Three architecture projects in Derbyshire receive top awards

Dancing Flowers at Doe Lea.
Dancing Flowers at Doe Lea.

Three architecture projects in Derbyshire have won top awards.

The 2019 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) East Midlands awards were announced at a prestigious ceremony at Nottingham Trent University this evening.

Dancing Flowers, Doe Lea.

Dancing Flowers, Doe Lea.

The awards have been running continuously since 1966.

The winning proejcts are:

- Dancing Flowers of Doe Lea, Tonkin Liu

- Heart for Hathersage, Architect Studio Gedye with Ares

The Stackyard.

The Stackyard.

- Stackyard, James Boon Architects

Dancing Flowers of Doe Lea also won the RIBA East Midlands Small Project Award, while Hathersage Parish Council won RIBA East Midlands Client of the Year for Heart for Hathersage, and Simon Gedye of Architect Studio Gedye was winner of the RIBA East Midlands Project Architect of the Year (for the same project), sponsored by Taylor Maxwell.

Regional jury chair, Colin McColl, said: “The jury was pleased to visit a variety of scales of architecture across the East Midlands and it was clear from these how clients and their architects had a deep passion for the buildings that were shortlisted.

"On considered review of the awards criteria the jury felt that each winner, on their own merits, challenged and moved the regional debate forward as to how architecture and the process of rigorously delivered good design matters at all scales and should, positively influence individuals, organisations and entire communities.”

The Stackyard.

The Stackyard.

For the Dancing Flowers design, the jury's report reads: "In recent years, Doe Lea - a proud, former, mining community has lost its identity and struggling to evolve from its historic mining heritage. The village recognised that new villagers and those with strong mining roots needed to come together to find common ground and a new purpose.

"Beam, a Yorkshire based public arts charity, ran an architectural competition for a permanent landmark on a traffic island that would mark the entrance to the village.

"Tonkin Liu’s winning design is underpinned with local historical research and the careful interpretation of the curved scars of the mining landscape and how these landscape lines can be reinterpreted into a ‘line going for a walk’. The result is an anamorphic red line spelling out, when all aligned on your approach by vehicle, the village name."

The Heart for Hathersage assessment reads: "This is a project of perseverance by the local community to realise the potential, and the funding, for a central village site that was once dominated by a ubiquitous and run down public toilet block. Fifteen years have passed since its inception, and a new community space for the village has emerged.

Heart for Hathersage.

Heart for Hathersage.

"This new space was formed by rotating a new building through ninety degrees from the footprint of the previous toilet block to unlock an outdoor room where there was none before.

"There are moments of wit and invention in this new building, the folded elliptical zinc roof being an obvious, and neatly detailed, sculptural moment that provides a needed civic scale."

And the jury's report for the Stackyard reads: "This modest new build house, located in a bucolic village setting, continues the vital conversation about appropriate development in sensitive locations.

"The architect (it is their own house), took on an existing consent for this modest courtyard site and challenged a more conventional plan, with living spaces on the ground floor looking out onto the blank courtyard walls and long corridor spaces to the upper floor bedrooms. He re-planned the building with a central stair to reduce circulation and flipped the living areas to the upper floor."

The event was hosted by BBC East Midlands political editor, Tony Roe.

The other RIBA East Midlands Award-winning buildings are:

- Brackley Town Hall, Northamptonshire, Haverstock

- Hannington Farm, Northamptonshire, James Gorst Architects

- Nevill Holt Opera, Leicestershire, Witherford Watson Mann

- Northampton International Academy, Architecture Initiative

Teaching and Learning Building, University of Nottingham, Make Architects

Further Special Awards went to:

-Teaching and Learning Building, University of Nottingham - RIBA East Midlands Sustainability Award, sponsored by Michelmersh;

- Nevill Holt Opera - RIBA East Midlands Conservation Award

- Nevill Holt Opera - RIBA East Midlands Building of the Year

The winners will also be considered for a highly-coveted RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, which will be announced on June 27. The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize for the best building of the year will be drawn from the RIBA National Award-winning projects later in the year.

RIBA East Midlands Student Awards are also awarded at Part 1 to Ross Burns from the University of Nottingham for The Isle of Awakening, and at Part 2 to Simon Green from De Montfort University, Leicester for Retired and Apprentice Steelworker Housing.