A Birmingham music school which opened last year has won a prestigious national award for design.
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire was last night crowned the UK's top Design through Innovation project for 2018 by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) at its annual national awards.
The college opened in Jennens Road in September 2017 with renowned musician Julian Lloyd Webber at the helm as principal.
But the building's design divided opinion wildly among both city councillors and our readers when the plans were first unveiled in 2014, with one planning chief likening it to a cheese grater and another saying it reminded him of an Oxo cube.
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is owned and operated by Birmingham City University and was built to replace its old home at Adrian Boult Hall which has been demolished as part of the £700 million Paradise project in Chamberlain Square.
It has teaching space, 100 practice and rehearsal rooms for all musical disciplines, isolated performance spaces and a 500-seat concert hall.
It was the first purpose-built music college to be developed in the UK since 1987 and Mr Lloyd Webber said it would be "the last one of its kind" when it opened last year.
The RICS National Awards celebrate the UK's most inspirational initiatives in the land, property and construction sectors that are having a positive impact on the communities they serve.
The ceremony in London brought together all of the regional winners, chosen at 12 events held across the UK earlier this year, to pick champions in eight categories and an overall UK Project of the Year.
At the RICS West Midlands Awards in May, the conservatoire won the Design category before being named West Midlands Project of the Year.
National RICS Awards judge Gordon Chard said: "Complex and technically challenging construction projects need co-ordinated team work to deliver buildings of distinction to time and within budget.
"The conservatoire is such a building.....innovative structural, building services and acoustic treatments have achieved a world-class facility much sought after for both teaching and live performances.
"The internal rooms are isolated from the main reinforced concrete frame and externally the building design is expressed as three dimensional stacked and overlapping acoustic spaces.
"The conservatoire is becoming the primary location for musical study in the West Midlands with a growing international reputation."
Gurdip Chamba, chairman of the 2018 judging panel for the RICS West Midlands Awards, added: "The West Midlands has had an extremely successful track record at the RICS Awards Grand Final in recent years.
"It is fantastic to see that once again projects from the West Midlands are being recognised at a national level.
"The region has a lot to offer and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is yet another example of the diversity and world leading innovative projects that we have to offer.
"The team behind this project should be extremely proud as they have provided a wonderful educational site for students, and visitors, from far and wide to use for years to come."
The other 2018 national award winners are:
Regeneration and Overall UK Project of the Year
Woodberry Down, Finsbury Park, London
Yr Ysgwrn, Gwynedd
White Collar Factory, Old Street, London
Get Busy Living Centre, Melton Mowbray
Mersey Gateway Project, Widnes
Fern House, Bingley, West Yorkshire
Tourism & Leisure
Command of the Oceans, Chatham, Kent