At the Society’s Annual General Meeting held on Thursday, 20th April, the following Design and Environment Awards were announced.
In the new-build category, a commendation was given for Heathland View House, a newly built house at Warmfield which has been built into the landscape so that it is almost invisible from the road. The architect was Neil Bowen Architects.
An award was presented to CAPA College for their new purpose-built premises on Mulberry Way. The architects were Race Cottam Associates. Modern and amply suited to its purpose, the building completes the Merchant Gate development opposite Westgate Station.
A second award was presented for The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, designed by Tom Stuart-Smith. The judges liked the way that the garden adapted the space between the Hepworth gallery and the recently opened former mill building refurbishment at Tileyard North. The garden created an area of beauty and tranquillity close to the city centre that residents and visitors to the gallery could enjoy.
A final award in the new-build category was presented for a new house at 115a Northgate, designed by Architecture 1B. The house occupies a prominent corner plot on the corner of Wentworth Terrace and Northgate and, although of very modern design, the judges were impressed by how the house fitted into a relatively small corner plot while being respectful of the properties around it.
Moving to the refurbishment category, the judges gave a commendation to the refurbishment of a former Manygates Hospital building, now known as the Manor House, and repurposed as flats as part of a larger residential development known as Woodlands Village. This had been a major refurbishment project of a building that had fallen into a state of dereliction over the years. The lead architects were ParkedDesign.
A commendation was also given to the refurbishment of 22 Silver Street, which includes a newsagent and also the offices of First Choice Recruitment. The property had been refurbished and given a new shop front as part of the Westgate Heritage Action Zone project.
The Heritage Action Zone project was also the subject of a further commendation, awarded to Wakefield Council for the public realm improvements carried out by the Council as part of the project, particularly for the work to improve the appearances of the entrances to Woolpacks Yard, Thompsons Yard and Carter Street.
A design award was given to Castle Lodge at Castle Road in Sandal. This former nursing home had been refurbished and extended to create new apartments. The judges liked how a house of traditional design had been sympathetically extended with two new wings to create additional apartments within a landscaped setting. The design was by PRA Architects.
In the best shop front category, although no awards were given, two commendations were given. The first went to business owner Louise Mould for her hair salon at Bread Street while the second was presented to First Choice Recruitment for the new frontage on their premises at 22 Silver Street.
In the best public house, café/bar or restaurant frontage category, one commendation and one award were presented. The commendation went to Gazi Meydan for the design of his restaurant frontage at 56 Northgate while the award was given to Icon, a bar in the Westgate Heritage Action Zone. The award was for the refurbished frontage, work carried out under the project, as part of a larger project, still underway, to refurbish the former Woolpacks property that extends backwards from Westgate up Woolpacks Yard. The architects for the project are Seven Architecture.
Finally, in the best residential category a further commendation was awarded for the Manor House at Woodlands Village while Castle Lodge secured its second design award of the evening.
Moving on to the Environment Awards, two award were given. The first went to the Friends of Outwood Park for their planting scheme at the park while the second went to the Wrenthopre Environmental Society (known as WRENS) for their work to ‘spruce up’ the village. Unlike the Design Awards, where recipients were presented with certificates and plaques, winners of the Environment Awards were presented with certificates and cheques for £100.
The awards were introduced by David Dinmore MBE DL who, as a Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, spoke of the King’s interest in architecture – something which he had long taken an interest in as Prince Charles. Wakefield Civic Society President Kevin Trickett MBE described the awards and the judges’ decisions while the successful recipients received their awards and commendations from the Mayor of Wakefield, Councillor David Jones.
The judging panel members, all members of Wakefield Civic Society, were:
- Angie de Courcy Bower
- Roger Brown
- Barry Goodchild
- Elizabeth Motley
- John Ramsden
- Graham Roberts
Speaking at the AGM, Civic Society President congratulated all the nominees and prize winners. He said that the Society existed in large part to promote an interest in architecture, design and town planning and the awards were just one way of drawing attention to schemes that added to the special character of the city. “All too often, people seem prepared to criticise the city centre”, he said, “but for anyone prepared to look, there is a lot of work being undertaken by the Council, developers and business owners to make real improvements to the city and this is in the interests of everyone, whether they are residents, business owners or visitors to the city”.