Our annual Architectural Awards, generously sponsored by Savills, took place at the RIBA on 25 October this year. The Awards, now in their eighteenth year, recognise exemplary conservation and restoration projects in the UK and reward those who have shown the vision and commitment to restore Georgian buildings and landscapes. The awards ceremony was presented by Dr John Goodall, chair of the judging panel and Architectural Editor at Country Life, with certificates handed out by the Georgian Group’s Chairman, Paul Zisman.
The winning schemes were chosen from over thirty entries, with shortlisted projects encompassing a broad range of building types. John Goodall says: “In moments of crisis what we have seems more important than ever. So too does the process of cherishing it and handing it on to future generations as an expression of our history, identity and values.”
A list of the winning and highly commended entries in each category can be found below.
In moments of crisis what we have seems more important than ever. So too does the process of cherishing it and handing it on to future generations as an expression of our history, identity and values.Dr John Goodall
Rescue of a Georgian Building
Winner: Asknish House, Argyll and Bute
Client: James and Victoria Fraser
Architect: Simpson & Brown Architects
When bought by the present owners in 2017, Asknish, a compact Palladian house of 1783 built by one of the Campbell families of Argyll, had lain empty for almost 20 years and was in a state of considerable disrepair. Undaunted by water ingress, collapsed floors and ceilings, and extensive dry and wet rot, James and Victoria Fraser embarked upon a 5-year programme of works, aiming to retain as much of the original fabric as possible, salvaging and storing joinery and decorative elements until they could be reinstated.
Commended: Boston Manor House, Brentford
Client: London Borough of Hounslow
Boston Manor House, a gabled Jacobean building in Brentford, was subject to alteration and extension in the 18th and 19th centuries and has suffered a chequered history since the 1920s. It was on the Heritage at Risk Register when in 2017 the London Borough of Hounslow took it in hand, with the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to a thorough-going programme of conservation under the direction of the architects Purcell, this important, too little-known house, will now open to the public once more in 2023
Commended: Northwold Manor, Northwold, Norfolk
Client: Warwick Roddell
Northwold Manor is a highly unusual complex. Listed Grade II in 1951, it was abandoned four years later and over the next 60 years progressively deteriorated. In 2010 its predicament was highlighted by our friends at SAVE Britain’s Heritage and following compulsory purchase by King’s Lynn Borough Council, it was acquired by the present owners in 2014. Rather than subdividing the manor and erecting additional houses in the garden, as proposed by others, the owners, Professor Warwick Rodwell—the archaeologist of Westminster Abbey—and the curator Diane Gibbs, chose to respect and comprehensively restore its rambling structure, reroofing, repointing and adding additional service accommodation along the back of the house and a prospect room—have been conceived by the owners and undertaken with great spirit.
Restoration of a Georgian Country House
Winner: Wolterton Park, Norfolk
Client: Peter Sheppard and Keith Day
Wolterton Park, Norfolk, was built to the design of the Office of Works architect Thomas Ripley, between 1725 and 1741, for Horatio, 1st Lord Walpole. George Stanley Repton, one of Humphry Repton’s sons, designed the east wing and pavilion and added the stairs and perron on the garden side in the late 1820s. When the present owners bought Wolterton from the Walpole family in 2016 it had been uninhabited for 30 years and the estate buildings were in a derelict state. In addition to cleaning the stone and brick elevations of the house, restoring the eight state rooms on the piano nobile, redecorating and furnishing the remainder of the house for 21st century life the owners have restored the landscape, and created holiday lets in five restored estate buildings and in the east wing in order to provide an income for the continuing rejuvenation of the estate.
Commended: Benham Park, Benham Valance
Architect: Atelier Gooch
Benham Park, Berkshire, listed Grade II*, was designed by Henry Holland in the mid 1770s for the 6th Baron Craven, and Victorian additions were made in 1868. Its subsequent owner sold the house in 1948, and it languished in poor condition until 1983, when it was bought by the IT firm Norse Data and converted to commercial use. The recent refurbishment work undertaken by Atelier Gooch set out to reveal the significance of Holland’s work, in the context of later alterations, and to ensure continuing viable use.
Commended: Bledlow Manor, Bledlow
Client: Lord and Lady Carrington
Architect: Peregrine Bryant Architects
Listed Grade II*, Bledlow Manor House, Buckinghamshire, is an early 18th century house remodelled in 1801. Divided in the mid 20th century, it has been repaired, re-ordered and re-serviced as part of a comprehensive conservation project undertaken by Lord Carrington under the direction of Peregrine Bryant Architects, with Hockley and Dawson addressing structural problems. The outer brick skin has been tied back to its core, roofs have been re-leaded and retiled, a lost dentil cornice has been reinstated to the exterior, a mezzanine floor that cut across windows has been removed allowing the re-ordering of floor levels and the restoration of original rooms, blocked doorways have been reopened and 20th century insertions removed. Most rooms have been completely re-plastered in lime and redecorated. Finally, the Dairy has been restored.
Restoration of a Georgian Building in an Urban Setting
Winner: Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London
Client: LW Theatres
Architect: Haworth Tompkins
There has been a theatre on the site of London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, since 1663. Replaced in 1674 and again in 1794, Benjamin Wyatt designed its fourth iteration in 1812. Though the auditorium was rebuilt in 1922, much of Wyatt’s theatre survives and this project, undertaken by Haworth Tompkins Architects for LW Theatres has seen the spectacular restoration and redecoration of Wyatt’s foyer spaces and staircase, opening them up for public enjoyment during the day.
Commended: 4 Derby Terrace, Nottingham
Client: Adam Nicholson and Gavin Strafford
4, Derby Terrace, Nottingham was built in c.1830, almost certainly to the design of FP Robinson who in 1827 produced a development ‘Plan for Nottingham Park’ for the 4th Duke of Newcastle. The terrace was damaged in the 1960s by the removal of both the raised terrace that ran in front of it and the projecting basements beneath. A concrete walkway that replaced this unexpected feature left a blighting strip of unregistered land beneath. Restoring no. 4 from offices to a town house, the present owners have reinstated iron balconies, cornice and castellations to the street façade. By doing this and securing legal opinion in relation to the unregistered land, supported by rigorous archival research, they have provided a standard and template to restore the terrace arrangement that they hope others in the terrace might follow.
Commended: 87 Moorgate & 8 Moorfields, London
Engineer & Conservation Architect: ARUP
87 Moorgate and 8 Moorfields, humble late Georgian townhouses, are rare survivals in the City of London. The construction of the Elizabeth Line, and the sinking of a 43m deep ventilation shaft close by, posed an existential threat to both buildings. To provide support during these major engineering works a sophisticated steel frame was designed to pass through and around them, and concrete rafts formed under them, until the houses could be repaired, and their stored staircases and other joinery reinstated. The pair of projects were undertaken as a result of Crossrail and with support and funding from TFL. In both cases the buildings might have been lost had it not been for the determination and expertise of a small group of individuals.
Commended: Porter’s Lodge, Stratford Place, London
Client: Transport for London
Engineer: Alan Baxter
The Grade II listed Porter’s Lodge, one of a pair built in 1774 to flank the 2nd Earl of Aldborough’s residential development on Stratford Place, Oxford Street, must be one of the smallest buildings ever to feature in the awards. Plans for a new ticket hall and entrance at Bond Street Station required the complete removal of the structure. Research showed that it had been twice rebuilt, in the 1890s and in 1969, so the same approach was adopted, but with the lodge returned to its original plan and position. Newly made bricks and high-quality craftsmanship complement the surviving Coade stone lion and plaques, stone plinth, and cornice, which have been conserved and reinstated. The lodge now presides over the passing crowds of Oxford Street.
Nelson Dock House
Client: Keith Day
Nelson Dock House was built by a shipwright in 1743, overlooking his boatyard on the Thames at Rotherhithe. In the 1970s it became a conference centre for the Hilton hotel that was built on the dockyard.
Keith Day bought it in 2013 in poor condition and set about restoring its accommodation to serve as a single residence once more, returning its joinery, plasterwork and other Georgian details to their former condition.
Re-use of a Georgian Building
Winner: 17 Nineteen (Holy Trinity Church), Sunderland
Client: Churches Conservation Trust
Architect: Mosedale Gillat Architects
17Nineteen (Holy Trinity Church), Sunderland was built in 1719 to serve the city’s port area. Listed Grade I, it lay redundant since 1988 and was on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register until its recent transformation by the Churches Conservation Trust. The £2.6m project, in partnership with the Sunderland Heritage Action Zone, Historic England and Sunderland Council, has seen the conservation of the building and its adaptation as a community and cultural hub. A café, WCs – housed within new oak pods — and modern services have all been sensitively introduced. The project has helped to reconnect the east end of Sunderland with the rest of the city from which it had been sundered as a result of house clearances and the construction of the ring road.
Commended: Shepherd’s Barn & Stable lavatories, Firle Place, East Sussex
Client: Henry Gage
The first, an indoor-outdoor kitchen for a foraging school, has been created within a barn of 1820. Built within a simple scaffold structure it reimagines the idea and volume of a gamekeeper’s kitchen. With the doors closed, this imaginative new use has left the barn in its landscape, apparently unaltered. The second project is for lavatories in the Stable Block at Firle Place, whose design has drawn inspiration from details found behind the scenes in old English houses. There is real freshness and style to the approach adopted in the re-use of both buildings.
Commended: City of London Freeman’s School, Ashtead, Surrey
Client: City of London Freeman’s School
Architect: Hawkins Brown Architects
Since it was acquired by the Corporation in 1924, the City of London Freemen’s School has occupied Ashtead Park, Surrey, a Grade II* house of the 1790s, designed by Joseph Bonomi but executed by Samuel Wyatt. The project has created new facilities for Sixth Form study in the building, respecting 18th and 19th century fabric while reversing the post-Victorian subdivision of key spaces. The introduction of moveable and fixed furniture allows these newly opened-up spaces to be used flexibly and variously for teaching, study and socialising.
The Giles Worsley Award for New Building in the Spirit of the Georgian Era
Winner: Davey’s Farm, Warmington, Northamptonshire
Client: Sir William and Lady Proby
Architect: Yiangou Architects
Davey’s Farm, Northamptonshire, is a new country house designed by Yiangou Architects for Sir William and Lady Proby on the Elton Hall estate. Designed in the spirit of a Regency house, with Battey Langley Gothic elements the new work grows from and incorporates a group of existing farm buildings. It also wittily refers back to Elton Hall itself with a Gothic tower over the entrance hall. The interiors are spacious and light, taking full advantage of the magnificent position of the new building in the landscape.
Commended: Duredon Farm, Minehead, Somerset
Client: Exmoor Forest Estate
Architect: Llewellyn Harker Lowe Architects
Duredon Farm, Somerset, sits in the Exmoor Forest at the centre of the National Park and is one of 12 model farms built by John Knight in 1818. The Exmoor Forest Estate bought Duredon, in a very decayed state in 2017. Keeping the farm courtyard, containing late Georgian stables and a threshing barn, a new house was built on the site of the old 3 bay 2 storey farmhouse, reusing walling stone, and flagstones. As the principal house for the estate, the new building is slightly grander than the old and has been carefully detailed accordingly. The judges were particularly impressed by the quality of the joinery, other craftsmanship and the creation of beautifully appointed interiors.
Battersea Park House
Architect: Craig Hamilton
Battersea Park House, London, is a new detached classical house designed by the architect Craig Hamilton for a family of five. Built on land behind Battersea Bridge Road originally used as a market garden, it has a courtyard form with an enclosed garden facing south-west that is accessible from all ground floor rooms via French windows. The walls are of hand-made bricks with tuck pointing and stone dressings. The interiors have been designed by Guy Goodfellow.
Restoration of a Georgian Garden or Landscape
Winner: Marble Hill House, Twickenham
Client: English Heritage
The park and garden surrounding Marble Hill were created in the 1720s by Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk in collaboration with Alexander Pope and Charles Bridgeman. The pleasure grounds to the south, between the Palladian villa and the River Thames, were in particular a response to the designs published in Robert Castell’s Villas of the Ancients Illustrated. A survey plan of 1749 has been key in guiding this work, which now forms a much-improved setting for the house. The recent project, undertaken in tandem with a programme of redecoration and representation of the interiors of the house, has seen the restoration, and in part recreation of, Henrietta Howard’s Garden, whose layout had become obscured by overgrown copses of secondary woodland. The historic planting to the south, west and north, its fenced boundaries, serpentine paths, flower garden and grotto garden, and Nine Pin Alley, have all been restored and modern intrusions either removed or screened. The judges were particularly impressed by the remade grotto and the grotto garden.
Memento Mori, Hampshire
Client: Natural England
Memento Mori, Hampshire is an important element in an 18th century pleasure garden, which had decayed and become overgrown. It comprises a rusticated tunnel with flint-faced portals, leading to a canalised stream with a view to a pond or lagoon beyond. The flint work was repaired some 40 years ago but unfortunately with cementitious mortar and was in poor structural condition, while the canal had almost disappeared. The work, supported by Natural England, and overseen by the Goddard Partnership, has seen repairs to the stone and flint-work, the removal of trees, the dredging of silt and the rebuilding of sluices.
Great Linford Manor Park
Client: The Parks Trust
Great Linford Manor Park, Buckinghamshire, was acquired by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation in the 1960s and is now owned and managed by The Parks Trust, an environmental charity that looks after 6,000 acres of green spaces across the city. The Trust has restored the 18th century water garden and its cascade of ponds that convey natural spring water under the Great Union Canal and eventually into the Ouse valley. Supported by the NLHF, the project has involved the creation of a new basin to mark the emergence of the spring, the dredging and repair of the ponds, the removal of overhanging trees, the opening up of historic views, the formation of new paths in the wilderness, and interpretation for visitors.
New Building in a Georgian Context
Winner: Levine Building, Trinity College, Oxford
Client: Trinity College, Oxford University
Architect: Adam Architecture
The Levine Building, Trinity College, Oxford, designed by Hugh Petter of ADAM Architecure, was opened by His Majesty King Charles, then HRH The Prince of Wales, in May this year. It sits at the heart of this historic collegiate complex and is the first substantial architectural change made to Trinity in more than 50 years. The site was also constrained by the listed status of the college garden and surrounding archaeology. Its situation well within the college precinct—rather than on one of its bounds—meant that all facades enjoy a relationship with the gardens. The building, which provides new academic facilities, 46 new student bedrooms, an auditorium, flexible function rooms, roof terrace and a café, employs honey-coloured limestone, and slate roofs to harmonise with its architectural surrounds.
Winner: Shrewbury Flaxmill Maltings, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Client: Historic England
Constructed in 1797 as a spinning mill, producing linen thread from flax, the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, Shropshire is a very remarkable survivor from the early part of the Industrial Revolution. Its construction was, quite simply, revolutionary, being not only the first iron-framed building in the world, but also the first fireproof building and the first fully prefabricated sectional building that was bolted together. Astonishingly, the wider mill site also includes the 3rd and 8th oldest iron-framed buildings. The complexity and cost associated with taking on such a fragile Grade I listed building has meant that a succession of developers failed in their respective regeneration plans, and in 2005, in partnership with the local authority, Historic England acquired the site as purchasers of last resort. Temporary structural support was installed, and the site made weatherproof. Happily, in 2017 the site was awarded a £20.7m NLHF grant enabling the start of a 5-year programme of repair and regeneration works to the Main Mill. Overseen by Historic England’s National Conservation Projects Manager, Nick Hill, the lead consultants and architects were Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and the main contractor Croft Building and Conservation.
Winner: Adrian Boult Building, Westminster School, London
Client: Westminster School
Architect: Ptolemy Dean Architects
The redevelopment of the Adrian Boult building by Ptolemy Dean Architects was the final stage of a 20-year-long project to repair and reorder Westminster School’s historic campus. The building stands on the site of the former great kitchen that in the Middle Ages served the refectory of Westminster Abbey. This monastic building had long since been lost and the site encumbered by various 20th century buildings and additions that also compromised the adjoining Ashburnham House, one of the finest late 17th century houses to survive in the capital. Thoughtful and patient redevelopment, however, has enabled a number of wider improvements. The lower floor level of Ashburnham House, for example, has been restored, avoiding stepped access. At the same time, the remains of the monastic kitchen exposed by archaeological excavation before construction began, have been left visible through glass floors. The new building was intended to have a polite but modest 18th century personality. It’s built of red brick with its main facade articulated by arches. There is a mansard roof of salvaged pan tiles, and an oval roof lantern inspired by that over the top-lit staircase of Ashburnham House. This is a model of sensitive and contextual design in a highly sensitive place.