BDN’s bespoke residential architecture project in the heart of Durham has been awarded the City of Durham Trust Architecture Award.
Led by Sunderland-based architects and engineers Building Design Northern, the project consisted of remodelling and extending a Grade II listed Georgian dwelling in Gilesgate, creating an open plan, age-appropriate, dementia-friendly extension and detached workshop.
Originating in 1990, the City of Durham Trust award a new building or renovation an architectural accolade each year. Projects are assessed upon the overall architectural challenge, including the adaptation to site, unity of design, interplay of form and function and quality of materials. Pivotal to the overall decision is the project’s historical, cultural and aesthetical suitability to the City of Durham.
Celebrated as a ‘high-quality, sensitive’ extension, the Trust recognised the simple, minimalist and sustainable design by BDN. Utilising weathered zinc and two simple pitched roof forms, the project was noted as a ‘historical pastiche’, with the grey of the roofs helping to merge the building with the predominantly slate roofs of local, older buildings.
The judges acknowledged the design for harmonising with the City of Durham’s neighbourhood plan on ‘Housing for Older People and People with Disabilities’, with the adaptable design incorporating the demands of catering for the possible challenges for older adults in later life.
Reflecting the client’s personal experiences caring for elderly parents, the project was designed to be adaptable to later life, with living spaces capable of modification into bedroom and carer accommodation.
Situated within the Durham City Conservation Area, the enhancements to the grade II listed property have reinstated lost views of the Georgian host elevation previously hidden by low-quality 20th century extensions. Large glazed sliding doors and a cantilevered corner opening maximise views and connection to the historic rear garden, and towards Durham Cathedral and beyond.
“You have created a truly wonderful home, taking an old, dilapidated, yet historic residence, and giving us a comfortable, practical house bathed in spectacular and ever changing vistas and reflections.”
The award follows a year of success for the development, having scooped up a RIBA North East Award earlier this year, with David Hunt awarded Project Architect of the Year for his delivery of the project.
David Hunt, Director of Conservation and Design, and the award-winning project architect for Gilesgate said, “It is an honour to receive further regional praise for our Gilesgate project.”
“The initiative, led by the City of Durham Trust, celebrates the excellence of architecture across Durham and it is an honour and a privilege to have been recognised in a City full of architectural heritage. I’d like to extend my thanks to all that were involved in this project, including all of BDN’s architecture and engineering team, for their hard-work and collaboration, which resulted in an exceptional outcome for our clients.”
Commenting on BDN’s efforts to fulfil their detailed brief, the owners of the County Durham dwelling said, “You have created a truly wonderful home, taking an old, dilapidated, yet historic residence, and giving us a comfortable, practical house bathed in spectacular and ever changing vistas and reflections.”
BDN’s win follows a period of rapid growth for the Northern firm, growing from 14 to 28 employees in just 24 months, establishing themselves as one of the region’s most ambitious and dynamic professional services businesses.
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