BCA Environment Award 2011 – 2012

by paulcrosland on March 17, 2012

At the Annual General Meeting, the Chairman of ther Town Amenities Sub-committee, Paul Crosland, described the fifteen contenders for the Environment Award for 2011-12. The Sub-committee had concluded that none of those short-listed warranted ther award of a plaque, however two merited a commendation. These were:-

The Nash Harris Building, a large red brick extension at the rear and side of the old School, containing the new kitchens and dining hall as well as a new ecumenical Chapel, some classrooms and laboratories. The new building utilises its site well, with every space possible used effectively, without spoiling the inner courtyard. Much needed staff car parking is provided at the rear. The building is well-designed, simple, and effective. It also, blends well with the old building. The double height dining hall has substantial glazed areas overlooking the courtyard and this makes a pleasant backdrop to that area. The projecting oval-shaped end wall of the Chapel, reminiscent of the Media Stand at Lord’s Cricket Ground, makes a statement of its different function very neatly and the rear elevation simply expresses the classrooms within. The distinctive metal surrounds to the doorways are another interesting feature which contrast with the traditional brickwork. The only downside we found was the rather dull roofscape, which serves to emphasise the bulk of the new extension when viewed from an elevated position on Kings Road.

New Manor Croft, on the site of the old day centre on Manor Street. The development of fourteen homes of various sizes has made really good use of the site. The houses fit well into the Conservation area, and all has been detailed to this end. The buildings are nicely set around the central space, where there are enough green flower beds to offset the paving.  Two of the original large trees have been carefully preserved to fill the space with green, a special touch !  The car parking spaces have been subtly marked out by using darker paving blocks outlined in red. The road is light and dark red paving  matching the red-brick ‘soldier’ course over the window lintols, and around the arched porches. The houses themselves –  yellow facing bricks with red details, grey slate roofs and white windows in Victorian proportions seem to be well settled already, and a fitting addition to the Conservation area. There has been good attention to detail – I particularly liked the recessed lights within the porches – and there are interesting variations on the theme. Almost every house has a glazed conservatory at the rear, letting light into the living space.

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