The Hot Walls Studios in Portsmouth has won a design award thanks to public support

A POPULAR artists’ space in Old Portsmouth has been chosen by the public to receive a design award – beating competition from across the county.

By Richard Lemmer
Monday, 20th January 2020, 4:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 11:12 am
Cllr Sean Woodward of the Partnership for South Hampshire (centre) presents the People's Choice Award to architect Deniz Beck (centre left), Cllr Steve Pitt (centre right), artists and well-wishers at the Hotwalls, Old Portsmouth.

The Hot Walls Studios, in Broad Street, has won the People’s Choice Award in the Solent Quality Place Awards.

More than 1,000 votes were cast between five shortlisted sites. These were Knowle Lane, in Eastleigh, the Cultural Quarter, in Southampton, and the cafe of the Gilbert White Museum, in Selborne. The last location was Westquay South in Southampton

But the Portsmouth studios won with more than 40 per cent of the votes.

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The Hot Walls Studios in Broad Street, Portsmouth.

Deniz Beck, the architect who designed the creative space inside the Grade I listed Point Battery, said she felt ‘emotionally involved’ in the success of her design.

She said: ‘As a local resident, I care immensely about the Hotwalls Studios and how they can benefit our community, and I felt emotionally involved in successfully delivering a project that I could be proud of.

‘As one of many such sites in Portsmouth that would benefit from similar conversions, Point Battery is part of an area that is very precious to its residents.

‘It is therefore extra special for the studios to receive the People’s Choice Award, as shows how it can bring the community together, even after being subject to petitions both opposing and supporting the proposals.’

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In 2016, The Hot Walls Studios was opened following a £1.75m development, comprising a restaurant and 13 self-contained artist studios and workshops.

Councillor Steve Pitt, cabinet member for culture and city development at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘We’re delighted that Hotwalls Studios has won the People’s Choice Award - it shows that people appreciate and enjoy it.

‘The space is modern but the heritage has been maintained to create an area which is both social and creative.’

The Solent Quality Place Awards, formerly the Solent Design Awards, was created by the Partnership for South Hampshire in 2010 to recognise places that raise the standards of urban design.

The Mary Rose Museum was the previous Portsmouth-based winner of the People’s Choice Award, in 2015.