Harborough firm shortlisted for RIBA architecture award

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An extension at a home in the district which was designed by a Harborough architecture firm has been shortlisted for a prestigious regional award.

The design, in Tur Langton, is one of 11 in the running to be named as the best design of the yearin the East Midlands in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Awards.

It is one of only three county buildings to make the grade.

The design was created by Leaf Architecture, based in Valley Way at Welland Business Park in town.

Richard Norwood, the managing director and principal architect at Leaf Architecture, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted and have been invited to the awards ceremony at Leicester Cathedral on April 22.”

Leaf Architecture is a small practice which provides a personal, design-focused and tailored architectural service to homes and businesses across the Midlands and, more recently, the south and London.

It celebrates its fifth anniversary later this year and during that time has worked with a diverse range of clients and produced a wide selection of projects from small domestic contemporary extensions, extensive house remodelling, new-build one-off properties, eco-houses, work on listed buildings and large industrial or commercial projects up to 30,000sq ft.

The entry put forward to this years RIBA awards was for a modest, modern and yet subtle extension to a grade two listed Georgian property in Main Street, Tur Langton, which forms physical and visual links between the house, garden and coach house as well as a new central family space at the heart of the site.

Mr Norwood said: “The design responds to two very different character zones – the semi-public driveway to one side and private garden to the rear.”

The space was previously a timber conservatory, which was defective and rarely used, overlooking a small insignificant hard landscaped space.

The small newly-created structure is now at the centre of family life.

Mr Norwood said: “The extension complements the existing house by including traditional elements such as render, traditional oak framing and red and orange facing brickwork plinth to match the main house, while using modern materials such a frameless glass, zinc standing seam roof and single ply membrane roof coverings.”

The shortlisted buildings will be assessed by a jury ahead of the ceremony.

The awards will be hosted by architectural historian and BBC presenter Jonathan Foyle and will include a presentation by van Heyningen and Haward Architects, which has been responsible for designing the re-ordering of Leicester Cathedral.

Regional award winners will be considered for the highly-coveted RIBA National Awards, announced in June.

The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize for the best building of the year will be drawn from national winners.

RIBA’s East Midlands chairman Valeria Passetti said: “Over half of this year’s shortlist comprises East Midlands architects and it’s truly inspiring to see the high-quality work of so many architects being celebrated in this way.”