Winners of St Albans Civic Society Awards 2016 revealed
PUBLISHED: 12:13 12 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:54 12 October 2017
The Newsom Place development on Hatfield Road has won the St Albans Civic Society’s top award for 2016.
The development, which is on the former Oaklands College site, was praised for the way it incorporated seven Grade II Listed buildings and over 200 mature trees into its design, ultimately achieving “a fine architectural response and a worthy companion to its auspicious forbears”.
The new blocks of flats – built by Nicholas King Homes - were described as “a series of well designed, modern pavilions of varied heights around open courtyards” which have “enabled the parkland setting to be maintained, despite the relatively high density of the scheme”.
While Newsom Place may have picked up The Society’s Award 2016, two developments came close, receiving Commendations at last week’s ceremony: Sweet Briar Mews on Victoria Street and the new sports hall, administration and classroom block at Beaumont School.
Sweet Briar Mews, which consists of five modern homes and a first-floor gatehouse flat, was praised for “revitalising a dilapidated area but also in sensitively creating the continuity formerly lacking in the historic street frontage”.
Beaumont’s new building shows a “sensitive use of good quality materials… providing a distinguished modern addition to the original school”.
There were also two winners of the Trevelyan Prize 2016, which recognises projects that have achieved the finest quality in terms of conservation and/or restoration.
Spencer House, 76 Holywell Hill, was found to have been “painstakingly renovated and sensitively added to” by its current owners, who acquired the property in 2014.
The Prae Wood Arms on Redbourn Road was praised for its “completely rejuvenated” appearance after successfully “uncovering original features and repairing and restoring its fine architectural details lost under years of neglect”. This was described a radical shift from the “parlous state” it was in when the current team took over.
St Albans mayor, Mohammad Iqbal Zia, presented the awards at the Maltings Arts Theatre.
He said: “We live in a beautiful and historic city with many fascinating buildings, so it is very important to encourage high design standards in development projects, both large and small.
“St Albans Civic Society, with around 500 members, plays an invaluable role in helping to preserve our city’s buildings, heritage and character.
“Its coveted awards help highlight development projects where the design standards complement and enhance the architecture and heritage of St Albans. I want to thank the Society’s members for their efforts in helping to ensure our city remains an attractive and special place to live.”