Accolades for county's architects

KENT architects have been praised for raising design standards of buildings - including a public loo - across the county.

Local practices did well at the biennial Kent Design Awards, with their buildings picking up several top trophies.

The accolades were presented at a special ceremony in Canterbury Cathedral International Study Centre. The awards were sponsored by Kent County Council, Kent Messenger Group and Kent Design.

Cllr Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council, said: "Let’s celebrate the fact that we’ve got so many good Kent building contractors, so many good professional teams and most importantly so many good Kent architectural practices designing some really stunning and significant buildings across the county."

Architect Guy Hollaway, whose design for a luxury seaside home at Sandgate, near Folkestone, won a building renovation award, said: "It’s fantastic that Kent practices are represented at such a high level. Professionals in this county can go to Kent practices and get decent quality architecture."

Hillreed Homse boss Tony Hillier, who chairs the Kent Design Steering Group, said everyone should be inspired by the winning designs. He claimed they would encourage higher standards. " Our hope is that everyone here this evening will take something of that inspiration and be determined to do better, raise the game and build great buildings."

Among the winners were the public toilets in Parrock Street car park, Gravesend, designed by Plastik Architects, an office headquarters for Mhs Homes at Chatham Maritime. designed by Hazle McCormack Young, and Strode Park Re-Ability Centre at Strode Park, near Herne Bay, by Canterbury-based practice Clague.

Other top awards went to the refurbished Drill Hall and Pilkington Building at the Universities of Medway campus in Chatham Maritime, appartments built by Ward Homes at Sandling Park, Maidstone, The Pines Calyx, a "green" conference and training centre created by Helionix Designs at St Margaret’s Bay, Gravesham NHS Community Hospital, and Lower Leas Coastal Path, Folkestone.

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