeland Arts to learn more about the museum’s collection and gain a better understanding of the site and its ecology.

“It was an enormous privilege to be trusted to design a building in such a beautiful place,” said Mr Groarke.

“The Lake District National Park is such a unique landscape and we felt it was important that the building touched lightly on the environment and as far as possible enhanced its setting.

“Working closely with the design team, which included Arup’s engineers and Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects, we were able to design a building which has not only repurposed a former industrial site but, through thoughtful landscape interventions, has in fact created more biodiversity in terms of ecology.

“We couldn’t have done this would the support of Lakeland Arts, Lake District National Park and the Environment Agency.”

The architect said it was ‘fantastic’ to see the public and fellow architects continue to enjoy his creation two and a half years on.

“During our design process we spent a lot of time thinking about how to create an exciting and enjoyable visitor experience, where the building becomes the background to how people engage with the lake and the collection,” he said.

“So, it’s great to now see the diverse ways in which the site is being used; from Shakespeare plays down in the boatyard to wild swimming off the jetties.”