Hammersmith Society Hands Out Environment Awards

Winners include Phoenix School, but Latymer gets wooden spoon

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Phoenix School Caretaker's House

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The Hammersmith Society has handed out its annual Environment Awards, which highlight the best and worst buildings in our borough.

This year's winners included Phoenix School Caretaker's House, while among the losers were Latymer School's new Science and Library Building and Trussley Dry Cleaners in Hammersmith Grove.

The awards were announced at the society's 49th AGM in the striking surroundings of the new buildings at Burlington Danes Academy in Wood Lane.

Introducing the Environment Awards, Society Vice-Chairman Tom Ryland noted that there had been fewer new buildings to choose from this year because of the downturn, and the Society decided that this year no building or project met the standard for the main Environment Award.

However, the Nancye Goulden award for a smaller scheme went to the Phoenix School Caretaker’s House (Rebuilt as part of the Sixth Form project): Bond Bryan Architects. The committee praised its understated elegance and calm modern design.

The Society’s Conservation Award went to 20 St Peter’s Square in Hammersmith – Completion of the Square by the demolition of a later Victorian house, replacement by two of the three missing facades to make up the triple villas: Warren Smith Architects. The Committee were enthusiastic about the elegant recreation of the terrace, based on detailed research to the original 1830s design.

The Hammersmith Society also awards its famous Wooden Spoons to those responsible for eyesores in the Borough. This year they went to:

Latymer School – New Science and Library building, especially seen from Rivercourt Road: although probably an excellent building for the school, in the view of the Committee it presents a bleak and un-neighbourly facade to Rivercourt Road and the design should have done more to engage with the outer world

Ladybird Nursery, Ravenscourt Park – Cutting down apparently healthy tree and construction of pavilions adjacent to the Park, in a conservation area without planning approvals.

New housing development incorporating Sainsbury Local Store in Askew Road – The design of the block as a whole and its disappointing paint colour were felt to be a missed opportunity to improve Askew Road.

Night-time lighting to Trussley Drycleaners shop in Hammersmith Grove (in the terrace opposite Trussley Road) – Excessive and gaudy lighting causing light pollution.

Hammersmith Society Chair Melanie Whitlock said: "All of these – winners and wooden spoons alike - are worth taking a look at. I’d like people to take a weekend walk and really look at Hammersmith and see what a rich and varied townscape we have. That is what our award scheme is all about."

The well-attended meeting was addressed by the Leader of H&F Council, Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, on the tension between growth and heritage. Chair Melanie told the meeting that growth was important to Hammersmith, but it needed to be the right kind of growth, based on appropriate development in the right location.

The incoming localism agenda would be the opportunity for the Council to work with local residents and attend to their concerns about uncontrolled growth in the wrong place.

There was criticism of the proposed Town Hall redevelopment, and the AGM backed a motion supporting redevelopment which was low to medium rise, respected the local conservation area, river views, and Furnival gardens, and kept a cultural or entertainment use on site.

Full list of nominations for the Hammersmith Society Environment Award:
Latymer School – New Science and Library building : Rivercourt Road and King Street.
Phoenix School – New Sixth Form Building
Wendell Park Primary School – New entrance and covered play areas.
Askew Road Church – A new corner extension and refurbishment of the church windows on Bassein Park Road.
Phoenix School
Factory Quarter, Emlyn Road – A worthy attempt at a high density mixed tenure housing scheme but there was concern at the low level of landscaping and the sea of car parking.

June 30, 2011