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Portsmouth Society Design Awards 2012

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2011 results
Best New Building
Winner - Portsmouth International Port, Mile End
Commended - Highbury Children's Centre and Alliance House St. Mary's Road Fratton
Best Restoration
Winner - 5 Grove Road South Southsea
Commended - Old Iron Foundry, Portsmouth Naval Base
Best Reuse
Winner - Southsea Library
Commended - Yellow Kite Café Southsea Castle
Best Landscaping
Winner - Central reservation landscaping Mile End Road
Commended - Stacey Centre Community Orchard Walsall Road Baffins
To the delight of the judges in the Portsmouth Society's Design Competition, the recession has not affected the quality or quantity of this year's entries. The judges were: Tod Wakefield, former head of Portsmouth School of Architecture, planner Phil Turner, architect Graham Brown and Celia Clark of the Portsmouth Society.

Best New Building Award

Winner of the Best New Building Award is the sparkling white International Port Terminal in Mile End, designed by Joel Kempsey-Fagg of D5 Architects of Birmingham. It feels like a light airy airport - and the clarity of signs and routes needed to process 400,000 people to and from their ferries and cruise ships each year make their transit enjoyable. The sculptural anti-terrorism protection: giant anchors and concrete chain links enhance the perimeter, and the judges were impressed by the innovative use of seawater for cooling and heating via a heat exchanger. Halcrow were the lead design consultants for project management, civil engineering, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering. Mansell were the main contractors.

Highbury Children's Centre - Commended
There were two Commended schemes. One was Highbury Children's Centre by Alastair Lewis Portsmouth City Architects, built by Habens of Rodney Road Portsmouth. With its carefully detailed light-filled community hall and Surestart Centre, it once again demonstrates the excellence in design we have come to expect from the city's architects.

Alliance House St. Mary's Road Fratton - Commended
The articulated façade, clever planning and private outdoor space makes living in Alliance House Apartments in St. Mary's Road Fratton enjoyable and sociable. A resident who worked in the corset factory on the site - its history is explained in a display board - appropriately, lives in a flat there. The scheme was designed by Mike Ford of HM Architects Ltd. and built by W Stirland Ltd. of Birdham West Sussex for Radian (formerly Drum Housing Association).

Best Restoration Award

5 Grove Road South Southsea
The Best Restoration Award was to the elegant restoration of 5 Grove Road South Southsea from its former use as a solicitor's office as their home by Mark Lemon and Kemi Adenubi. In place of the redbrick office rear extension is a lovely new orangery, paved garden, greenhouse and dining arbour, and Peter Clutterbuck's distinctive new railings enhance both front and back. For the restoration work the architect was Simon Bean at the now defunct Pottingers; the owners acted as their own project managers and used numerous local contractors and suppliers. For the orangery the architect was Carolyn Jenkins at Architectress and the main contractor was WG Wilson and Sons.

Old Iron Foundry, Portsmouth Naval Base - Commended

Commended in this category was the Old Iron Foundry in Portsmouth Naval Base, designed by Robert Benn Associates of Gunwharf. The new entrance hall and ground floor offices are the last phase of a restoration and conversion to offices for BAE Systems, first commended by the Society in 2005. The carefully restored vaulted redbrick ceilings and walls, grey painted original water pumps and crane gantries are complemented by the new slate floor and impressive boardroom table.

Best Reuse Award

Southsea Library - Winner
The judges introduced a new category this year: Best Reuse Award, because of the trend towards conversion of existing buildings rather than newbuild, where pubs are turned into homes and shops, churches into pubs, garages into cafes…. Winner was the popular Southsea Library, created in the former Woolworths store in Palmerston Road Southsea - as suggested by a member of the Society ! Project co-ordination was by Portsmouth City Council architect Marcelle Newbold. Amid brightly coloured furniture, the sinuous interior design by Robert Benn Associates creates spaces for new activities. The building was adapted and fitted out by Brymor

Yellow Kite Café Southsea Castle - Commended
Commended was the pleasant café in the casemates inside Southsea Castle for Gamble Parker of Yellow Kite by contractor Habens, within a challenging heritage environment, where much restoration of the castle still remains to be done …..

Best Landscaping Award

Central reservation landscaping Mile End Road
Portsmouth City Council
Trafalgar Gate paintings Mark Lewis Art & Soul Traders

Central reservation landscaping Mile End Road - Winner

Best Landscaping: the winner is the new landscaping of the arrival into Portsmouth from the M275: the central reservation of Mile End Road and the new link road to the dockyard Trafalgar Gate. Designed by Vincent Mount, Senior Landscape Architect at Portsmouth City Council, it reminds people of the city's connection to the sea, evoking the local beach: the grasses sway in the wind like waves, catching the changing light through the day. Sea species such as thrift, thistle and holly, sedum and creeping rosemary add seasonal colour and interest, and emerging pines and birch offer contrast.

The planting is edged by Solent shingle borders in elegant zigzags, punctuated with large stone blocks from the dock in which the Mary Rose Museum is being constructed. The scheme is very well received by the public, many drivers tooting their horns and showing thumbs up whilst the designers were on site. Pairs of painted ships in the walls at the Trafalgar Gate entrance by a talented group of artists - including Richard Oakes, Dan William, Vincent Winstanley, Charlie Howkins, James Waterfield, Rob Waterfield and Mark Lewis - are part of the scheme. PGSD were the Landscape contractors, Ringway (Eurovia) the main contractor.

Stacey Centre Community Orchard Walsall Road Baffins - Commended
Particularly commended is the Stacey Centre Community Orchard in Walsall Road Baffins - an exemplar of how to enhance the many pockets of dull mown grass all over the city. Encouraged and designed by Tracey Jones, volunteers meet regularly to plant and tend the lovely trees, shrubs and plants and enjoy the vine-planted arbours.

Also viewed ...

The judges also saw Twinkle Cottage Day Nursery in the former Dog and Duck Fratton, St. Mary's Health Campus, Harry Sotnick Care Home Fratton, Mayflower Mews Highland Road, Sellers Coffee House Castle Road, the early stages of the restoration of the Beneficial School owned by the Groundlings Theatre in Kent Street Portsea, Chandos Rise Garden in the city centre, and the quirky Celestial Microscope in Portsmouth Grammar School which complements the Bristow-Clavell Science building.

How to nominate a building or scheme

If you would like to nominate a new building, restoration or landscaping scheme for consideration in the next competition please download the nomination form or contact David Baynes on 023 9283 1461.

Celia Clark, President, Portsmouth Society.