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National Park launches Design Awards

30th May 2012

Exceptional standards of design and craftsmanship in the Cairngorms National Park are to be celebrated with the first ever design awards.

Launching on 28 May 2012, we’re looking to celebrate all aspects of good design, not just the expensive or iconic.  Everything from the detail on a window or the design of an extension to larger buildings or housing estates, contribute to the look and feel of the National Park.  So whether you’re a professional or have just seen something you think is good design, we want to hear about it.

There are four categories:

  • New buildings
  • Extension or alteration to existing building
  • Design in the landscape
  • Craftsmanship

All nominations will be considered by a panel of five judges, Chaired by Architect, Roddy Langmuir: “I grew up in the heart of what has now become the Cairngorms National Park, and I’ve walked, skied and cycled over most of the territory now receiving the attention it justly deserves. For me, this award scheme will celebrate the buildings and places that point the way ahead for our communities in one of the great landscapes of the planet. The best design can turn the challenges of changing built environment into assets for the Park and the new economies that need to grow here to secure its future. The Awards will showcase unique responses to a unique landscape.”

The other judges are: Architect Ben Tindall, Chairman of the Association of Cairngorms Communities (AoCC) Roger Clegg, CNPA Planning Committee Chairman Duncan Bryden and his Deputy, Peter Argyle.

Ben Tindall has spent 40 years working as an Architect and enjoying the outdoors of the Cairngorms National Park: “Excellent design is a fundamental part of the quality of life, for humans as well as nature and the awards will help foster this, at all scales and in different situations. Encouraging and celebrating good design will be of great benefit to the National Park.”

AoCC Chairman, Roger Clegg, said: “My admittedly limited experience of building projects has nevertheless taught me that design affects us all and that it is something about which most people have an opinion. These new design awards will not only help to enhance the Park environment but also encourage sustainable and place appropriate development.”

Duncan Bryden added: “Design should be in everything we make and good design can really improve people’s lives. The National Park has some of the best examples of planned villages and towns in Scotland. Our new Design Awards will celebrate and reward the best efforts of tradesmen and women, architects, engineers or even kitchen table designers who have applied their creativity and craft to buildings or bridges, bothies or bus shelters to make the Cairngorms National Park, where we live work and play, become an even better place.”

Peter Argyle said, “Good and well considered design is an essential part of the planning process and something that the CNPA has been actively promoting and encouraging for many years. The Design Awards are a way of recognising the work of architects and developers to meet the aspirations of communities in the Park for a real sense of place.

“We are fortunate to have architects working in the Park who have shown they can achieve the highest standards in design and layout, as well as craftsmen who have the skills to deliver the very best quality work.”

Judging criteria:

Each entry will be assessed against a number of criteria and in all cases will need to reflect the principles of good design set out in the Cairngorms National Park Sustainable Design Guide. The criteria include:

  • use of locally available / sourced materials
  • use of local people in the design and construction of the development
  • how environmentally friendly it is
  • how it contributes to the special place that is the Cairngorms National Park
  • how it relates to what is around it, whether that be other buildings, or the wider landscape its relationship with its surroundings
  • how well it makes use of  existing materials on the site, or reuses materials from elsewhere maintaining or re-use of resources
  • creativity and innovation – not an off the shelf solution, but one which makes the most of its individual location
  • affordability

What and who is eligible?

The entry must be within the Cairngorms National Park and have been completed since 2003. They can be submitted by anyone who thinks it’s worthy of an award including owners, architects, designers, developers, builders, community groups or a member of the public provided the owner’s consent is obtained. Further details can be found here.

Levels of award:

  • Highly Commended
  • Commended

A shortlist will be drawn up from the entries and judging will take place August – October 2012. The awards will be announced at a ceremony to be held in the National Park in late 2012.

Closing date for entry is 31 July 2012.

Further details of how to apply can be found here.

If you require assistance or have any questions about your application, please contact Alison Lax on 01479 870563 or email: [email protected]