County Council Designers Scoop National Awards
Friday, 26 October 2012
Hampshire County Council's in-house Property Services team has received further national recognition for their design and conservation work, at the SCALA Civic Building of the Year Awards 2012.
The design of Forest Park Special School in Totton, for children with complex learning difficulties, was named runner-up in the overall Civic Building of the Year awards. Basing House and Grange Farm picked up the conservation award for work to preserve and repair the Grade I listed Great Barn and surrounding farm buildings on the site of the once extensive Tudor palace, destroyed during the Civil War. The Havant Public Service Plaza, which brings together public and voluntary services in one location in Havant, was highly commended by judges.
The SCALA awards celebrate the cream of public sector architecture and are deemed the most prestigious building design awards in the public sector. They aim to promote the development of high quality public buildings through the formal recognition of excellence in design and construction.
Commenting on the design of Forest Park Special School, judges praised its thorough research and attention to detail, highlighting that "this inspiring school has resulted in an exemplary, uplifting and nurturing environment for children with complex needs. The excellent use of colour is consistent throughout and makes a major contribution to both understanding and enjoying the building in its setting. The location, detailing and selection of equipment for the external play areas are outstanding and have a huge impact on the overall capability of this facility."
Earlier this year, Hampshire County Council's Property Services also received a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Downland Award for their work to design the new school. It represents a £11.2million investment by the County Council's Children's Services department in special educational needs provision in the New Forest, and provides much needed and improved facilities for the children and staff to use for years to come.
Meanwhile, the Basing House conservation project, funded with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund, was praised for the clear research, care and attention given to preserving and restoring the historic detail of the site. The judges said: "Subtle adaptations and alterations have been carefully introduced to give a new purpose to this magnificent collection of historic buildings. The skills of all concerned with this beautiful piece of work deserve high recognition and reward."
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber, added: "The quality of our public buildings in Hampshire has huge significance in terms of shaping communities and providing residents and the people in our care with attractive and inspirational surroundings.
"This latest recognition builds on the already outstanding reputation of Hampshire's Property Services in public sector design, and I would like to congratulate all those involved in these projects."