News 20.03.2008

Gillespies scoops a handful of accolades

Gillespies has today announced its success in winning a series of prestigious design and regeneration awards. The practice has recently been recognised by the Civic Trust, The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the British Urban Regeneration Association (BURA) for its work on projects which span the UK.

Firstly, The National Assembly for Wales, where Gillespies was responsible for the external environs, picked up a Civic Trust Award at a ceremony in Newcastle on the 12th of March. Commenting on the project the judges said: “The emblematic building has a commanding presence in Cardiff Bay, with the bold roof being instantly recognisable … The external areas around the building form an attractive new open space that sits well in the established environment. The hard landscaping extends to the adjoining buildings, linking the scheme to the rest of the area.”

Secondly, St George’s Square in Luton was recognised at the same ceremony with a commendation. The judges stated: “Previously a neglected and threatening site, St George’s Square has been redeveloped into an accessible public space, which enhances the civic realm. Careful design and detailing has resulted in an accessible and pleasant area, with attractive and discrete informal seating. Ground surfaces have been sensibly specified and well laid out. The new lighting is dramatic and effective in maintaining a lively and secure atmosphere after dark. This is a great improvement, which provides an attractive civic space.”

Thirdly, Fife Masterplans Handbook was recognised at the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning at an event in Edinburgh on the 13th of March. The Handbook, written by the practice for Fife Council, guides developers when preparing masterplans, on the process that should be followed. The handbook sets out a series of prompts to thinking about how to achieve better quality places through the masterplan process. The judges commented that the Handbook was comprehensive, yet user-friendly and proved a useful benchmark to help the decision making process.

And finally, the Mersey Waterfront Strategic Framework won a commendation at the BURA Waterways Renaissance Awards, which were presented at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester on the 12th of March. Now in their sixth year, the Waterways Renaissance Awards aim to recognise best practice in sustainable waterway regeneration and development throughout the UK. Gillespies’ Strategic Framework draws together the green spaces and urban locations, along 135km of coastline - ranging from a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to working docks, sand dunes, coastal woodlands and Victorian promenades.

Speaking on behalf of the practice, partner Jim Gibson said: "This is a fantastic achievement for everyone at Gillespies and we are really pleased that our work has been recognised in this way by these well respected organisations".