For the past 24 years Malvern Civic Society has been making an award for a new or renovated building which adds something special to the Malvern area. A small committee asks for nominations, visits each building and awards a plaque to the winner. We are looking for good design, a high level of workmanship and sympathetic awareness of the surroundings. This year there were six very good nominations; three of them were renovations of older buildings, two of them were completely new and one was a renovation to which a new project was attached..
Saham Toney (named after a Norfolk village), 11 Imperial Road, is a 1960s bungalow which has been transformed for Jenny Bull by her architect Adam Richards and builder Richard Robbins. An extension has been added to the rear of the building, the high point of which is a glass and timber-framed structure which allows light to flood into the house.
Lucy and Peter Farrer rescued South Lodge, 45 Abbey Road, a very elegant Victorian house, built in 1851. They carried out a complete restoration from chimneys to cellars, using a team of first-class builders and craftsmen and have ensured that this family home will continue to fulfil its function for a century or more.
Peter and Christine Kirton commissioned a new house, Littledale House, Walwyn Road, Upper Colwall, from architect Robert Bridge of the firm of Osborne in Hanley Swan. It has a strong individual character. It is certainly modern but quite deliberately has the feel of an older dwelling with many examples of fine craftsmanship. This stems from Christine’s admiration for the Arts and Crafts architect Voysey; his spirit is powerfully present.
A new house suddenly appeared at 19 Victoria Road. It was the creation of Ross and Sarah Kane and their brother-in -law architect Ben Cunliffe. Having prepared the foundations, the pre-constructed walls and roof, supplied by the firm of Glosford of Hereford, were then delivered and erected within three weeks. The Kane family now have a spacious modern home which features a light-filled kitchen/living room at first floor level.
Charlotte and Edward Elgar combined something old with something new at 8 Somers Road. They uncovered the fine Victorian mansion (designed by William Henman in 1851) from the trees and vegetation which had overwhelmed it and carried out a complete renovation. On to this has been built an ultra-modern kitchen/dining area extension covered in compressed stone tiles. The contrast makes a dramatic impact. Their architect was David Greenhill of Vivid Architects of Worcester.
St Ann’s Well was the final nomination. The owners, Malvern Hills Trust, decided this iconic Malvern building needed thorough restoration. Local architect Matthew Gullick and local builders SMB carried out the scheme. The outside is now in very good order and the inside has been substantially transformed to meet today’s food hygiene regulations whilst retaining its 19th century character.
The Award sub-committee had a difficult task to decide the winner; in the end, they chose South Lodge, 45 Abbey Road. The workmanship here was of a high order with strong regard for period detail. The electronic and computerised subtleties of a 20th century house have been added to South Lodge without compromising its 19th century character. What swayed the committee in its final decision was that this very attractive house, together with its front garden scheme and garage, have lifted the character of the whole area. Abbey Road is one of Malvern’s most important Victorian thoroughfares. What has been achieved at South Lodge will hopefully serve as an example to other householders of what can be done.
The winner’s plaque will be presented by the Society’s President Dr John Harcup, O.B.E.
Vice Chair of Malvern Civic Society.