The fourth annual Quality of Place awards ceremony took place on 24 October 2013 when prizes were awarded to seven outstanding local projects.
All the entries were judged on quality of design and detailing, quality of workmanship, materials, and sustainability.
The judges were Councillor Veronica Falconer (Chair); architectural expert, Peter Wells (Member of Suffolk RIBA); conservation expert, Fiona Cairns (Director of Suffolk Preservation Society); Local amenity society expert, Peter Hill (The Aldeburgh Society).
The awards were presented by the Chairman of Suffolk Coastal, Councillor Peter Bellfield.
Winner: Britten-Pears Archive, The Red House, Aldeburgh - the new purpose-built archive to house the Britten-Pears Foundation's internationally significant collection relating to the composer Benjamin Britten and his associates, designed by Architects Stanton Williams and constructed by RC Carter Ltd in soft red brick reflecting the qualities of the adjacent Grade II Listed Red House. The judges commentated that it was “a triumph… the quality in workmanship and design is outstanding which sits comfortably in its setting”.
Winner: Walk Barn Farm, Westleton - is a single storey eco-house and stand-alone bat house, which replaced a previous dwelling. Architect Charles Barclay said that "the house was carefully designed to relate positively to its semi-wild context while providing spectacular framed views of the site from inside". The contractor for the scheme was Stephen Marsh of Maidstone, Kent. The judges commented that it was "absolutely wonderful…. superbly simple in visual terms".
Highly commended: Rivercote, Woodbridge - this attractive contemporary dwelling replaced a 1930s chalet-bungalow and was designed, by local architect Patrick Allen Ltd, to be appropriate for it's important riverside site. The scheme took into consideration the form of the commercial workshop buildings of the C19th and C20th and was built to a high standard of workmanship by Complete Timber Solutions Ltd of Melton. The judges found the building to have “quality detailing and a stunning setting”.
Highly commended: Bethesda Baptist Church, Felixstowe - the church is situated on a prominent corner in the Felixstowe South conservation area. The extensions to the church were designed by local architect Stephen Claydon to provide much needed additional space and a welcoming entrance. The scheme produced a striking, revitalised building, built by Elliston Steady & Hawes. The judges commented that the scheme was “an impressive community building and the scheme delivered what the client wanted on a very constrained site”.
Highly commended: Fludyer Arms Hotel, Felixstowe - works included the removal of later inappropriate front and side extensions to allow the ground floor or the original Edwardian property to be fully appreciated once more. Bold use of a contemporary design by Last & Tricker Partnership for a new rear extension with glass to the main elevation provided a stair and circulation area to all levels. Constructed by AMF Building Contractors of Felixstowe. The judges commented that the scheme was “an interesting design where a good contrast from the original building has been achieved”.
Winner: Darsham House, Darsham - a Grade II* Listed country house had suffered neglect and poor quality alterations during the last decade. Unauthorised alterations carried out by a previous owner had led to enforcement action having to be served by the local authority. This was still ongoing when the current owners brought the property and set about its restoration with the assistance of Nicholas Jacob Architects.
The attention to detail in every aspect of the repair and refurbishment of the house is clearly evident with R & J Hogg Ltd having carried out the work to very high standards. Now, three years on, the house is a wonderful historic house again, an example of how sensitive restoration/conservation work should be carried out. The judges said the work carried out showed “superb attention to detail and craftsmanship”.
Highly commended: '1928 House', 107 Saxmundham Road, Aldeburgh - the '1928 House' is a fascinating and unique piece of history. Unaltered since its construction, the house still retains it’s original Crittall windows and striking green paintwork, with none of the additions so often added to houses over the decades. Incredibly, the house still has the original furniture, purchased in the 1920s. All the original contents been sensitively restored.
Owners and project managers Mr Tarry and Mr James have taken much time getting the detail of the restoration of the property correct. Mr Tarry said “it takes an awful lot of work to make it look as if nothing has changed”. One of the judges commented that “personally I loved the scheme, it is a good example of a 1920s house and it is harder and harder to find original examples of this era”.