Two buildings in Wilmslow have received design awards from Wilmslow Civic Trust.
Situated a mile apart, the two homes are very different in character, but both were considered by the WCT judges to enhance the town's environment.
On Altrincham Road, no. 98 is a contemporary new-build replacement for a traditional detached house. It was described as "something special." Its cedar-clad shape brought much opposition from local people when it was revealed for consideration by the Cheshire East planning committee, however it controversial modern looks were defended by the judges, who described it as "one of the best pieces if contemporary residential architecture to be found in the town."
Chris Fasciato, one of the judges, said: "A lot of houses being built in Wilmslow are more or less copies of the architecture of previous centuries. But this is of this age."
He added: "There is very little of this in Wilmslow. A lot of people are cautious because they are very conscious of property values, and they don't want to take a risk. This is something special."
The house was given a silver award by Wilmslow Civic Trust.
Its architect, Michael Young, admitted that there had been "loads of objections." But he said: "The 'likes' and 'dislikes' were about 50-50. The planning committee debated it, and it was given encouragement. It shows the way our democratic system works."
Owner, Neil Broomfield, who specified a contemporary design for his new house, said: "My wife Sarah and our three children all love it."
The second award went to a new-build add-on to a property at the end of Moor Lane, described by the civic trust as "a project which makes maximum use of an infill plot, providing a surprisingly large amount of accommodation in a small corner site."
Its owner, Ian Shaw, said: "It's like a tardis inside."
Added on to a retail shop which he already owned, the new building provides space for two apartments and up to seven different companies' offices. Before it was built, to plans crafted by architect John Yajima, it was a piece of waste land used for car-parking.
It was nominated for the award by Helen Battilana, a member of the Wilmslow Civic Trust, who said: "I was cycling past when I noticed the new building, and I immediately thought what they are doing here is something ingenious."
It was given a bronze award, for smaller one-off projects.
The judging panel consisted of Ray Acton, a lifetime resident of Wilmslow and a local historian, along with David Cash, Chris Fasciato and Martin Hoyle who are all retired architects.
The buildings were assessed by the following five criteria:
- Overall Design Quality
- Context (how well the building relates to its setting and neighbours)
- Materiality (the choice of materials used and how well the building has been constructed)
- Innovation (the extent to which the building's design demonstrates original new concepts and sets higher standards
- Sustainability (the extent to which the building responds to the green agenda including an approximate evaluation of its carbon footprint)
The Wilmslow Civic Trust good-design awards started 10 years ago. To date, only one award (as opposed to a commendations) has been made - to the Waters building on Altrincham Road in 2014 . Last year the panel commended the design of Meadowend on Hollin Lane in Styal. The project replaced a dilapidated 2-storey arts and crafts style house and garage with two new brick clad houses of timber frame construction, each with five bedrooms.
In front of the contemporary house in Altrincham Road (left to right): WCT judges Martin Hoyle and Chris Fasciato, WTC chairman Stuart Kinsey, architect Michael Young.
Standing in front of the award-wing "tardis" building in Moor Lane, (left to right): WCT judge Martin Hoyle, architect John Yakima, the property owner Ian Shaw, civic trust chairman Stuart Kinsey, WCT member Helen Battilana, WCT judge Chris Fasciato.