Design takes flight at awards

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A wing-shaped conference-events venue at Bramham triumphed over some of the region’s newest and most impressive property schemes to gain top honours at this year’s RICS Pro Yorkshire Awards, held at The National Railway Museum in York last night.

The Blackburn Wing, a 2,200sqft conference and events centre situated in the ancient woodland of Bowcliffe Hall won the Tourism & Leisure award at the prestigious contest, which is better known as the region’s property Oscars.

Chair of the RICS Pro Yorkshire Awards judging panel, Colin Harrop, Partner at Gerald Eve said: “Whilst the winners and those that have been highly commended range from small scale pioneering schemes, through to multi million pound developments, they all share an unwavering commitment and ability to add real value to the communities that they serve.

“This is a fantastic achievement and something which the teams behind the projects should be immensely proud of.”

Built as a single storey structure, The Blackburn Wing is accessed by runways from the lawns of Bowcliffe Hall, and appears to hover in the canopy of the beech trees, some 12m from the grassland below.

RICS judges praised the tree house concept of the venue for providing stunning views and applauded the project team for building the venue in the shape of an aeroplane wing in a tribute to the aviation pioneer, Robert Blackburn who lived at Bowcliffe Hall with his family between 1920 and 1955.

The copper clad structure, with its curved beam and tensile cable construction, has been designed to reflect the monoplane wing that Robert Blackburn is renowned for inventing.

The annual RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Pro Yorkshire Awards celebrate inspirational initiatives in the land, property and construction sectors.

TV personality, of Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location, Phil Spencer was the host for this year’s glittering ceremony which hosted 330 professionals.

The winners of all eight individual categories are as follows:-

Building Conservation – Acre Mills, Huddersfield; Commercial property – Network Rail York Campus, York; Community Benefit - Chapel FM, Leeds; Design through Innovation - Esholt Bio Energy Project, Bradford; Regeneration – Penistone Town Centre Regeneration Scheme, Penistone; Residential property – Bootham Green, York; Tourism & Leisure - The Blackburn Wing - Bowcliffe Hall, Wetherby; Infrastructure - Scarborough Bathing Water Scheme, Scarborough.

A number of Highly Commended certificates were also awarded by the judges to projects which impressed but were just pipped to the post by the winners.

These were: The Mending Rooms, Leeds (Building Conservation), The Mending Rooms, Leeds (Commercial), The Menstone Club Redevelopment Scheme, Leeds (Community Benefit), Scale Lane Bridge, Hull (Design through Innovation) Regeneration of Sunny Bank Mills, Leeds (Regeneration) and Wakefield Westgate Station (Infrastructure).

Winners in five of the categories (Building Conservation, Community Benefit, Design through Innovation, Regeneration and Infrastructure) will now automatically be entered into the national RICS Awards, where they will compete against other leading projects from across the UK later this year.