standards of design, according to an action plan published today.
Better Public Building is the department's contribution to the prime
design among public sector construction.
The document welcomes work already done by DCMS' agencies and
sponsored bodies to secure high standards of design and points to a
long list of first rate and landmark projects funded largely by
lottery funds. However, it warns the sectors not to become
In its foreword, DCMS' Ministerial Design Champion, Baroness
'Through our sponsorship of the Commission for Architecture and the
Built Environment (CABE), our stewardship of the National Lottery and
our network of non-departmental public bodies we can lay claim to a
direct involvement in some of the most exciting architecture projects
this country has seen for many years.
'In DCMS we are proud of what we and our non-departmental public
bodies have done but we are also determined not to rest on our
laurels. DCMS will continue to support its sectors in maintaining
their track record for building world-class buildings and we will
argue as loudly and as strongly as we can in government and elsewhere
that good design makes a real difference to people's lives.'
Among the projects highlighted in the action plan are:
- Tate Modern, which last year won the Prime Minister's Better
Public Building Award
- BBC's planned redevelopment of its Portland Place building
- The City of Manchester Stadium
- The Forum, Norwich's new library
- The science adventure centre Magna in Rotherham
DCMS' document was launched alongside five other departmental action
plans at a reception at Tate Modern. All the plans will be published
on a new website, which was also launched today.
The website aims to provide a focal point for the Better Public
Buildings initiative. In the first instance it will publish the
plans, promote the Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award and
provide an access point to a range of cross-government publications
and guidance associated with the initiative. The site also provides a
first point of contact for all with an interest in Better Public
Launching the site, Tessa Blackstone said:
'This website will be an invaluable resource for those in the public
sector with capital projects; it provides both inspiration and
practical guidance. It will also enable staff, users and the wider
community to find out why projects are being carried out and to be
consulted on what is included. This will help ensure ownership by
them of the project.'
At the reception CABE also announced the eight-strong shortlist for
the second Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award.
1. Better Public Building is available on both the Better Public
Buildings website at www.betterpublicbuildings.gov.uk and on DCMS'
website at www.culture.gov.uk. It follows the publication in October
2000 of the cross-departmental document Better Public Buildings which
is also available on both sites.
2. Better Public Buildings is being taken forward by a minister from
each department. They meet as the Ministerial Design Champions under
the chairmanship of Lord Falconer.
3. The other departments who published their departmental action
plans today are the Department for Work and Pensions, Home Office,
Department of Trade and Industry, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and
Lord Chancellor's Department. The Ministry of Defence, Department of
Health and Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
have already published their plans. Other departments are expected to
publish their reports shortly.