This year presentation of the Civic Society awards was combined with the Society’s AGM at an event held in the new conference centre at SS Great Britain.
A joint awards panel was formed in partnership with the Architecture Centre and the Junior Chamber of Commerce. Over 20 nominations were received and assessed against a series of criteria.
Projects had to be located within the City of Bristol; completed within the past two years; and visible to the general public. In addition they were required to demonstrate a high standard of architectural design which resulted in delight for occupiers, visitors and neighbours alike.
The panel made four design awards
- The Hub, Gainsborough Square, Lockleaze. Commissioned by United Communities and designed by architects Kendall Kingscott, the “Hub” comprises 28 affordable homes, a community hub and business space. The panel considered the building to be inspirational in terms of its massing, choice of materials and detailing.
- Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre. Commissioned by the Bridge Trust and designed by Alec French Architects. Although located over the border in North Somerset this scheme was considered to be umbilically connected to Bristol! The panel admired the self effacing character of this project, marked by stone walls and a limited palette of materials. Windows were positioned to provide intriguing views to the suspension bridge.
- Bishop Road Primary School. Commissioned by the school and designed by Batterham Matthews Design Ltd, the scheme involved the provision of a new entrance to this large Victorian school, together with reception and library accommodation. The two storey building provides a landmark in the street building out to the very edge of the school site. The panel admired the choice of materials, the crisp modern design and the improvements to the public realm.
- Southmead Hospital. Commissioned by the North Bristol NHS Trust and designed by BDP this is by far the largest of the award winners. Indeed the sheer scale of the new building took time to appreciate and the panel was impressed by the tremendous amount of design skill, experience and energy which had been put into this project.
Chair of Bristol Civic Society
Each year the Society makes an award to the project which it considers to be of the highest quality in the Architecture and Planning course at the University of the West of England. There are no set criteria for judging the projects but judges Wendy Pollard and Simon Birch attended earlier ‘crit’ sessions and spent an enjoyable afternoon assessing around 30 different projects of very varying quality and scope.
In 2015 there were some very good candidates, but we had no hesitation in choosing Josh Corfield. As a site the students had been given Sharpness. With the two dominant, contrasting qualities of heavy, declining industry and a sprawling patchwork of agricultural fields and farms – Josh had chosen to present a Farm School. Critical to the future of farming is that those who work in agriculture are skilled and ambitious.
Within current planning policy is the encouragement to develop schemes that inspire young people to take up a career in farming. Josh’s scheme gave a clear and coherent exposition of this principle with his design showing flexibility, simplicity and preservation, also adaptability for the future. His portfolio was presented to the highest standards and we wish him well in his future career.