The Awards Evening is usually the most interesting single event in the
Society's year. I think it should always be held even if none of the
nominated projects is deemed worthy of any level of award. Members like to
hear what our panel of judges have said about recently completed new schemes
in Ipswich. If the quality is poor in any particular year, let it be said!
But this year there were seventeen nominations from members and most were
well worth considering.
Chris Wiltshire once again lit up the evening with his perceptive and witty
comments as he presented the photographs of all the nominations on screen.
In introducing him Jack Chapman said that Chris sometimes "ruffles a few
feathers" -- and had leave to do so! Yes, there was a little ruffling, as
you may see below, but it keeps listeners on the edge of their seats.
In a brief introduction Chris said that the sheer volume of building in
Ipswich was almost bewildering and the quality often mediocre, even though
standards overall had improved. In the 1980s the Society felt grateful if
the new buildings weren't terrible, whereas today we are spared "the really
awful". However, he had a personal bte noir -- huge banners that stay up for
ages advertising new building projects.
So, these are the seventeen nominations which I list in full for members who
weren't present, together with a tiny sample of Wiltshire wisdom.
- Grimwade Memorial Hall, Fore Hamlet -- conversion of old building and new
extension for housing; impressive landmark saved; the new complements the
old; good workmanship.
- Cabmen's Shelter, Christchurch Park -- major restoration of shelter
originally built for Cornhill; superb attention to detail with new carvings.
- Jeain Residential Home , 322 Colchester Road -- very skilful extension which
is hard to spot.
- Pemberton House, Curriers Lane, new building for SCC Community Education --
quite exciting but perhaps too much going on in a small space.
- Orwells Furniture, 497-9 Wherstead Road -- made by this local company for
own use; cleverly built around existing structure; marvellous gate but set
back and may not be much noticed.
- St Joseph's College Junior School, Birkfield Drive -- four new classrooms in
slightly curved block; lots of good ideas; quirky and joyous.
- Curson Lodge, 45-47 St Nicholas Street -- restoration of important
buildings. Successful compromise between restoration and conservation.
- St Mary at the Elms Church, Elm Street -- three new niche sculptures;
welcome consolidation of the niches and sculptures; perhaps the flush
block-like sculptures overfill, the niches.
- Orwell Quay, Persimmon's major development of flats, houses and restaurant
-- flats built on an impressive terrace and interestingly not parallel with
dock; ubiquitous "ginger" materials on front; drab barracks-like housing at
- New house at 2 Tomline Road -- a brave statement; something different, but a
- AXA Building, Civic Drive -- recladding of office block in pale grey;
pleasant and inoffensive.
- Ipswich Central, Franciscan Way -- recladding of St Francis Tower; tidies it
- Ipaxis, Wolsey Street, new apartments -- a big scheme with some striking
elements; "world's finest collection of downpipes"; ground floor car parking
visually "insensitive to pedestrians".
- Fonnereau Gardens, Fonnereau Road, former hospital into flats -- pleasant
use of properties but like a complex of buildings nailed together.
- Former airport terminal, Ravenswood, residential conversion -- "a sad place
because we lost an airport and left Norwich and Cambridge to provide it";
front on Nacton Road more successful.
- Foxgrove Gardens, Foxhall Road, new gates -- brightens up the area;
- Mariners' Court, Wherstead Road, new apartments -- honest building; good
cornices and eaves.
The awards were then announced and our President, the Mayor, Councillor Inga
Lockington, presented the framed certificates to the various winners as
- AN AWARD OF DISTINCTION for Curson Lodge, St Nicholas Street.
Certificates were presented to Ipswich Building Preservation Trust (client),
Hilary Brightman (design), R G Carter Ipswich Ltd (contractor).
- AN AWARD OF DISTINCTION for the Cabmen's Shelter, Christchurch Park.
Ipswich Borough Council was client, designer and contractor.
- A HIGH COMMENDATION for Grimwade Memorial Hall, Fore Hamlet.
Braceforce Properties Ltd (client and contractor), Wincer Kievenaar
- A HIGH COMMENDATION for St Joseph's College Junior School.
St Joseph's College (client), Wincer Kievenaar (design), R G Carter Ipswich
- A COMMENDATION for Orwells Furniture, Wherstead Road.
Orwells Furniture (client and contractor), KLH Architects Ltd (design).
- A COMMENDATION for decorative steel gates, Foxgrove Gardens, Foxhall Road.
Barratt Eastern Counties (client), Paul Richardson (designer and
Jack Chapman thanked all concerned, especially Chris Wiltshire, Tony Hill
who took most of the photographs and Russell Nunn who organised the
nominations and judging. People then adjourned to the restaurant for drinks,
nibbles and animated conversation.
Cover, issue 170