Architectural watchdog gives out its annual awards for the five best public and private organisations and individual architectural champions.

CABE has presented its annual awards for the five best public and private organisations, the CABE Festive Five Awards.

The awards are given out to the five public sector organisations, five private companies and five individual architectural champions whose forward thinking and motivation has led to better buildings and public spaces. The winners will all receive CABE certificates and a written commendation to celebrate their achievement.

Richard Simmons, chief executive of CABE, said: "The CABE team has debated and deliberated over the decision, and chosen people and organisations who we think are breaking down barriers and rising to the challenges of providing better buildings and places. The people we have picked are the individuals and organisations who will be well worth watching in the future - architectural and design champions who are making positive changes and achieving results."

The citations for the Festive Fives 2005:


  • Dean Aggett, senior planning and design officer, Oldham Rochdale Partners in Action
For his work championing design in the Oldham Rochdale Pathfinder and his contribution to the Design Task Group. Dean has commissioned design guidance for the two local authorities, set up a design discussion group and has promoted the idea of demonstrator projects as part of the pathfinder programme. In particular, we want to recognise Dean for his involvement in the Europan housing competition (one of the sites is in Oldham), the St Mary's scheme (which was seen at Design Review and praised for sustainability) and the Dale Mill housing project which is very exciting. We look forward to seeing it develop in 2006.

  • Miranda Pearce, urban renaissance manager, South East England Development Agency (SEEDA)
Miranda has spent 2005 championing the importance of design within SEEDA and she has established South East Excellence as a virtual regional centre of excellence for regeneration. This was launched with a very successful conference in September. Miranda is also involved with two highly effective Architecture Centres in the South East Region - Kent Architecture Centre and Solent Centre for Architecture & Design (SCA+D).

  • Charles Jencks
For pioneering the Maggie’s Centres. Some of the world’s best architects have been engaged to create Maggie’s centres including Frank Gehry (Dundee), Zaha Hadid (Fife) and Richard Rogers (London), with rumours of other stellar names to come. For this Festive Five we want to congratulate Jencks himself for the landscape design. We consistently talk about the importance of green space and this is never more true than in a healthcare environment - even a view from a window can impact on a patient’s well-being and recovery. The spiralling landscapes at Maggie’s Highlands, in Inverness, were inspired by mitosis, the division of cells in a healthy body. The Maggie’s centres are definitely special buildings and let’s hope they make the patients and visitors feel special too.

  • Paul Grover, director, Solent Centre for Architecture & Design (SCA+D)
Before joining SCA+D, Paul spent seven years with the Architecture Foundation in London, and most recently was the founding director of the Glass-House, a national design service giving tenants and residents around the country training and support on physical regeneration and neighbourhood renewal projects. Paul is a very passionate and effective advocate for the built environment. He has made a flying start with SCA+D, the new architecture centre serving Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Southampton and the bordering local authorities. Paul has only been in post at SCA+D a year and has rapidly developed a good programme which has already started to get results.

  • Kevin McCloud, presenter, Grand Designs and Demolition
We all know and love Kevin from Grand Designs. He was quoted recently as saying that architecture is for “you and me, not academics, and not architects”. Although for most of us the opportunity to build our own homes will only be a dream, what’s great about his new programme, Demolition, is the ability to provoke public debate about architecture. Kevin is now billed as the Jamie Oliver of architecture - attempting to do for town and country landscapes what Jamie Oliver has done for school dinners. The issues raised in the programme are of central importance to our work and help our cause by fuelling the debate surrounding the quality of places where we live, work and play. We look forward to seeing Kevin in 2006 on Channel 4’s Castleford programme - surely his biggest challenge to date.

Public Sector organisations

  • Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
For approaching Housing Market Renewal with a design focused agenda and recognising that to really change the nature of a town, you need to get great design into the centre. Rotherham MBC successfully managed a design competition for its town centre and chose to take an exemplary scheme forward. The winning development by Glen Howells is an excellent example of regeneration. It illustrates the importance of embedding a town centre with high quality buildings and spaces in order to attract shoppers, residents and businesses. Well done.

  • Warwick District Council, planning and conservation department
For their work in Leamington Spa. The department consistently demands high quality and this has resulted in a number of contemporary buildings which work well in their historic setting. It's rare to see such thoughtful team work between conservation officers, planners and developers. This care and passion really pays off - they have control over the streetscape (signage etc) and a positive influence on what happens to the town.

  • North West London Hospitals NHS Trust
For taking the lead in designing some of the foremost new health buildings in the country. Ranging from small scale healthcare buildings such as the Brent Birth Centre by Barbara Weiss Architects to the large ACAD and BCAD centres at Central Middlesex hospital by Avanti Architects. The Brent Birth Centre is the first in the UK built as a freestanding unit - it is a beautifully detailed building with some unusual touches, such as double beds for partners, that help to create a safe haven and relaxing environment for women opting for non-clinical delivery, ‘a home from home’. Its success is marked by the sheer number of those who apply to give birth there, the enthusiasm of the staff, and its status as an NHS exemplar project. It was also short-listed for the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award this year. ACAD and BCAD show a considered approach to all design decisions and the fairly rapid construction period creates a model for future healthcare environments.

  • Essex County Council
Essex County Council wins a festive five for their work on the Urban Place Supplement to the Essex Design Guide. The Urban Place Supplement raises design and environmental sustainability standards for high density development in Essex. It places the onus on developers to ensure that new development is appropriate to its context - essential for creating distinctive places where people want to live. In particular, we would like to give credit to David Balcombe, head of the built environment department, for recognising that the public sector needs to take the lead to raise design quality.

For championing high quality urban design within their own council and further a field. They produce high quality development briefs which set high and achievable standards for development proposals in Newcastle. The unit is also active in sharing their expertise around the UK and Europe by undertaking research and promoting sustainability. They have hosted a housing design expo in order to promote exemplary housing to Housing Market Renewal areas. Tony Wyatt runs the successful urban design team; he is a great ambassador for design quality.

Private companies

  • Serviceteam
For their support for our Parkforce campaign. In partnership with Birmingham City Council they have started returning dedicated park keepers, community park keepers and neighbourhood cluster teams to some of Birmingham's parks. We would also particularly like to thank Martyn Bradley, regional manager, for all his help and support during the campaign.

  • Bouygues UK
Bouygues UK were the main contractor on the Home Office Building (nominated for a Prime Minister’s Better Public Building award), the exemplary Jo Richardson PFI school in Barking, and the Brent Emergency Care and Diagnostics Centre for North West London Hospitals NHS Trust that will open shortly. All of these projects are impressive in the quality of their materials, workmanship and management. Bouygues UK have consistently delivered good projects to time and to budget. They have shown that when a good contractor is teamed with a good architect, PFI can produce buildings of a high standard.

The last year has seen Barratt Homes employ some top quality architects and explore new design solutions, such as working with HTA Architects on the Advance Housing project, suggesting a growing appetite for innovation in the business. With their ambition to deliver 20,000 homes each year by 2008, Barratt are set to determine the quality of life of a great many people in this country. We would like to commend Barratt’s chief executive David Pretty for his personal commitment to embedding good design across the company and willingness to show the kind of leadership that could make quality as well as quantity a hallmark of Britain's biggest volume house builder. Leadership like this among the big house builders gives us all hope for the future.

Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects continue to engage actively within the field of education, having recently completed a PFI school - Haverstock School in Camden - and an Academy - The City Academy in Bristol. The projects strive to respond to the complexities and challenges of PFI procurement and the new Academy programme, presenting high quality designs which are attractive, sustainable, flexible and responsive to context. Richard Feilden, a founding partner of Feilden Clegg Bradley, died on 3 January 2005 in a tragic accident. Richard was a CABE commissioner for three years, a former chair of the CABE Education enablers group and a member of the design review panel. Richard made an enormous contribution to the education agenda within CABE and is dearly missed by his CABE colleagues.

  • John Wilson Associates, architects
For the Butts Green development in Warrington, which proves that good architecture is possible even on difficult sites. The scheme is genuinely well designed and exceptionally well detailed. The proximity of the M62 motorway was a major consideration that impacted on the design and layout of the scheme. Bellway Homes Manchester with consultant architect John Wilson Associates successfully employed innovative design solutions to overcome the constraints of a potentially problematic site. A medieval-style wall of apartments forms a backdrop to the motorway and shields the rest of the development from the sound of cars. The architects have paid extraordinary attention to detail, whether in brick-work around arches, high-quality surfaces to parking courts or on the almshouses with attractive porches and gates. English Partnerships (EP) worked closely with the developer and provided the brief. Bellway must also be congratulated for their response to EP’s eco-design requirements.