RIBA East Midlands 2018


RIBA East Midlands 2018 Project Architect of the Year

Em Main 2

Font House

RIBA Judges comments:

It is hard to imagine the view in 2012 of a dilapidated bungalow and garden. Today Font House and the restored walled garden sit within the context of the Grade I listed main hall, church and parkland and are an exemplar of conservation-led design.

The result is immediately satisfying and elegant, but comes as the result of continual consideration and refinement at every turn of the design and building process. The leap of imagination and commitment of the project team is something to be commended.

The new house is conceived as a low pavilion with a delicately judged transparency and connection to the walled garden and yet achieves a degree of privacy and intimacy for the more private spaces.

These seemingly conflicting requirements have been skilfully arranged in a layout that is entirely symmetrical and sets up a pleasing geometrical relationship with the garden and main hall beyond.

Working with garden designer, Rupert Golby, the team considered every angle and dimension to create a series of vistas that are intuitively right and add to the special sense of place; sitting at just the perfect height, the beautifully executed bronze roof can be glimpsed from the main hall, tempting the visitor on. Yet, from within Font House the full drama of the main hall and its lawns is embraced and enjoyed.

Font House has qualities far beyond its setting and spatial organisation and the awards jury admired the exquisite detailing, craftsmanship and commitment to using the very highest quality of materials. Walls of hand-finished ironstone connect the contemporary design with the historical buildings of the estate and the bronze roof is a triumph.

However, attention to detail is consistently evident throughout the project: in the bronze fenestration seamlessly giving on to the garden terraces; in the skilfully inserted roof light admitting light deep in to the heart of the house or the bespoke door ironmongery fashioned in walnut and blue steel. These details repeatedly delight and reward the visitor.

The garden is no exception and also enjoys a level of design consideration equal to the house. The reflecting pools create an elegant setting whilst adding subtle animation to the more contemplative interior spaces.

Here too are moments of great sensitivity, such as the restored lead-work dragons adding to the historical narrative of the project.

The house and garden are a testament to the highest quality of design and execution and create a new and unexpected chapter in the history of the Nevill Holt estate.

Photographer: Rachael Smith

RIBA East Midlands 2018 Project Architect of the Year

Guy Barlow - The Manser Practice

NGS Macmillan Unit

RIBA Judges comments:

The Chesterfield Royal Hospital Trust set a brief for a “calm, non-clinical environment” and the new building delivers on this promise with rare maturity and delight. The setting for the building is critical to its success, looking out across farmland and a gently rolling horizon.

The support of Macmillan and donations from the National Garden Scheme have clearly been fundamental in setting the level of ambition and informing the design processes in this treasured location.

The building is approached from a new drop off which crucially provides patients with convenient and immediate access, but this space has qualities far exceeding the functional. Conceived as a calm and inspirational garden space, the welcome characterises the highest level of design consideration for the patients, staff and visitors which is consistently applied throughout the project.

On entering the building, it becomes immediately clear that the more informal layout is able to create spaces that are relaxed, generous and constantly refer the observer back to the rich landscape. However, these informal areas are skilfully blended with a well thought through patient journey taking in a series of rooms during the treatment cycle.

The awards jury were particularly impressed by the level of consideration to the patient experience at each moment; subtle changes in geometry transform corridors and reception spaces into informal and relaxed places to be.

Even the smallest of treatment rooms benefit from views out and fretted panels allow for privacy whilst affording natural ventilation and connection with the outdoor climate.

Natural light floods the main treatment area through punched roof lights whilst the gently curving facade resonates with the silhouette of the landscape beyond.

The building enjoys a warmth through the addition of carefully selected art works, furniture and a graphic scheme. Colours are a direct reference to the seasonally changing landscape and again reconnect patients with the landscape and outdoor environment.

Externally the eye is caught by the white Corian cladding which creates a building of great elegance and reinforces the sense of quality. The contrast of the white Corian panels with the carefully selected planting scheme is a truly uplifting place to be, for patients, visitors and staff alike.

The project team have steered this building at every turn through a process of careful reflection to ensure the best possible outcomes for patient experience and wellbeing.

Photographer: Mark Adden

Click here to view the full list of RIBA East Midlands Award Winners 2018

Next regional winner

Speak to our team

To speak to one of our team, call us on 0203 794 9377 or email enquiries@taylor.maxwell.co.uk

Contact our team
Facades cta