Tony Leitch Townscape Awards

Every other year the Society presents Townscape Awards recognising building developments which in the Society's view have done the most to enhance the environment in the Royal Borough. The candidates are nominated by members of the public, or the Society, and the final selection is made by the Committee.

The Awards take the form of a framed certificate signed and presented by the Mayor as President of the Society at one of our regular Public Meetings. Past recipients have spoken of the high regard in which they hold them.

The Awards are made to developments which have enhanced the local environment. The improvement in design standards in recent years was indicated by our choice of six worthy winners from among eleven nominations.

Townscape Awards 2015

SURBITON HOSPITAL SITE REDEVELOOPMENT

Surbiton Hospital was built in the thirties in then fashionable Art Deco style although the buildings were far from distinguished. The hospital was much loved by the local community, largely for the health facilities that it provided, although as time went by these became outdated. Furthermore, the site was grossly under developed and a decision was made to demolish the buildings and replace them with a Health Centre which includes clinics and two GP practices, and a much needed school, Lime Tree Primary school.

South London Health Partnership was the developer and one firm of architects designed both buildings. Naturally enough the two buildings are of a similar bright modern character, well worthy of our award. Furthermore a beautifully landscaped footpath has been provided through the site.

Developer: South London Health Partnership Architect: Paul Gooderson of Roberts Limbrick

27a OLD LONDON ROAD, KINGSTON

This undistinguished corner building, behind Wilkinsons, houses in its ground floor the very successful Princess Alice Hospice furniture shop. The then owners, Country Designs (Godalming) Ltd, decided to upgrade it prior to selling it on.

The Architects boldly clad the exterior of the building with tiling and this, together with new fenestration, has raised the building from mediocrity to a stunning tour de force which can be appreciated from as far away as Clarence Street.

Developer: Countrywide Designs (Godalming) Ltd Architect: Trinder Architectural Ltd

ALL SAINTS CHURCH KINGSTON

All Saints Church has been at the centre of the community for centuries and still attracts substantial congregations Sadly it has suffered from the passage of time and has only recently been able to afford to have substantial works of refurbishment carried out, including much needed lavatories.

The interior has been totally replanned. The east end is now largely for secular use, whilst the altar has been moved to the centre of the nave. The font now stands at the heart of the ancient church under the tower. The results are stunning The old north entrance has been re-established, so that the north/south axis enables the public to pass through the church, linking it into the very fabric of the market town.

Rector: Jonathon Wilkes Architect : Ptolemy Dean

HILTON HOTEL KINGSTON

The huge residential development on the site of the old Power Station is now virtually complete The overall scheme is still controversial but we feel that the Hilton Hotel, in the South East corner, is well worthy of an award.

Although a part of gigantic block the architects have managed to give it a character of its own. It is a striking building, beautifully detailed, and turns the corner well.

Developer: NHP Leisure Developments Architect: Brookes Architects

STUDENT ACCOMODATION 1 PENRHYN ROAD

A rash of buildings has recently appeared in the Borough to house students, not necessarily for Kingston University but in accordance with Boris Johnson's edict that students should not be housed in Central London but in the outer suburbs. As Kingston has excellent transport facilities it is obviously a good place for such buildings.

We believe that this building stands out for the quality of its overall design and attention to detail, compared to its neighbours.

Developer: Penrhyn Road Devco Ltd Architect: Carey, Jones, Chapman Tolcher

HUF HOUSES ULLSWATER CLOSE KINGSTON

Mark Lawson bought a house next door to his own in Ullswater Close and, in 2007, was granted planning approval to erect a pair of semi-detached Huf houses. This caused absolute outrage from Councillors but, particularly from the local Ullswater community. So when Mark submitted applications for further Huf houses he was met by furious protests. To cut a long story short, over the period of time five further applications were submitted and bitterly opposed.

A history ensued of refusal, and appeal culminating in an application for two further houses being approved. We believe that the opposition to previous schemes because they did not fit in was unjustified as the Huf design is exceptional Anyway, common sense has prevailed and the result is a group of modern houses as good as any in the world.

Owner: Mark Lawson Architect: Peter Huf

Townscape Awards 2013

CANBURY STUDIO, Canbury Park Road

The design is interesting. The restricted view from the street induces curiosity and must help to draw clients in. The clean timber cladding gives it a softness when viewed from neighbours’ houses.

THE KEEP, King's Road

The stonework has been restored and replaced where necessary, the windows, once a hotchpotch of different styles, have been replaced with consistent sashes. The central arch, originally the formal entrance to the barracks, has been kept open. Though now converted to apartments one would hardly know that any alteration had occurred and it looks better than it has for many years.

St Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church, Portsmouth Road

The composition of the Italianate church with its prominent central tower and recessed side wings is one of the more delightful features when approaching Kingston along the Portsmouth Road. It has been beautifully restored externally and internally. The sun glinting on the gilded cross surmounting the tower is a sight to behold. Behind the southern pavilion a new church hall has been added, which is perfectly in character with the main building.

Queenswood Court, Kingston Hill

A modest but decently designed shop and building above on the corner of Kingston Hill and Queens Road has been extended in a respectful manner. Reference is also made to the adjoining houses in Queens Road. By using a mixture of render and brickwork , and incorporating simplified Victorian details, a building has been produced that fits in perfectly without resorting to pastiche. The Architect, in this case, is also the developer which, I venture to suggest, may have contributed to its success.

Latchmere School Sports Hall, Latchmere Road

The original thirties single storey school in red brick has been delightfully extended at the west end in a similar style. This project, however, is separated from the main complex and, as it is completely different in scale and function it seems acceptable to design it in a contrasting style which makes its own mark. The design is well thought out and uses well detailed timber and glass to advantage in a truly contemporary manner.

River Island Retail Store, Clarence Street

The Architects for this new store have brilliantly designed a thoroughly modern building with clean rectangular lines and exquisite detailing. It is not easy to be different in a modern style without being brash but this shining example shows how it can be done with style and even dignity. We also noted that the roof and rear of the building are covered with a multitude of solar panels