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The Awards cover a wide range of categories including large and small residential development, commercial and public buildings, conservation and restoration projects and open spaces and are open to all projects completed in the last five years.
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Vangarde Shopping Centre

Owner:  Associated British Foods plc.
Developer:   Oakgate (Monks Cross) Ltd
Architects:
Master plan etc.:  DLA Architecture
John Lewis Unit:  Brooker Flynn Architects
M&S Unit:   Benoy
Next Unit:   Stanton Williams

A very large and complex development that has no doubt raised difficult questions about the role of out–of-town shopping centres.   But we are asked to judge the quality of what has been built rather than the decision-making behind it.

The design team, comprising four different architectural practices, is to be congratulated for making such a large and complex group of buildings so elegant and simple to grasp.

The four major buildings are quite different from each other but are handled in such a way that they work together rather than shouting each other out – as is frequently the case in developments of this sort.  The M&S incorporates a delightful green wall; Next is a fine example of an all glass façade; John Lewis uses a complex sculptural form.

When Hentie Louw and I were students, we all read a book called ‘Learning from Las Vegas’ – that made us look with fresh eyes and open minds at the problem of large bill-board frontages to otherwise ordinary commercial buildings.  The buildings of the Vangarde centre are a remarkable example of what careful, intelligent design can achieve.

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