This year two excellent and different housing designs stood out in the Best New Build category and were chosen as joint winners.
The first was a mixed development for the City Council Ivy Close in Somerstown. The judges admired the quiet almost village-like atmosphere and the human scale of the development, together with the blending of the low rise flats and their attractive balconies with the traditional terraces of family houses. The latter with their good-sized gardens. The architects for the scheme were Re-Format.
The second joint new build winner, The Coach House in Old Portsmouth, created a beautifully sun-lit new house on a difficult tight site. The judges especially liked the artist occupant’s high ceilinged studio, the intricate plan and the loving attention to details. The architect was Francis Graves .
Commended in the New Build category were two other projects : The Unilife Student Hall in Middle Street was admired for its well-lit and spacious entrance area and various social spaces. The judges felt that the blending of the different levels and the etched glass high level windows were especially exciting.
The second new build commendation was for the Parade Community Preschool in Kipling Road The relationship of the generous main nursery room to its dedicated play area with both shaded and sunlit areas was very successful and both staff and children seemed very happy in it.
The architects of the Unilife student hall were Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt and the designers of the Parade Community Preschool were John Parslow and Matt Smith from the Portsmouth City Council architects team.
The Best Restoration winner was Beckett’s Restaurant and Hotel in Bellvue Terrace with a winning combination of sensitive structural restoration by architect Robert Benn and a fresh multi-coloured timber-lined interior, with its Caribbean sailing ship and seaside vibe.
A commendation was given to the Southsea Rocks Hotel in Florence Road. Daisy and Jack Walker have managed to successfully convert the rather heavy and complex late Victorian interiors and hallways into a light, modern busy hotel with skilful touches of colour and ornament.
A second commendation was awarded to Fountain Hall off Edinburgh Road. This complex listed building with its famous listed mural painting of Portsmouth scenes by Eric Rimmington has yielded a popular and ingeniously converted student residence that has individuality and quirky decoration by local artists and one that is truly in the very heart of the City. Design and re-furbishment by Debbie and Grant Murphy.
The winner of the Best Reuse category was the The Portsmouth Distillery Company premises, located in Fort Cumberland at Eastney – an enjoyable example of the “swords into ploughshares” approach. Several of the arched casemates in the fort have been converted to house the distillery, bonded store and tasting rooms for the owner’s signature local designer gin, rum and cider. The Society hopes that this enterprise will lead to further interesting reuses of the fort. Design and adaptation by Vince Noyce and Giles Collighan.
Although there was no winner in the Best Landscaping category a Commendation was given to the Southsea Castle Fountains and Splashpool, conceived as a foil to the historic fort. It has been a hit on hot summer days, with younger holiday makers dodging between the fountain jets. Design and installation by Fountains Direct Ltd.
This year’s awards judges were Mick Morris, local architect, Pauline Mousley, chair of the Southern Branch of the 20th Century Society and Jim Sweasey of the Portsmouth U3A Architecture Group – all led by society president Dr.Celia Clark. Society member David Baynes researched and organised the short list and the two days of site visits.
Councillor Darren Sanders, cabinet member for housing, presented the winners plaques and commendation certificates at the Society’s Awards Evening at the Royal Maritime Club on Wednesday 27th November 2019.