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. As we look to what 2013 may hold, the County Council’s in-house Property Services team is once again aiming to replicate their success over the last twelve months, and helping to create communities that continue to make Hampshire a great place to live and learn.
Whether it’s designing new facilities for residents to use and enjoy, preserving Hampshire’s historic buildings and rich history, building new schools and inspirational new indoor and outdoor learning spaces to meet the growing demand for school places, expanding and enhancing learning environments for our 136,000 schoolchildren, or making our buildings and schools as energy efficient as possible – the team’s work continues to gain positive national acclaim.
2012 was indeed an award-winning year for County Council design and conservation work. There was national recognition for the high quality of our building design and architects; with awards for the design of Forest Park Special School in Totton, and preservation work at Basing House and Grange Farm – the site of the former Tudor palace destroyed during the Civil War. The Havant Public Service Plaza, housing public and voluntary services in one location in Havant, was also highly commended by judges.
As well as awards for the final result, the team has also been recognised for developing new, more efficient and innovative solutions in their work towards delivering public sector construction projects for Hampshire and wider partners, and which are generating huge savings. Demand for their work is growing, and these new approaches are being used in building programmes worth £140million to the partnership between the County Council, Reading, Surrey and West Sussex councils. Meanwhile the team’s efforts this year to deliver the best value for money for Hampshire taxpayers from the sale of County Council land has generated over £41million, that is being reinvested in the provision of local services.
Despite the public sector continuing to experience financial challenges from reduced levels of government funding, in Hampshire, we are looking at new ways to develop, as well as work with other organisations and partners. As a result, we have developed one of the UK’s leading in-house property teams that is going from strength to strength, with the ongoing aim to help create future surroundings for the people of Hampshire, of which we can all be proud.
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber
Hampshire County Council has received two 2012 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Regional Awards for new schools that have been designed and built in the county in the last year.
The RIBA Awards are given for buildings that have high architectural quality and make a substantial contribution to the local environment. The awards are annual, and have been running continuously since 1966.
The Endeavour Primary School in Andover was completed earlier this year and is the winner of the RIBA Downland Award. The design and project management was by Hampshire County Council’s Property Services and the school was constructed by Mansell Construction Services Ltd.
This new primary school for 420 pupils had a brief to provide flexible accommodation that can adapt to the changing learning styles of the future and be as accessible as possible for the wider community. A holistic approach to the design links architecture, interior and landscape, creating a pleasant and inspiring environment conducive to learning and wellbeing. The school has simple pitched roofed buildings arranged around a central courtyard, with the main hall on the street front, all linked by glazed cloisters. Each class has access directly to excellent sheltered external play areas, as well as generous facilities for outdoor learning.
A RIBA Downland Award has also been presented to Forest Park School in Totton. This new school for children with complex learning difficulties was also designed by Hampshire County Council Property Services and has been constructed by Morgan Sindall plc. In addition to the nine classrooms in the school, there is a nursery, hydrotherapy pool, multi-sensory room, a soft play area and therapy rooms. The County Council’s in-house architectural team have designed and created a beautiful school and setting which will provide much needed and improved facilities for the children and staff to use for years to come.
In announcing the awards, RIBA judges praised the work of the County Council, saying "...a school cannot just be about facilities, it must engender a sense of wellbeing, even pride among pupils and staff. The architects have created an extraordinary place in which pupils feel special…in which the children’s needs are primary to the design."
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber, said: "These awards are a fantastic achievement and I congratulate the team for their skill, expertise and innovation in these projects. The County Council prides itself on providing children with the best possible start in life and these award-winning facilities offer pupils and staff an outstanding learning environment.
Not only do such award-winning school buildings foster pride and wellbeing in the teachers and pupils that occupy them, but they also enable the County Council to showcase its strengths in delivering inspirational, practical and resilient design.”
The County Council’s design team has also been credited for their collaboration with the Royal Armouries on the new museum facilities at Fort Nelson which overlook Portsmouth Harbour. The design was by Pringle Richard Sharratt and has won a RIBA Downland Award and a RIBA South Conservation Award. The timber structure, constructed by Mansell, houses the Royal Armouries’ national collection of historic artillery.
Forest Park School was also recognised earlier this year as a winner in the 2012 Civic Trust Awards with a Commendation for its design. Judges said; "…there has been extensive consultation with teachers and parents drawing on years of experience and practical knowledge. It is a shining example of how a special school should be built. The palette of materials and forms is restrained, but used intelligently to express entrance, shelter, hierarchy and purpose. The uncompromising modern approach works extremely well, and is surprisingly varied in composition."
See our Awards page.