Buildings Design Awards 2021 – Update

The Chilterns Conservation Board and the Chiltern Society run the Buildings Design Awards competition every two years to encourage and recognise great examples of design and construction based on the principles in the Chilterns Buildings Design Guide.

In previous years, the Awards have focused on celebrating design and construction that positively contributes to the distinctive character of the Chiltern Hills’ environment, with a nod towards sustainable construction. This year, with increased global awareness of climate change, and the impact this is having on the nature of the environment, and particularly on biodiversity, we want to recognise designs that make a powerful contribution to mitigating and adapting to climate change, as well as promoting the local distinctiveness.

In May, we invited architects, builders, designers, and people in the community to send us details of projects completed during the last 3 years which they believed complied with the competition standards. We were delighted to receive 29 submissions from across the 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 appeared to be of high standard and quality, it took the panel a number of hours to choose the buildings that closely matched the criteria across three awards categories.

Last Wednesday the judging team visited the shortlisted properties that included: a Grade II listed barn, a family home in Harpsden created using the existing Victorian farm cottage, a listed Jacobean farmhouse in Marlow, a primary school, incorporating vernacular qualities and modern dwellings with crisp detailing using beautiful materials, whilst injecting some playfulness and acknowledging local vernacular in a contemporary manner.  

The judges looked for those projects that best matched 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 winners in each category on the 23rd of September.