This sought-after title means that the landmark building in Elmer Square, Southend will now go forward to the national finals of the prestigious RICS awards in October.
It made such an impact in the regional RICS awards that it was also shortlisted in three other categories too.
The Forum Southend-on-Sea was built thanks to a unique partnership development between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College.
In a joint statement, the partners said: “We are delighted that this ground-breaking project has been recognised so highly by such a renowned national organisation and we feel the award is very well-deserved.
“The Forum Southend-on-Sea daily demonstrates how it is a jewel in the crown of Southend’s regeneration.
“Located in the town centre on the site of a former multi-story car park, this thriving joint public and academic library and learning hub serves the whole community – residents of all ages, visitors and students.
“Together they are all able to gain the benefits of all the enhanced and additional facilities yielded by the combined resources of the three institutions.
“This is why it offers such advantages to the whole borough and further afield too – clearly showing how much of a community benefit it is.
“It is also a focus for culture as it is home to Focal Point Gallery, and, among other activities, the Big Screen outside has introduced the chance for residents and visitors to see acclaimed live broadcasts of Royal Opera Performances.
“These were launched with great success last year and will continue this summer, when the productions will include ballet too.
“In addition, since opening on September 30th 2013, the lecture theatre within the Forum Southend-on-Sea has hosted many sell-out talks from a wide range of renowned speakers appealing to people across our community.”
Stephen Boniface who chaired the RICS Awards judging panel said: “The quality of all the entries this year has been outstanding, providing the judges with a wonderful selection of projects across the different categories.
“The RICS Awards demonstrate outstanding value whilst recognising all achievements, identifying excellence and realising the many talents of those involved in the projects.”