Harry Johnson Awards
Towards the end of August, we judged the entries for the Harry Johnson Award 2016 which is run by the Nottinghamshire Building Preservation Trust and CPRE Nottinghamshire.
The competition is held to select the best restored and best new building in their local setting. The entries covered the usual wide range in both use and location, from a housing development in Keyworth to a small library building in Collingham, acquired and converted by the Parish Council.
The design of 2 to 5 bedroom dwellings at 22-30A Selby Lane, Keyworth, by Stephen George and Partners, developed by William Davies and Keyworth Conservation Advisory Group,was considered the best of the new-build entries. Its design acknowledges the existing older cottages and newer house designs on Selby Lane in a restricted pallet of brick and rendered walls and slate roofs, dormers and porches. The development replaces an abandoned garage and petrol station and is a fitting neighbour to the Keyworth Conservation Area and is benefit to all. The Judges chose this as the winner in the NEW BUILD category.
The other New Build entry of two semi-detached bungalows at Upton for the Babthorpe Trust, which already provides two bungalows in another part of the village for elderly individuals and couples with connections in the Parish, was entered by Upton Parish Council. The need for additional bungalows was shown in the Upton Housing Need Survey of 2013 and a site was made available on the edge of the village for these and three future dwellings. The careful choice of traditional forms and materials, by designer Martin Hubbard Associates Ltd, brick, natural slate, timber bays and porches, provide an attractive setting for residents but, due to its location, had little visual benefit to the village. The Judges COMMENDED the entry.
The restoration projects were all of a high quality and most had provided new uses for outdated buildings which have been conserved with love and enthusiasm. Many provided useful facilities in their area and all improved and safeguarded what was there before. The Collingham Library provided by the Parish Council as a permanent home for NCC library service staffed by local volunteers was an opportunity easily overlooked. The other extreme of Local Authority involvement was the National Civil War Centre at Newark, incorporating the Old Magnus Building and the Palace Theatre, owned by Newark & Sherwood District Council and altered by architects Purcell at a cost of £5.4m.
But size isn't everything and the the judges gave the 2016 award to Turncroft Farm, Carvers Hollow, Edingley, owned by Andrew Hill and converted by Bernard the Architect and Chris Healy, Gentleman Builder. The remote farm house had been uninhabited for 17 years and needed extensive repair and alteration. The use of traditional materials and lime pointing was particularly noteworthy and the new brickwork and roofing of the extension was admired by the Judges, who were unanimous in their praise. A worthy winner of the CONSERVATION category.
The consolidation and conversion, by Stuart and Mary Poole, of their farm out-buildings and hopbarn to an Arts Performance Centre and accommodation suites, at Hop Barn, Hopyard Farm, Hockerwood Lane, Southwell, appealed to the judges The retention and reuse of local materials was commended but the use of pvc rainwater goods and cement pointing in this historic setting was disappointing. Nevertheless the Judges COMMENDED the results of five years devoted work by the owners.