Huddersfield Examiner readers think a new landmark building which gives the town a ‘wow factor’ was among the best new buildings constructed in the town last year.
They voted The Oastler Building at Shorehead their favourite in Huddersfield Civic Society’s Design Awards ... but it wasn’t the overall winner.
That honour went to the The Graham Cooksey Building at Greenhead College.
The winners in several categories were revealed at the awards ceremony held at Huddersfield Town Hall.
The judges stated of the Oastler Building, part of the University of Huddersfield campus: “What could be more appropriate for the Examiner Readers’ Award than, perhaps, the most distinctive building to have been erected in the town since the John Smith’s Stadium was constructed in the mid 1990s.
“The eye-catching Oastler Building complements a number of new buildings, all of considerable quality, to create a hub of activity and diversity creating a ‘wow’ factor for those coming to the university and town.
"The Oastler Building is one of a number of buildings on the campus designed or refurbished by architects AHR whose foundation and expansion as Abbey, Hanson and Rowe resulted in it expanding from a Huddersfield-based practise to one of the largest architectural firms in the world.
“The building, home of Music, Humanities and Media, makes effective use of ashlar stonework on its Queensgate façade while the striking jettied glass and steel frontage to Shorehead is sub-divided by distinctive vertical fins.
"Within this frame are teaching facilities, research space, lecture theatres and offices. Of particular importance is the high level of environmental sustainability, the building achieving an ‘Excellent’ rating from BREEAM, the world’s leading sustainability rating scheme.”
Two Awards went to the Graham Cooksey Building, Greenhead College - Best New Development and it was also named the overall winner on the night.
The judges said: “An outstanding building that serves its purpose, without pretension, while above all, creating a distinctive and elegant addition to Greenhead College campus.
“The building occupies land adjacent to sports pitches within a campus where a major challenge is developing among a wide mix of buildings both old and new and of varying architectural quality and with minimal disruption to educational requirements.
“Here, not only does the building effortlessly link to the adjoining structure but within its contemporary façade, carefully articulated with the use of ashlar stonework and large expanses of glass, lies the functional core of classrooms and an upper level of glass and steel from which a terrace commands exhilarating views over Huddersfield.
“It is an outstanding addition to a school with an outstanding reputation.”
The Best Refurbishment title went to Westin Drives Ltd at Grove Works Mills on St Andrew’s Road.
The judges said: “The winning entry is neither a building of outstanding architectural quality nor is it a project fully completed but is a distinctive structure along an otherwise non-descript section of St Andrew’s Road. The mill, however, is a former multi-storey, stone-built mill that is undergoing a remarkable transformation to create a productive working unit, housing both manufacturing, offices and design facilities for Westin Drives.
“The building was severely damaged by fire many years ago, resulting in the insertion of structurally sturdy concrete frame and floors, providing an ideal shell for the current users to adapt. Great effort and costs have gone into removing unsightly outbuildings, dealing with an extensive sump of below surface water and creating a functional modern extension.
“Stonework, windows and doors have been refurbished providing a much-improved entrance. These improvements constitute phase one of a programme that will take many years to fully realise but demonstrate the value of retaining and improving buildings for productive use and employment.”
The Community Award title went to Huddersfield Railway Station Platform 2 improvements.
The judges said: “The improvements at Platform 2, co-ordinated by the Penistone Line Partnership, is a worthy winner of the award both brightening up part of an often windy and cold corner of the station in association with Transpennine Express, who have helped fund the colourful new waiting facilities.
“Volunteers have played a key role in the project with groups involved in health, wellbeing and disabilities helping create planters for flowers and artwork to create the eye-catching graphics for the waiting shelter.”
The Best Residential award went to an extension and refurbishment of a late 1920s house off Daisy Lea Lane, Lindley.
The work was designed by Armitage Bridge architects One 17 Design.
The judges said: “The house, which required general updating, now benefits from a bright and contemporary kitchen/dining area, new garage and other improvements all created so as not to destroy the essential qualities of a fine period house with careful attention to matching stonework, windows and fittings.”