THE winners of the Salisbury Civic Society's New Buildings Awards Scheme 2023 have been announced. 

It is not to be confused with the Civic Society's Conservation awards, which is held in the alternate years and covers work to existing buildings.

The judging panel was chaired by the recent reviser of the Wiltshire volume of the Pevsner Buildings of England series, Julian Orbach, and also included James Repper, Louise Salman, and Heidi Poole.

It met on October 5, 2023, to consider the nine nominations submitted. Of these two were within Salisbury, and seven were outside the city.

After considerable discussion and site visits to shortlisted projects, the judges decided to give six Awards, including the Lord Congleton Award for the most outstanding of them, and one Commendation.

(no particular order in awards category)       

The Lord Congleton Award

Kite House, Alderbury         

Salisbury Journal: Kite House, Alderbury. Picture by Martin GardnerKite House, Alderbury. Picture by Martin Gardner (Image: Salisbury Civic Society)

The judges said that Kite House has "terrific views" across the Avon, taken full advantage of by an "outstanding contemporary" design, with three wings radiating out from the centre.

They said: "The house absolutely makes the most of its site, with the design approach generating high-quality views both inwards and outwards, and splendid living spaces.

"As with all the winners this year, high energy values have been fully taken into account, and the overall result is something quite outstanding."

Architects: AR Design Studio, Winchester

126 Lower Road, Lower Bemerton

Salisbury Journal: 126 Lower Road, Lower Bemerton. Picture by Footprint Architects126 Lower Road, Lower Bemerton. Picture by Footprint Architects (Image: Salisbury Civic Society)

Judges said: "A fairly ordinary looking mid-C20th house on this prominent site has been replaced by something very different, and very successful, in an unashamedly contemporary style.

"Seen from Lower Road, a low-level frontage spans the whole width of the site, in a buff coloured brick, plus charred timber cladding on the ground floor. At the rear the amount of brick is reduced, to frame rectangular recesses containing the extensive glazing.

"Inside, spacious living areas are only minimally divided from the garden, a long one running down to the river Nadder. Visible workmanship for this mostly self-build project is of high quality."

Architects: Footprint Architects, Bournemouth

Blackthorn House, Bishopstone    

Salisbury Journal: Blackthorn House, Bishopstone. Picture by Prue CastleBlackthorn House, Bishopstone. Picture by Prue Castle (Image: Salisbury Civic Society)

This new house, replacing a previous mundane cottage, is modern rather than traditional.

Judges said it uses a range of carefully chosen forms and materials, with the flintwork on the front being particularly impressive, carried out to a high standard.

They added: "Inside, the careful management of spaces and the detailing creates a warm and friendly effect, with flexibility incorporated in case future needs change at all.

"Splendid views southwards are taken full advantage of, and the gold standard for energy efficiency, Passivhaus accreditation, is about to be achieved."

Designers: Affinity Architects, Salisbury, and Ink Box Architecture, Alton

Pool house at Park House, West Hatch

Salisbury Journal: Pool house at Park House, West Hatch. Picture by Lance McNultyPool house at Park House, West Hatch. Picture by Lance McNulty (Image: Salisbury Civic Society)

The panel described the job of adding a pool house and pool to a listed C17th house with a fine sweeping garden has been "treated with the care it needed", with appropriate siting and design, and a contemporary design approach for the pool house which is certainly the right choice in this context.

They added: "The new building's rectangular flat-roofed form creates a low-key impression, responding very well to a wooded backdrop.

The interior design is also well considered. The pool house more than met the standards set by an earlier kitchen extension, winner of an award in 2016, and received the same level of recognition."

Architect: John Comparelli, Tisbury

Admissions building at Old Wardour Castle

Salisbury Journal: Admissions building at Old Wardour Castle. Picture from English HeritageAdmissions building at Old Wardour Castle. Picture from English Heritage (Image: Salisbury Civic Society)

Read more: Old Wardour Castle wins at Salisbury Civic Society Awards 

The new building has the same site as the previous collection of timber structures which greeted visitors, but is a vast improvement on them, and an excellent starting point for a visit to one of Wiltshire's truly great historic structures.

Its overall form is simple and flat-roofed, with attractive natural materials.

Details have been carefully thought through, say the judges, and there are neat touches everywhere.

The goal of English Heritage, the client, of reducing energy use and embodied carbon has been achieved by various means, and the building's merits need more than a casual glance, to appreciate the care that's been taken.

Architects: Connolly Wellingham Architects, Bristol

Design House at the New Art Centre, Winterslow           

Salisbury Journal: Design House at the New Art Centre, Winterslow. Picture by Richard BryantDesign House at the New Art Centre, Winterslow. Picture by Richard Bryant (Image: Salisbury Civic Society)

This new gallery is part of a long and very successful project to enhance one of the area's major artistic resources, with two earlier galleries having won awards from the Civic Society. A red brick Victorian cottage has been retained and substantially extended for gallery use. Simple windows and internal roofs mainly using exposed timber members have been well considered, and a top light in the largest gallery enhances the very light character of all the new spaces. Details have been well thought out everywhere, and the new work fully matches the quality of the earlier winners.

Architects: Stephen Marshall Architects, London


The Motor Shed at 3 Kingsbury Square, Wilton

Salisbury Journal: The Motor Shed at 3 Kingsbury Square, Wilton. Picture by Peter BorchertThe Motor Shed at 3 Kingsbury Square, Wilton. Picture by Peter Borchert (Image: Salisbury Civic Society)

Garages generally have a low profile, but this one in Wilton one displays the value of putting in more thought to design than is usual.

It's in the well-designed courtyard garden to a listed house, and adds to its merits.

Key to its success is the roof, which takes the form of a hipped pyramid with a concave profile, rising to an ornamental finial, to great visual effect.

All the workmanship is clearly of high quality, and the new addition to the garden complements the contributions already made by other small structures in similar style.

Architects: The Classic Architecture Company, Wilton