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Solent Quality Place Awards 2019 – Vote For Your Favourite Place!

The Solent Quality Place Awards are all about the encouragement of quality place-making; schemes that create special places, lift communities, create richer experiences … not just iconic buildings, but also the places in-between.

Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and the Solent area are wonderful places to live and the Solent Quality Places Awards recognises new developments that add to the quality of life it offers, our experience of the workplace, and our appreciation of the environment we live in.

The People’s Choice Award – Their Fate Is In Your Hands!

The shortlist for the Solent Quality Place Awards 2019 is now revealed but it’s not just the judges who get to decide the winning schemes.
Their fate is now in your hands thanks to the People’s Choice Award, which lets you, the public, choose your favourite from the shortlisted entries.

The 2019 People's Choice Award will be awarded to the scheme with the most votes by members of the public and voting is now open until Friday 4 October!

The PUSH Quality Places Practitioners Group, representing senior design professionals working for the authorities that make up Partnership for South Hampshire, faced a challenging task selecting their 5 favourite entries from the many projects submitted. These projects represent the best in place-making across the Solent region. 

Now it’s your turn!   Let us know which place you value the most, for its contribution to enhancing your quality of life and the place where you live.  The Winner of the People’s Choice Award and the Judges top Quality Place Award will be announced in October 2019.

We thank all applicants for their submissions, and their contribution to raising the standard of urban design and quality placemaking across the region.  The judges were looking for schemes that are ‘all-rounders’ meeting as many of the judging criteria as possible, and the places that most inspired the judges are:

New Café and Courtyard, Gilbert White Museum, Selborne

Hotwalls Studios, Portsmouth

Knowle Lane, Fair Oak, Eastleigh Borough

West Quay South, Southampton

Cultural Quarter, Southampton

The judge’s ingredients for a ‘quality place’:

  • Quality streetscape: a well-integrated road network with pedestrians put first
  • Quality green spaces to refresh the body and soul, promote biodiversity and help mitigate or adapt to Climate Change
  • Buildings of the right scale, materials and detailing, to suit their context, with a clear identify and meaning and are built to last
  • Promotion of mixed use: to increase activity and use and economic viability of the area
  • Quality regeneration, bringing brownfield or underutilised land back to life
  • Quality refurbishment, to breathe new life into existing places
  • Quality residential: nice places to live

The Shortlisted Schemes

Gilbert White cafe
Gilbert White Museum 2

The Gilbert White Museum, Selborne

This nomination is for new visitor facilities at the Gilbert White Museum.  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 thus engaging 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 reflects the friendly community feel of the museum and provides 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


Portsmouth hotwalls 1
Portsmouth Hotwalls 2

The Hotwalls Studios, Portsmouth

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.

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 offers 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

Architect/Designer: PLC Architects

Client: Portsmouth City Council




Knowle Lane 2
Knowle Lane 1

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 willingly embraces the key principles of urban design.  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 efficiency 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

West Quay large (2)
West Quay large

West Quay South, Southampton

West Quay 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 Pirelli cable factory,  has been transformed into a major leisure destination and has created a magnificent new public space, providing an excellent setting to its medieval neighbour.   Historic England have acknowledged that the scheme has led to a much greater public appreciation of the site's history, particularly through the popular annual light show which uses the Town Wall as its backdrop bringing increasing numbers of visitors each year.  The generous steps act as seating for public events with swirls of granite and bubble fountains to reflect that this location in medieval times was part of the tidal river. The 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 in June, is transformed as a public viewing area to watch Wimbledon fortnight.  Sustainable urban drainage has been carefully integrated with planting and seating to provide an area for those wanting to relax for a while.  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.

cultural quarter 2
cultural quarter 1

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 demolition of the old Tyrell and Green department Store and C&A, followed by the creation of a new public events space at Guildhall Square and the new Nuffield Southampton Theatre.  Social features include a café and restaurant on the south side of the Square and in the ground floor of the arts buildings on Above Bar Street.  The Artisan Café has been refurbished within the Sir James Matthews building, part of Southampton Solent University.

 This cultural, retail, office, educational and residential development has led to the transformation of this area into a distinct and high-quality place within Southampton City Centre.  Today the space is enlivened by bars, restaurants and new cultural buildings which complement the existing Guildhall, providing many alfresco dining opportunities and bringing 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

Get in touch

Charlotte Webb

01962 832360


Val van der Hoven
07849 728363