The results of the Currey Award 2010 were announced at a presentation ceremony held on Thursday 11 November 2010 at the Ferguson Building, Bishop's Stortford College.
The winner was the Bridge House pub in Newtown Road the original of which was built in 1868, two years after the bridge over the Stort in Station Road was erected. In 2006 a fire swept through the pub and the roof collapsed inwards necessitating demolition and rebuilding of the premises.
Although initially shocking, the fire provided an opportunity for the owner, Mr Finbar O'Regan, and landlord Billy Hayward, along with architect Jason Clarke, to think carefully about the design of a new building. The internal layout of the bar had previously worked well so that was kept much as it had been before the fire. However, the opportunity was taken to build an additional storey containing an apartment with a terrace to the rear.
The judging panel felt that the new building was a very successful development on a prominent site in the town centre. The red brick frontage retains the traditional look and feel of the original building, and the design of the doors and windows, the old pub signage and lighting all add to the understated feel. Along the South Street frontage, the additional storey gives the building a rather elegant feel, whilst moving up Newtown Road, the new height of the building works well with the gradient of the street. The use of many different but complementary materials; painted render, glass, boards, along Newtown Road also work beautifully together to create a fine contemporary street frontage.
As with all good design, it is the detail which really makes this building stand out and it is heartening to see such a well designed building on such a tight site, and the new Bridge House as a development could not be further away from the standardised box that is so prevalant today.
The Currey Award encompasses improvements to the townscape as a whole and it was considered appropriate this year to give a special mention to Stortford in Bloom.
Stortford in Bloom was an idea suggested 20 years ago by the then mayor Ralph Gilbert, and it has, like its hanging baskets and planters, flourished over the years.
Run entirely by volunteers, with funding coming from the Town Council, East Herts District Council and voluntary donations, the town this year benefited from over 100 hanging baskets in summer, as well as planters all around the town.
Les Hutchens, the Chairman, and Joy Cornell, the secretary, have been involved with the organisation of Stortford in Bloom since the outset and have worked tirelessly over the years with their band of volunteers to keep the colour and vibrancy in the town throughout the year.
Click on images below for more pictures.