Thursday 18 June 2015
There were some very strong contenders in the 2015 Chilterns Buildings Design Awards, which were handed out on June 17th. In fact, the judges ended up picking three overall winners out of a field of 12 entries.
The Awards are given annually by the Chilterns Conservation Board and the Chiltern Society to recognise the best in new, restored and renovated buildings in the Chilterns area. Both organisations are dedicated to safeguarding what’s best in the Chilterns, one of the most outstanding areas of countryside in England, and to encouraging high standards for new development.
The Awards given out this year are:
Overall Winner (New Build) - New development of six flats, Warwick House, 108 High Street, Hemel Hempstead
Owner – Butlers Mead Developments, Architect – Victor Warwick, Hemel Hempstead, Builder – Butlers Mead Developments, Essendon, Herts
Awarded for: A new building which fits very well into the street scene in the old part of Hemel Hempstead and positively enhances its locality, including the park next door. It also provides useful, much-needed accommodation in the town centre.
Warwick House is built on the site of a 1920s house which was owned by Victor Warwick’s father. His father sold the house to Butlers Mead Developments, who took down the old house and put up the current building in its place, which was designed by Victor Warwick. The new building, which contains six two-bedroom flats, was named after Victor’s father who passed away in the last couple of years.
Overall Winner (Restoration) – Restoration of Grade II listed barn, The Great Barn, Micklefield Hall, Sarratt Road, Rickmansworth, Herts
Owners – Jamie and Anna Rankin, Architect – Tony Mealing, GMTW Architects, Marlow, Build Project Manager – Charlie Laing, Charlie Laing Ltd, Rickmansworth
Awarded for: A stunning restoration of a historic barn. Elements such as the concealed engineering have been done extremely well. The judges also admired the sustainable approach to heating the building, using a woodfuel solution which makes use of timber from the Micklefield estate.
The Great Barn originally dates from 1492, when it was built at St Albans Monastery as a threshing barn. In 1777 when Micklefield Hall was built the barn was sold and moved to the Hall.
When Jamie and Anna Rankin began the restoration of the Great Barn in 2010 it had fallen into disrepair with the structure in danger of collapse. The carefully-planned restoration project took place over several years and was completed in 2014. The Barn is now a venue for community functions and weddings which make use of the lovely gardens next to it as well.
Overall Winner (Renovation) – Renovation and extension of cottage, Crendon Cottage, Chapel Hill, Speen, Bucks
Owners – Vicky and Eamonn Barrett, Architect – Jeremy Symondson, Foursquare Land Ltd, Great Hampden, Builder – Chris Warren Construction, Great Missenden
Awarded for: A very good collaboration between the clients, architect and builder, which has produced an extended cottage while retaining its traditional cottage feel. The judges admired the careful attention to detail, such as the style of the windows, which pull the whole building together.
Vicky and Eamonn Barrett had lived in Crendon Cottage for about 15 years with their family before deciding to take the plunge and go ahead with a long talked-about extension to provide more space. The result is highly successful – some very useful light family spaces have been provided but the overall intimate cottage feel has been retained. The replacement of an unattractive garage with one more in keeping with the building has also helped the property to improve its village street locality.
Highly Commended – Remodelling and extension of school, Chiltern Hills Academy, Chartridge Lane, Chesham, Bucks
Principal – Kevin Patrick, Architect – Marcus W Burley, BAM Design, St Albans, Builder – BAM Construction (South East), St Albans
Awarded for: New communal spaces in the school which function very well and make good use of views to the surrounding landscapes.
The Chiltern Hills Academy had grown rather haphazardly over a number of decades resulting in a rather disjointed layout, with a number of ageing buildings. A multi-million pound project to remodel the school and create an improved learning environment, as well as useful community spaces, started in August 2012 and was completed in September 2013. The students contributed many ideas to the design process. The architects also paid much thought to the school’s location in the landscape, both how it would be viewed from a distance and also the views of the surrounding Chilterns countryside from the buildings.
The Award winners received their certificates and plaques at a ceremony on Wednesday 17th June at St Katherine’s near Frieth in Buckinghamshire.
The Design Awards competition is run annually, with a deadline of March 1st for entries. Properties entered must have been completed in the last three years. Find out more.