Designs on excellence

Outstanding building and structural projects across the region have been recognised at the 26th annual Aylesbury Vale District Council Design Awards.

The ceremony at the council’s Gateway Conference Centre brought together designers, architects, builders and contractors to showcase their excellence.

Seven projects were shortlisted from the nominated schemes before being judged by an expert panel against seven key criteria: context, including local distinctiveness; quality of design and construction; fitness for purpose; sustainability; accessibility; attractiveness and innovation.

And, for the second year, there was an opportunity for the public to vote for their favourite scheme to win the People’s Choice award.

This year, the council also introduced the Norman Bragg Special Award. Norman Bragg was the architect for the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, and such was his interest in Aylesbury that he continued his association with the area through his involvement with the AVDC Design Awards, being head judge for the past few years.

Mr Bragg died earlier this year following a short illness. The dedication of the award in his name recognises the indelible impact his work has had on the Aylesbury skyline and his significant contribution and input into the design awards and helps people to remember and continue Mr Bragg’s legacy.

In previous judging years, Mr Bragg was an advocate of recognising schemes which were not necessarily the winner of a category, but which as a scheme, had wider transformative benefits, or which had unique qualities.

The Special Award was created to recognise the scheme which the judges felt displayed these qualities, and it is anticipated that whatever form the Design Awards takes in future years, the Norman Bragg Special Award will continue to reward such projects.

In total, six awards were presented on the night:

Best Single Dwelling House: Primrose Cottage, Kingswood
Architect/designer: Lynn Palmer Architects Ltd
Builder/contractor: BGB Ltd
Client: Scott Glickman

Best Residential Development (2 or more dwellings): Catte Street Green, Wingrave
Architect/designer: Alan J Frost
Builder/contractor: NK Building & Renovations Ltd
Client: John Alexander, Alan Frost and John Cotton

Best Mixed Use Scheme and Winner of Award for Outstanding Design: Vinson Building, Buckingham
Architect/designer: Panter Hudspith Architects
Builder/contractor: Beard Construction
Client: University of Buckingham

People’s Choice Awards: Canada Wood, Winslow
Architect/designer: Hinton Cook
Builder/contractor: Self build
Client: Charlotte Gilbert

Norman Bragg Special Award: Contribution to the Public Realm of Aylesbury: The Exchange, Aylesbury (pictured above)
Architect/designer: Hunters / Bradley Murphy
Builder/contractor: Durkan Ltd
Client: AVDC / Durkan

Councillor Peter Strachan, Cabinet Member for Planning and Enforcement at AVDC, said: ‘These annual awards highlight the diversity of building projects across the Vale, recognising those which demonstrate excellence and support the sustainable growth of the district.

‘Over the past 26 years, we’ve presented numerous awards and are proud to continue to promote sustainable, attractive and innovative design. Congratulations to all the shortlisted projects.’

Michelle Harris, Durkan’s Head of Sales and Marketing, said: ‘We are delighted that The Exchange has won the first Norman Bragg Award. It is a development of the highest quality.

‘It’s not just about the quality of the apartments, but everything the regeneration offers. Young professionals want entertainment on their doorstep, modern homes to live in and good transport links to get to work.

‘The Exchange is a perfect example of how town centres can be modernised to provide the facilities that matter to residents.’