Assessor's Report

This year's entries for the Awards, both for projects and for completed schemes, were a pleasure to review and to visit. There were more entries this year and the high standards achieved in recent years have been maintained and, in significant cases, improved.

Today's planning environment with its emphasis on 'brownfield' or previously used land and higher densities leads to invention but, as many have commented, can lead to a predominance of blocks of apartments, not always what the markets' customers are seeking.

This year's entries and winners include a full range of apartments (and very successful they are - see right) but they also include examples of particularly successful solutions for high-density family houses. As evidenced by Countryside Properties' Accordia development at Cambridge, high density is demonstrably no bar to comfortable family housing where private garden space abounds, essentially as outside rooms.

For this year's pick of historic winners, The Ryde at Hatfield was chosen. Reflecting the essence of good design, this has weathered well and retains the essential charm of its design approach. As single-storey development, it does not reach today's density levels. But Accordia shares The Ryde's approach to 3-bedroom and 4-bedroom houses in linking interior and garden courtyard rooms to give private amenity. Some 40 years apart, both schemes show the timeless appeal of including open-air living discretely within the house plan.

Graham Pye's signature

Graham Pye
Awards Committee Chairman