These awards are a long-established competition run jointly by the Chiltern Society and the Chilterns Conservation Board. Our aim is to encourage the creation of high quality buildings in the Chilterns, applying standards including how the property contributes to the local distinctiveness of our region, how it relates to its location, use of suitable materials and appropriate landscaping. Another increasingly important factor is sustainability i.e. what measures has the architect used to minimise the impact of the property on the environment. The ultimate ambition would be to achieve Passievhaus status, meaning that the building would be carbon neutral.
In January we invited architects to send us details of their projects completed during the last 3 years. which they believed complied with the competition standards. We were delighted to receive 19 submissions from Beds, Berks, Bucks, Herts and Oxfordshire – an excellent representation of the entire Chilterns.
Earlier this month our judges met to select properties they wished to shortlist, based on how well the buildings matched the judging criteria. Since many of the entries appear to be of a promising quality, it took the panel a full day to choose the 7 most exceptional ones.
The next step is for the judging team to visit the shortlisted properties which include a new footbridge over the Thames, an Oxfordshire country pub, a woodland cruck barn, a Berkshire home consisting entirely of curves, another with all the sharp angles of its 1970’s design and a restoration of a seventeenth century farmhouse.
The judges will be looking for those projects which best fit the key requirement that they contribute to the local distinctiveness of the Chilterns and the need to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area.
We will be ready to announce the winner of our coveted black plaque along with the highly commended properties by the end of May.