Hampshire buildings compete for major design awards

WINNER The University of Portsmouth's library won an award last year
WINNER The University of Portsmouth's library won an award last year
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EYE-CATCHING new buildings, places or spaces are about to go head to head in a top design competition.

And it’s not just architects and their clients who will nominate the candidates – the contest is also open to the public to pick their favourite.

Organisers of the 2012 Solent Design Awards are looking for buildings, structures or areas across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight which have inspired the community in a recession.

Paul Grover, of the University of Portsmouth, who is managing the awards, said: ‘Despite the recession, many projects have gone ahead with some brilliant designs.

‘We hope all our local authorities, architects, contractors and clients will put forward schemes to show that design quality is as strong as ever.’

Any project completed since April 2010 can be nominated. It can be anything from a public or commercial building, a housing development or improvements to a street scene.

The awards are held every two years and two Portsmouth buildings topped the competition in 2010’s inaugural contest.

The University of Portsmouth’s library in Cambridge Road, Old Portsmouth, won the best-designed new building category and Admiralty Quarter, in Queen Street, Portsea, was highly-commended.

Mr Grover added: ‘Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and the Solent area are wonderful places to live.

‘The awards will recognise new developments that add to the quality of life they offer, to the workplace experience and to the appreciation of the environment in which we live.’

In addition to the main awards, the public will get the chance to vote on their top design in a special poll.

‘We professionals will see the buildings or places in a particular context. It’s just as important that we see what the public think so we will be carrying out our online vote to select the people’s choice too,’ said Mr Grover.

The awards are sponsored by the Barker-Mill Foundation, the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire and the University of Portsmouth. The closing date for entries is September 7. Application forms are at solentdesignawards.org.uk