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The winners of the Solent Quality Place Awards 2019 are announced!

Solent's best new placemaking developments revealed!

The Solent Quality Place awards are focussed purely on the places that buildings create - not the iconic buildings celebrated by other national and regional awards - but the spaces that must be designed carefully for the enjoyment and benefit of communities, customers, users and passers by.  Places that people will want to use, to be in and to pass through.  All this is celebrated in these awards, to bring attention to the importance of our places.  The need to recognise and showcase high quality place-making across the region was identified by the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) (now Partnership for South Hampshire) when the first awards were held in 2010. Since then the Awards have become a regular biennial event attracting entries from architects and clients from outside, as well as within, the Solent region.

A Grade 1 community renovation project and a former factory turned major multi-use leisure destination have been named as two of the best new developments in the Solent Region.

The presentations to this year's winners were made by Cllr Sean Woodward, Chairman of Partnership for South Hampshire (PfSH) at the prize winning locations. Cllr Woodward said: "Initiatives such as the Solent Quality Place Awards are so important in promoting the importance of placemaking. An iconic building may be of interest to many, but bringing to fruition a scheme which creates an environment that makes a real difference to the people around it is more than interest, it is essential to the coherence and development of our communities. Congratulations to both winning schemes and to all who contributed to their success"

And the winners are ...

Solent Quality Place Award

Westquay South, Southampton

People's Choice Award

Hotwalls Studios, Portsmouth

Three other schemes also won Quality Place Awards: Knowle Lane at Fairoak, the new café and courtyard at the Gilbert White Museum, Selborne and the Cultural Quarter in the Guildhall Square, Southampton

The Solent Quality Place Award

Westquay South, Southampton

(for a scheme of any size, that the judges feel has created a recognisably high-quality place through new development or refurbishment, and has improved the publicly accessible spaces and places in or around them, creating an area which more people want to use and enjoy)

The temporary Maze, Westquay South

Westquay South, is a leisure development on the site of the former Pirelli factory, comprising a state-of-the-art multiplex cinema and bowling alley with bars and restaurants on three levels facing a new public space abutting Southampton's medieval Town Wall, a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The site which had been empty for twenty years following the demolition of the former Pirelli cable factory has been transformed into a major leisure destination and has created a magnificent new public space, providing an excellent setting to the medieval Town Wall. The development has ingeniously handled the significant levels difference between the existing entrance to the Westquay Shopping Centre at the end of Bargate Street down to Western Esplanade. It has set the standard for the future transformation of Western Esplanade as a key route to the waterfront. It is acknowledged that the scheme has led to much greater public appreciation of the historic asset, particularly through the frequent popular light shows which use the Town Wall as its backdrop and bring in increasing numbers of visitors each year. The new high-quality public space provides generous steps that act as seating for public events with swirls of granite and bubble fountains to reflect that in medieval times this location was part of the tidal river. The imposing roof of the new building uses stainless steel pipes to reflect the history of the site as the Pirelli cable factory. The new space has a full events programme and hosts the popular outdoor ice rink at Christmas and is transformed in June to provide a public venue to watch the Wimbledon fortnight. Sustainable Urban Drainage has been carefully integrated with planting and seating to provide an area of from the main events space, which has proven popular with those wanting to find a quieter space in which to relax for a while on a hot summer's day. The development has undeniably created a major 'big city' place.

Applicant: Southampton City Council  |  Architect/Designer: ACME Architects/Grants Associates (Landscape Architects) |  Client: Hammerson plc.

Presentation of Solent Quality Place Award by Councillor Sean Woodward L-R Cllr Christopher Hammond, Cllr Sean Woodward, Andy Collyer, Guy Wells, Rebecca Milnesjames

Councillor Christopher Hammond, Leader of Southampton City Council, said: "I am delighted that Westquay South has received the judge's award, recognising the quality and importance of placemaking within the city, and congratulate all those involved in realising this truly transformational project. It's also fantastic that Southampton's Cultural Quarter in Guildhall Square received a merit award - two projects in one city!  Both schemes demonstrate the increasing importance that our cultural heritage plays in the continuing public life of our vibrant and dynamic city centre."

Andy Collyer, General Manager at Westquay was delighted with the news: "At Westquay we feel incredibly honoured to be awarded this year's Judges Award certificate at the Solent Quality Place Awards. We pride ourselves on being a community focused venue, putting the people of Southampton in the centre of all we do, whether that be offering a range of fantastic free events throughout the year, or simply just providing the perfect space for friends and family to connect, dine, and relax, all year round."


The People's Choice Award

The Hotwalls Studios, Portsmouth

(the shortlisted scheme which gained the most public votes online)

The Hotwalls Studios comprises thirteen self-contained artist's studios and workshops within the historic arches of the Grade I listed Point Battery, a defensive fortification situated at the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour. Artists and visitors are encouraged to engage with one another with the goal of improving communities through cultural and social endeavours. The site hosts regular arts-based events, including exhibitions, seasonal markets and public activities.

Hotwalls Studios, Portsmouth

The contemporary glass facades reinforce a clear definition between modern addition and historic context. A new restaurant, The Canteen, utilises modern services, concealed beneath a suspended floor and an external terrace and renovated searchlight structure offer fantastic views of the Solent. New seating and landscaping extend the appeal of the arches into the adjoining open space, encouraging people to feel comfortable using the space for leisure, relaxation and socialising.  The Studios have transformed a vacant Victorian fortification into a vibrant new community hub and activity space, that provides financial support for the ongoing conservation of an internationally important Scheduled Ancient Monument. The design was driven by a focus on sustainability and allows the reversion of the structure to its pre-development state should the need arise.

Applicant: ermc   Design Prior to Planning Consent PLC Architects      Project Architects : EMRC     Client: Portsmouth City Council

Architect, Deniz Beck who was involved in the design phase of the Project while working for PLC Architects , before joining ermc and working on the delivery of The Hotwall Studios is passionate about this very successful community focused project.

"As a local resident, I care immensely about the Hotwalls Studios and how they benefit our community. I felt emotionally involved in successfully delivering a project that I feel proud of. Point Battery is part of an area that is very precious to its residents. It is therefore extra special for the Studios to receive the People's Choice Award, as it shows how good architecture can bring the community together. In the early stages the planning committee received petitions both opposing and supporting the proposals. Winning the peoples vote is a testament to all those who believed in the regeneration of this local icon, where heritage and culture come together in a delightful way, and I would like to thank all those who voted for it."

Cllr Sean Woodward (centre) presents the award to Deniz Beck (left) and Cllr Pitt (right). Artists residing at the Hotwalls joined the celebration

Cllr Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture and City Development at Portsmouth City Council said: "We're delighted that Hotwalls Studios has won the People's Choice Award - it shows that people appreciate and enjoy it. The space is modern but the heritage has been maintained to create an area which is both social and creative."

Solent Quality Place Awards:

Knowle Lane, Fair Oak

Knowle Lane, on the eastern edge of Fair Oak, is a 73-dwelling scheme, of flats and houses with a sizeable open space and play area. Located on the edge of the countryside, the site benefits from views over rolling countryside and is bounded by mature trees and hedgerows. The scheme has a distinctive rural feel, with attention to detail and a pleasant outlook for residents.  Knowle Lane embraces the key principals of guidance such as The Urban Design Compendium, Manual for Streets, Secured by Design, Lifetime Homes and Eastleigh Borough Council’s own Quality Places Planning Guidance. The open space acts as a ‘village green’, enhancing the surrounding green infrastructure, and is an acoustic buffer between the housing and the main road. A select palette of materials and traditional detailing in the buildings complements its rural setting. Parking has been well-integrated into the scheme by including car ports and private driveways. Care was given to ensure blank walls were avoided, that all open space was well integrated and overlooked and that the hierarchy of open space is well-defined through the choice of materials. Energy demand reduction was incorporated into the design of the buildings, and the inclusion of photovoltaic panels (integrated within the roof line) help reduce carbon emissions further.


Applicant: Kenn Scaddon Associates                                                               Architect/Designer: Kenn Scaddon Associates                                               Client: Drew Smith Limited


New Café and Courtyard, Gilbert White Museum, Selborne

This scheme comprises the new visitor facilities at the Gilbert White Museum, located in the centre of the village of Selborne.

The project involved the extension, conversion and rationalisation of catering into one block, enabling significant improvement and expansion of the museum and has created a new attractive entry space and outdoor café terrace, which draws visitors in from the street. The improved layout enables the café to be hired for evening events by the local community, and an at risk listed building is now restored and secured with new use. The charming collection of domestic scale buildings and spaces reflect the friendly community feel of the museum, provide an historical narrative and a distinct sense of being rooted in the village of Selborne. The extension is contemporary in style but traditional in scale and form, with glazing that ensures maximum connection between indoor and outdoor café spaces. The outdoor spaces create a relaxed atmosphere with views into the gardens. It is a vastly improved visitor destination and publicly accessible café, that has become a local community hub.

Applicant: South Downs National Park         Architect/Designer: Hampshire County Council             Client: Gilbert White & The Oates Collections and GWOC (Trading) Limited


Cultural Quarter Guildhall Square, Southampton

With the formal opening of the John Hansard Gallery in May 2018 an eight-year development, to transform Guildhall Square into the heart of a Cultural Quarter for Southampton is complete.  The project began with the City Council funding the demolition of the old Tyrell and Green Department Store and C&A and creating a new public events space, at Guildhall Square.  Grosvenor led the development of the art gallery; a ten-storey residential development, and; the new Nuffield Southampton Theatre, which opened in February 2018.  The ground floor of the new office development of the south side of the Square, includes a café and restaurant as does the ground floor of the arts buildings on Above Bar Street and street to East Park.  The Artisan Café has been refurbished on the north side of the square within the Sir James Matthews building, part of Southampton Solent University.

This cultural, retail, office, educational and residential development set the standard for mixed use and has led to the transformation of this area into a distinct and high-quality place within Southampton City Centre.  Today the space is activated by bars, restaurants and new cultural buildings which complement the existing Guildhall, providing many alfresco dining opportunities which have bought a relaxed café culture to this part of the city and a more diverse and vibrant extension to the existing night-time economy.  The new square is now a focus for large scale events, ranging from outdoor theatre, arts installations and music concerts, to the start and finish of the City’s annual marathon and cycling events.  The scheme also delivered a formal link to East Park, completing architect, E. Berry Webber’s 1920 master plan of the Civic Centre.  The scale of transformation cannot be underestimated having taken the area from one that most people simply walked through on route to somewhere else, into a destination in its own right.

Applicant: Southampton City Council                     Architect/Designer: CZWG Architects/Halcrow Landscape Architects                  Client: Grosvenor/Southampton City Council




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Charlotte Webb
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Val van der Hoven
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