Our speaker, Professor Tim Boatswain, is chair of St Albans Civic Society. He gave a most interesting and informative presentation, outlining the annual awards process for projects in St Albans that was completed before the end of 2013.
This year, after studying almost thirty nominations, the awards committee selected four projects for commendation and one overall winner. In the light of these commendations, it is well worth taking the time to look at the St Albans’ buildings that were chosen.
St Columba’s College: A contemporary extension to the school in King Harry Lane has transformed the existing building and added space to the gym, the main hall and the entrance foyer.
Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre: This is a major development at a cost of £24.7 million. It now provides superb leisure facilities, including an eight lane swimming pool and the Verulamium Spa. The number of visitors has quadrupled.
The Skin Shop: This building in Chequer Street has been carefully restored, with the minimum of intervention, so that the original shop front can be seen once more.
Cadoxton Place: This is an interesting and successful conversion of St Raphaels, a residential home for the visually impaired in Avenue Road. Stylish and spacious apartments have been created.
The Samuel Ryder Academy: This school in Drakes Drive was the overall winner.
Following an investment of £5.5 million the former Sir Francis Bacon School has been transformed. Externally and internally the simple, clean lines and child friendly scale of the development provide a stimulating and welcoming environment for young children. The excellent facilities are complimented by high quality design, and this colourful and creative setting should enhance the education of pupils for many years to come.