Winner — Lebberston Hall - Bramhall Blenkharn
Lebberston Hall was a fine, though ageing Victorian house built in the four-square tradition of North Yorkshire. I say “was” because it has been transformed by extensions and internal alterations, all of which have married contemporary styling to the vernacular in a way that seems, strangely, to enhance both. The judges were impressed by the use of modern materials to clear away the sombre interiors and replace them with a light open-plan design. The approach was not without its difficulties, particularly with fire safety, and the architect, Bramhall Blenkharn, commented on the valuable part played by Scarborough building control in arriving at the final solution.
Gedling council - Abbey Fields Cottage
This job involved the renovation and extension of a 150-year-old stone building in Newstead, Nottinghamshire. Actually, “renovation” hardly does justice to the job, which required the gutting of the house and the addition of a large extension constructed from green oak frames and traditional lime plaster. The success of the project was the outcome of splendid teamwork between client, contractor and building control department.
Gem Developments - 12 Banksea Avenue, Poole
This is fantasy self-build: an astonishing high-tech house, complete with its own boat lift, designed by architect David Wright. But one that required the close support of Poole council’s building control department to realise its potential.
New cob house - Higher Ridgeway, Devon
Cob houses are strange and beautiful dwellings made up from a mixture of subsoil and straw that is forked onto the wall in layers and then shaped like plaster. Each layer is left for a week to dry out, meaning that construction takes a little while – and when it comes time to put windows and doors in, the walls have to be left for several months to allow shrinkage to occur. The house brought the best out of East Devon council’s building control, and it rose to the occasion by making sure that the finished product would fit Part L.
Swansea council - 54 Langland Bay Road
This entry concerned an extension to a detached house, complicated by a steeply pitched slate roof with terracotta ridge tiles above distinctive limestone blocks. The decision was taken to make the extension look like part of the original house, which meant that local architect Huw Griffiths had to go to extraordinary lengths to match the materials, right down to bespoke stone detailing, natural slate and salvaged terracotta tiles.
D Pierson - Longcroft, Kent
This new house is based on the Scandinavian Hus house, which in case you don’t know is the Rolls-Royce of prefabricated timber frame systems. The result is simply stunning. Spread over three storeys, it includes, among many other things, a gymnasium and a wine store, a workshop and a treble garage.
LABC Awards October 2006
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Best one-off house sponsored by Building Design