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From the organisers of
 

Natural Stone Awards 2016

The Natural Stone Awards are presented every two years by Stone Federation Great Britain. In 2016 the trophies and certificates were given to the winners by guest of honour Michael Portillo (TV presenter and former politician) on 2 December at Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, London… read more about the presentation lunch and see a video of the event here

LIST OF WINNERS

Special Award

New Build Modern Style Stone Cladding

New Build Traditional Style Stone Masonry

Repair & Restoration

Interiors

Landscaping

Carving, Lettering & Sculpture

Supported by the Worshipful Company of Masons

Craftsmanship

Technology Innovation Award

Sustainability

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Award category: SPECIAL AWARD

Award Winner: A New Oratory in the South of England

  • Client: A Charitable Trust
  • Architect: Craig Hamilton Architects
  • Main Contractor: Symm
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Ketton Stone Masonry & Fixings Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: (1 & 2) Albion Stone PLC (3) Portland Stone Firms Ltd (4) McKeon Stone (5) Top Grange Quarry (6) Fontanili (7) Naturstens
  • Stone Used: (1) Portland Jordans Basebed (2) Portland Jordans Whitbed (3) Portland Broadcroft Whitbred (4) Kilkenny Limestone (5) Ballinasloe (6) Statuary Marble (7) Oland

This new chapel in the south of England was built for a Charitable Trust using the truly traditional methods for which Ketton Stone Masonry & Fixings are justifiably acclaimed. There is brick backing solid stone walls and load-bearing masonry. There is a load-bearing vault over the main nave, load-bearing columns to the crypt and load-bearing walls. The Awards judges could not speak highly enough of the quality of this project. Every detail has been carefully considered and expertly executed and the decision to celebrate it with a Special Award came as a result of the judges realising it would have been a worthy winner in several of the other categories. The judges said: “This is one of the finest examples of modern day stonemasonry and proof that the standards of the past can still be met. The external masonry is true and crisp throughout with fine examples of various masonry disciplines from beautifully lettered panels, knapped flintwork and lions heads projecting from the cornices either side of the chapel, all stitched together with sound traditional masonry skills.” The external façade of the building is modest compared with the embellishments on the interior. Outstanding features include: barrel vaulting to the main chapel ceiling with intersecting barrel vaulted windows; solid stone crypt doors, beautifully carved on both sides; a cantilevered elliptical staircase with a solid balustrade wall connecting the two floors and organ chamber. It is evident that every detail of this building was carefully considered and expertly made and installed. Return to list of winners...

Award category: NEW BUILD MODERN STYLE STONE CLADDING

Award Winner: The Flint House

  • Client: Waddesdon Estate
  • Architect: Skene Catling de la Peña
  • Main Contractor: Kingerlee
  • Principal Stone Contractor: The Flintman Company Ltd
  • Stone Used: Flint/Chert & Chalk

On a large estate in Buckinghamshire, surrounded by highly cultivated agricultural fields, The Flint House is the first project of such scale and complexity undertaken in centuries. The brief was to respond to a site in the grounds of Waddesdon, and was initially intended to be a dwelling for the curator of a new archive library. The flint walls and terrazzo roofs fade in six coloured strata from black through shades of grey to white, where they dissolve into the sky. Flintwork is usually focused on the restoration of existing buildings rather than innovation in new structures. It is often practised alone, or in  small teams. Here, a large team was used. The judges were impressed with this  unusual project and deemed it to be a resounding success. They commented: “The outstanding feature is the use of flint on a scale unique in a modern building. This would have required exceptional craftsmanship to execute the walls with flints graded in size rising to chalk courses at the top. The contrasting walls using raw flint nodules add further delight.”  Return to list of winners... 

Highly Commended: 131 Sloane Street – New retail and office development

  • Client: Cadogan Estate
  • Architect: Stiff + Trevillion
  • Main Contractor: Mace Group
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Putney & Wood Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: (1) Marshalls Stancliffe Stones (2) Granite Granite (3) The Ashfield Group
  • Stone Used: (1) Locharbriggs (sandstone) (2) Pietra Lavica Dell’Etna - Basalto (basalt) (3) Skipton Yorkstone
  • Other Companies Involved:: Arup Façade Engineering, Frosts Landscape Construction Ltd

The result of a design competition held by owners, the Cadogan Estate, this London development involved the replacement of two 1960s office buildings with a new retail and office-led development. The project architects, Stiff + Trevillion, worked closely with the Planning Officers at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to produce a complex set of buildings around a new public space that, while occupying the same volume and massing as earlier structures, use the space more effectively – for example, the high level is used for offices rather than plants and the rear is a courtyard as opposed to a service area. The new building primarily uses red Locharbriggs sandstone for the front elevation, articulated by the structural grid to produce vertical bays of 4.5m that echo the rhythm of adjacent streets. The clients felt it was important the primary stone for the façade of the building was sourced in the UK, with the secondary stone sourced in Europe and that the quarries for both stone supplies provided Certificates of Responsible Sourcing. The judges liked detail such as lift lobbies being carved into the stone walls at floor levels. They also liked the departure from formula. They could see the time and effort spent in trying to get the details right and appropriate for their use, as well as a respect for stone as a material.  Return to list of winners...

Highly Commended: Silberrad Student Centre

  • Client: University of Essex
  • Architect: Patel Taylor
  • Main Contractor: Kier Eastern
  • Principal Stone Contractor: PMJ Masonry Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: RGB Ltd
  • Stone Used: Ancaster Weatherbed Mix

Part of the University of Essex, the Silberrad Student Centre project brief called for a single building to extend the existing Albert Sloman Library and provide a range of new facilities including the main university reception, additional library space, integrated learning centre and Student Union media centre. A restricted palette of materials provides a calm backdrop for the books, loose furniture and activities which will take place within the new and existing buildings. With a clear diagram of oversailing layers organising the building, the Student Centre creates a strong sense of perspective and movement against the colonnade of library columns. Limestone piers and full height glazing echo an irregular glazing device used extensively across the campus. The judges felt this was a magnificent, carefully designed building using stone to give warmth and strength to the building. Return to list of winners...

Commended: Nutley Terrace

  • Client: Artedi
  • Architect: Belsize Architects
  • Main Contractor: B&G Construction
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Domus Facades Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: Domus Facades Ltd
  • Stone Used: Jura Beige Limestone

Nutley Terrace is a new build residential scheme providing two spacious contemporary townhouses on a difficult brownfield site in a north London conservation area. It uses a varied palette of stone, glass and timber. To the front, the building is clad from the first floor upwards in Jura beige limestone from Bavaria, with a sandblasted and brushed finish. Stainless steel brackets fix the stone to the secondary structure, which in turn is fixed to the primary structure. The stone slabs are arranged vertically in three different lengths. The narrowness of the stone slabs also allows the material to flow over the elevation’s gentle curves, allowing for a smooth change to the plane of the façade. The use of contemporary stone cladding was critical. The judges liked the design and noted the success of the choice of materials, tying in well with the surrounding houses. Return to list of winners... 

Commended: The American School in London

  • Client: The American School
  • Architect: Walters & Cohen Architects
  • Main Contractor: ISG
  • Principal Stone Contractor: S McConnell & Sons Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: (1) Magratex (2) Pomery Natural
  • Stone Used: (1) Creme Cascais (2) Honed Diamond White Granite
  • Other Company Involved: Stone Cladding International Limited

On a prominent corner plot in a conservation area in St John’s Wood in Westminster, the site demanded a design that would sit comfortably alongside the neighbouring buildings of various architectural styles. Therefore the choice of material was key to the project’s success. After lengthy discussion with the school’s trustees and Westminster planners, stone was considered most appropriate, with its traditional qualities and elegance. The contemporary expression made full use of the manufacturing processes available for the stone. The judges were impressed with the elegant design and the restrained and unusual use of stone. Return to list of winners... 

Commended: Darley Dale Specialist Care Centre

  • Client: Derbyshire County Council
  • Architect: Glancy Nicholls Architects
  • Main Contractor: Balfour Beatty East
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Phoenix Brickwork Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: (1 & 2) Marshalls Stancliffe Stones
  • Stone Used: (1) Stanton Moor Buff (2) Stanton Moor Pink
  • Other Company Involved: PMJ Masonry Ltd

A specialist residential care facility commissioned by Derbyshire County Council, this building is designed for the elderly with serious age related illnesses. It is a development that has actively promoted the use of Derbyshire stone from local quarries and the skills of local stone craftsmanship. The project brief consisted of 32 en-suite bedrooms and communal dining and lounge areas. The project also includes a restaurant / cafe, hair dresser, activity rooms, consultancy rooms and treatment facilities. The use of natural stone was an important element to help entrench the building within the site and its surroundings. It was used both as dry stone blocks of various sizes and as a smooth ashlar finish in regular modules. The judges commend the council on its choice of material. Return to list of winners... 

Commended: Dock Street, London

  • Client: Wombats London Ltd
  • Architect: Mulroy Architects
  • Main Contractor: Eastern Corporation
  • Principal Stone Contractor: PTCM
  • Stone Supplier: Putney & Wood Ltd
  • Stone Used: Moleanos Limestone

This is an extension to Wombats’ hostel in East London – a high spec hostel popular with guests since its opening in 2014. The extension has been built on what was previously a vacant plot, making productive and efficient use of the potentially awkward space. The development takes design cues from the surrounding architectural context, appropriately scaled and detailed to complement neighbouring buildings. The façade is largely made up of Moleanos limestone. The detailing is a contemporary interpretation of adjoining Victorian terrace buildings, reflecting the parent building without mimicking it. The judges said this  “small but worthy project” warranted applause for choosing stone and using it so well. Return to list of winners...

Award category: NEW BUILD TRADITIONAL STYLE STONE MASONRY

Award Winner: 7-8 St James’s Square

  • Client: Green Property
  • Architect: Eric Parry Architects
  • Main Contractor: Galliford Try
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Szerelmey Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: (1) Grupimar (2) LSI Stone (3) Labrador International
  • Stone Used: (1) Impala Black Granite (2) Cabeca Veada Limestone (3) Profido Granite

A mixed-use building designed by Eric Parry Architects, 7-8 St James’s Square makes use of two different granites and a limestone from ground level to second floor. The cladding comprises Impala Black Granite and granite window surrounds. The majority of the limestone and the window boxes are load bearing, with the granite corbels under the window boxes actually suspended from above. The judges commented that the detailing of copings and window cills were not skimped. They were thought through to shed water rather than allowing it to run down the vertical surfaces. The cills drain into an inner channel and an external lip. The judges felt this building exuded quality and showed “a complete understanding of the use of stone”. Return to list of winners... 

Highly Commended: The Chicken House, Gloucestershire

  • Client: Mr & Mrs C Odey
  • Architect: Smallwood Architects
  • Main Contractor: Treasure & Son Ltd
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Treasure & Son Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: Forest of Dean Stone Firms Ltd
  • Stone Used: Forest of Dean Mixed and Blue Pennant
  • Other Companies Involved: Sinclair Johnston & Partners Ltd Charles Gurrey – Carver & Sculptor

The Chicken House is a newly constructed classical Ionic temple. It was built to replace a concrete block and corrugated iron structure which previously overlooked the client’s property. From the beginning, it was important the temple should fit with, and be part of, the surrounding landscape, neither too small for impact nor so large it was overbearing. For this reason, all the features and proportions of the Ionic order were faithfully maintained but scaled down. The Ionic order was chosen as being best suited to the small scale of the structure and the Pennant sandstone to be used. There is a lightweight block internal lining around which is the locally sourced Forest of Dean Mixed and Blue Pennant stone. The floor inside is Cadeby gold limestone with a geometric contrasting dark brown Emperador marble inlay. The judges commented that this was an exemplar of a small stone traditional building. All the details were carefully designed and executed and well up to the standard of the finest classical buildings they had seen in recent years. All the work was carried out by four masons and the judges could sense that they took great pains to finish every stone correctly. Joints are fine and regular and the hand carving of details excellent. Return to list of winners... 

Commended: Donegal Town Credit Union

  • Client: Donegal Town Credit Union
  • Architect: McCabe Architects
  • Main Contractor: Glebe Builders Principal
  • Stone Contractor McMonagle Stone
  • Stone Supplier: (1,2 & 3) McMonagle Stone
  • Stone Used: (1) Mountcharles sandstone ashlar cladding (2) Mountcharles sandstone quoins (3) Irish Limestone 40mm thick cladding

This is an idiosyncratic building. To understand it you need to appreciate the philosophy, ethos and approach of the client, Donegal Town Credit Union. The Union’s remit is geographically specific to the town and its design brief called for a building to epitomise a closer integration with the society it serves. It also required reference to indigenous nautical influences. The underlying commitment was to create a statement building that grew out of the landscape to ‘anchor’ the Union to the financial needs of the community it serves. Hence the use of the local Mountcharles sandstone for the walls and fossilrich Irish Blue limestone for the entrance and internal flooring, all used with precision and discipline. With such high quality craftsmanship and finish in the stonework, the unconventional end result exquisitely satisfies the client’s somewhat understated brief. Donegal Town Credit Union wanted a ‘different’ building and it has that. And it is earning its keep, demonstrating the importance of appropriate architecture to creating an image – in the four months after the Union moved into its new building it saw a 25% increase in membership subscriptions and a 23% increase in loan advances. Return to list of winners...

Award category: REPAIR & RESTORATION

Award Winner: Wimpole Gothic Tower, Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire

  • Client: The National Trust Architect Donald Insall Associates
  • Main Contractor: Cliveden Conservation Workshop Ltd
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Cliveden Conservation Workshop Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: (1) Lovell Stone Group Ltd (2) Hibbit & Sons (Masonry) Ltd
  • Stone Used: (1) Chilmark (from Chicksgrove Quarry) (2) Barrington Clunch

This Gothic Tower was designed to look like a picturesque medieval ruin. It lies in the parkland of the National Trust’s 18th Century Wimpole Hall Estate, the largest country house in Cambridgeshire. The Grade II listed folly was brought to life by great landscape designer, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown from 1768-72, based on an earlier sketch by architect Sanderson Miller for his patron Lord Hardwicke. But over the centuries the ruin had become more of a ruin that was intended and needed rescuing to stabilise it for the next 200 years but, essentially, without compromising its weathered appearance. The team of conservators, masons and joiners from Cliveden achieved that, consolidating a building in a way that Capability Brown, on his 300th anniversary, would surely have approved of. Wimpole broke new ground by involving large numbers of volunteers in bringing each element of the work to the public’s attention and ensuring the Gothic Tower was once again part of an idyllic landscape. The choice of Barrington Clunch stone came as a result of research undertaken by the principal stone contractor and English Heritage. The judges approved of the way the scheme had been managed and executed. Return to list of winners...

Highly Commended: The Great Barn, Knole House, Sevenoaks

  • Client: The National Trust
  • Architect: Rodney Melville & Partners
  • Main Contractor: Heritage Building & Conservation
  • Principal Stone Contractor:Gallagher Aggregates Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: Gallagher Aggregates Ltd
  • Stone Used: Kentish Ragstone

The National Trust-owned Jacobean house at Knole near Sevenoaks has received more than £19.8million-worth of repairs in recent years. The great barn was seriously damaged by fire years ago, resulting in the demolition of the stone gables. When teh roof was rebuilt it was given a lower pitch. That roof has now been removed and the gables rebuilt as they would originally have been, allowing the roof to be put back to its impressive original pitch. Various new openings have been cut into the barn to enable it to form an important part of the visitor experience to the site. The judges were impressed with the way the new gables blended into the original walling and how well the new openings were detailed. The judges felt it was clear that the mason and architect had worked closely together. Sketched details of the arrangements, even galleting, were supplied by the mason and agreed by the team. As a result of this care, the altered parts blended with the old and the judges commented that it was “hard to see the interventions, although they were numerous on this great barn”. They were also pleased to see traditional Kentish Ragstone being used so well, without being ‘toned down’ but allowed to settle in naturally. Return to list of winners...

Highly Commended: McEwan Hall Stonework & External Fabric Repairs, Phases 1-3

  • Client: University of Edinburgh
  • Architect: LDN Architects
  • Main Contractor: Land Engineering (Scotland) Ltd
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Land Engineering (Scotland) Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: (1) Hutton Stone Co Ltd (2) Dunhouse Quarry Ltd (3) Tradstocks Ltd
  • Stone Used: (1) Corsehill, Witton Fell & Stanton Moor (2) Stanton Moor & Witton Fell (3) Witton Fell
  • Other Companies Involved: D Blake & Co Ltd Rainbow Glass Studio

Designed by Robert Rowand Anderson, the richly decorative Italianate McEwan Hall is a 2,000-seat hall built for graduation, examination, lecture and concert use. Category A listed and acknowledged as being of national architectural significance, McEwan Hall is widely acknowledged as a particularly important building by a prominent Scottish architect. The University of Edinburgh describes it as its flagship building. Witton Fell stone stone was considered to be a close match to the original Polmaise stone for the building façade. For cornices, Stanton Moore was selected for its structural properties, with some of the stones weighing as much as 1.5 tonnes. Columns were originally Corsehill, so were restored in the same stone. Carvings were replaced by taking plaster casts of the capitals and various other elements so as to replicate the detail. To ensure consistency of the stone supplied due to the tight programming of the project, an extensive quality management plan was implemented. In the judges’ view, this, along with the high standard of craftsmanship involved in working the stone, led to its effective visual blending with the original masonry while reinstating the building’s architectural presence and detail. They said this was particularly evident in the quality of the replacement balustrading, projecting cornices and pilaster capitals. Return to list of winners...

Commended: Lynn Building, Queens University, Belfast

  • Client: Queens University
  • Architect: Consarc Design Group
  • Main Contractor: Woodvale Construction
  • Principal Stone Contractor: S McConnell & Sons Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: (1) A D Calvert Architectural Stone Supplies Ltd (2) Block Stone Ltd (3) S McConnell & Sons Ltd (4): Doulting Stone Quarry (5): McKeon Stone (6): Hutton Stone Co Ltd
  • Stone Used: (1) Witton Fell (2) Locharbriggs (3) Ballymagreehan Granite (4): Doulting Limestone (5): Kilkenny Limestone (6): Swinton Buff

Having gone through significant changes since it was originally built in 1866-68, the Grade B-listed Lynn Building has a high profile location on the main Queens University site and is one of the best examples of Ruskinian Victorian Gothic in Belfast. The project work concentrated primarily on the exterior and involved replacement or indenting of some 800 stones following a full on-site assessment of the building’s needs. One of the most difficult challenges in such work is knowing where to start and stop interventions. This has been successfully achieved with a textbook degree of relevant decision-making, impeccable site control, quality craftsmanship and relevant choice of stone. Accommodating the two main building phases, care was taken to choose the replacements for each phase of the building to ensure an appropriate match in colour, texture, weathering and performance in use characteristics. The judges commended the work for being ethically carried out under an appropriate operational philosophy, excellent craftsmanship and the care taken about the choice, extent, degree and quality of the replacement masonry. Return to list of winners... 

Commended: St Mary’s Church, Freeby

  • Client: The Churches Conservation Trust
  • Consulting Engineer Capstone Consulting Engineers Ltd
  • Main Contractor: Stone Edge Ltd
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Stone Edge Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: Marshalls Stancliffe Stones
  • Stone Used: Ironstone

A small parish church typical of the area that had been closed for 12 years, St Mary’s has been saved by The Churches Conservation Trust. It has been repaired with the minimum of intervention and with such care that you have to search hard to see where repairs have been carried out. The stone chosen was ironstone matching the original fabric of the building. Defective stone was cut out and replaced using hot lime mortar, which many consider to be the way lime mortars would originally have been used. The judges noted the quality of the workmanship, and in particular how the design allows for the run off of water from the ledges. Return to list of winners...

Award category: INTERIORS

Award Winner: Hampstead

  • Client: Mr Anthony Todd
  • Architect: Charlton Brown Architects
  • Main Contractor: Suresh Rabadiya
  • Principal Stone Contractor:Cathedral Works Organisation (Chichester) Ltd (ceased trading)
  • Stone Supplier: Rocamat Pierre Naturelle
  • Stone Used: Massangis Beige Clair
  • Other Company Involved: Price & Myers

This S-shaped staircase is the central feature of a fully refurbished house. This design successfully resolved a difficult butterfly plan. An elliptical form for the staircase has been chosen as an entirely appropriate balance between form and function. The architect has restrained decoration and the result is an elegant feature that celebrates the organic nature of stone. The staircase is crafted from a quarry block of Massangis Beige Clair, a French limestone. It is cantilevered with thin waists and a plain, unfussy soffit. The judges felt the result is a testimony to the clearly respectful relationship between architect and mason, including the successful transition from drawingboard to site craft. The judges could see the architectural practice’s passion for natural stone coming through and were impressed to see recently appointed young architects taking the lead in this project. Return to list of winners...   

Commended: Statuario Book-Matched Bathroom

  • Client: Verde Construction Limited
  • Architect: Lewandowski Architects
  • Main Contractor: Verde Construction Limited
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Granite Marble & Limestone Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: Labradore International
  • Stone Used: Statuario Marble

This high-end master bathroom involved a detailed stone selection process. In order to establish which marble would be desirable for this room, GML and the client travelled to Italy to view a number of different blocks of Statuario marble. All parties involved were thrilled with the experience and the finished installation and the client has reported back that everyone who sees the bathroom agrees that it’s the best room in the house. The judges approved of the high quality stone chosen and its installation with tight, neat joints. It was all of a quality expected for a prime residential property. Staturario Marble of this visual quality is difficult to source as it is in high demand. The alignment and continuation of the veining from one panel to the next is impressive. Return to list of winners...

Award category: LANDSCAPING

Award Winner (1): Conway Square, Newtownards

  • Client: Ards & North Down Borough Council
  • Landscape Architect: AECOM
  • Main Contractor: F P McCann
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Caithness Flagstone Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: (1) Caithness Flagstone Ltd (2) CED Ltd
  • Stone Used: (1) Caithness Flagstone (2) Granite (white/grey)

This is a well-conceived and detailed landscaping project of some 2,000m2. Caithness Flagstone was selected to integrate with two adjacent east-west aligned main streets in a follow-on phase. In the Square, gradients have been carefully handled to eliminate steps and make the entire run of surrounding shops and buildings DDA access compliant. The exception lies in the granite approach steps offering a simply stated additional architectural emphasis to the front of the Town Hall Arts Centre, although it, too, has accessible ramped access beside the steps. Meticulous detailing and textbook craftsmanship has successfully integrated tree and planter bed surrounds as seating, pavement crossings and utility service manhole covers. The flagstone jointing is consistently well detailed and executed. The eight-point central star, precisely aligned north-south on the centreline of the Town Hall, is white granite with delicately incorporated Caithness inserts. Forward thinking has enabled the procurement of some 5% of the total surface area of spare stone to future-proof the quality of the scheme. In addition, while utilities and services have been repositioned around the peripheral pavement areas, spare ducting has been installed should additional services be required. The scheme has been a considerable success with various public events already having been held there and a full calendar pending. Computer controlled LED lighting, neatly incorporated into the stonework, is used to enhance the atmosphere during events. The project has increased the commercial footfall in the town centre and new businesses are moving into the area. Overall, there is considerable community appreciation. The choice of stone and quality of workmanship has greatly enhanced the commercial viability of this town centre and reinvigorated it. Return to list of winners...  

Award Winner (2): Deansgate Metro Station, Castlefield

  • Client: Transport for Greater Manchester
  • Architect: SimpsonHaugh & Partners
  • Landscape Architect: Landscape Projects
  • Main Contractor: Laing O’Rourke
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Laing O’Rourke
  • Stone Supplier: Burlington Stone
  • Stone Used: Elterwater & Broughton Moor
  • Other Company Involved: Hardscape Products Ltd

This project in the heart of Manchester had to create a distinctive Metrolink stop with increased visibility, as well redeveloping the stop as an interchange with greater capacity, flexibility and resilience. The stone chosen was treated, where required, for tactile purposes and the size of the units selected so that overspill stock items from different beds could be used. The overall effect is a subtle patchwork of colours and textures. There has been no attempt to select out veining or try to wrestle with orientation, which the judges felt was a wonderful celebration of the nature of natural slate. The stone has been used for platforms, walling, staircases and ancillary areas. The sheer quantity used is impressive enough, but the fact that the architect has not been afraid to express the naturalness of the material particularly pleased the judges. Return to list of winners...

Commended: Adam’s Place, Canary Wharf

  • Client: Canary Wharf Group
  • Architect: Adamson Associates Architects
  • Landscape Architect: Gillespies
  • Main Contractor: Canary Wharf Contractors
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Szerelmey Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: (1) BBS Natural Stone Ltd (2) Grupimar
  • Stone Used: (1) Green Alta Quartzite (2) Nero Assoluto Zimbabwe Black Granite

Designed to create a public space connecting the new station with Lower Bridge Street, Adam’s Place includes a covered, elevated walkway and three water features. The base of each support is incorporated into three substantial water features, custom designed by Szerelmey and clad in 50mm thick Nero Assoluto Granite. The paving, dock edging, staircase cladding, treads and risers were all created from green Alta Quartzite along with various smaller stone features. The judges partuclarly liked the black granite plinth underneath the high level walkway. The consistant flow of 5mm of water running off each end of the plinth required precision alignment. The effect is like a mirror and needs to be seen to be truly appreciated. Return to list of winners...

Commended: Sadler’s Yard, NOMA Manchester

  • Client: The Co-operative Group
  • Architect: Planit IE LLP
  • Main Contractor: P Casey Group
  • Principal Stone Contractor: P Casey Group
  • Stone Supplier: Hardscape Products Ltd
  • Stone Used: Burlington's Elterwater and Broughton Moor, Magma, G682 granite

Part of a North West-wide £800million redevelopment plan called NOMA, Sadler’s Yard is designed to deliver extensive public realm infrastructure associated with the vision of the overall scheme. Designs for the streetscape, new square at the heart of the listed estate, street furniture and a wayfinding strategy draw on the site’s archaeology, social and built heritage to reflect the area’s new creative uses. The use of high-quality natural materials fashioned using sophisticated manufacturing techniques with robust detailing ensure the civic spaces remain desirable and an ongoing asset to the city. The deceptively simple, tastefully understated design comprises diamond shaped buff Magma Granite pieces in alternate flamed and bush-hammered finishes. These are surrounded with Burlington Blue Slate slabs that are inlaid with square slate details. The steps and seating are of black granite and are inlaid with bronze details and trims. Return to list of winners...

Award category: CARVING, LETTERING AND SCULPTURE

Award Winner: 8 St James’s Square, London

  • Client: Green Property
  • Architect: Eric Parry Architects
  • Main Contractor: Galliford Try
  • Principal Stone Contractor:Szerelmey Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: Arun Sculptors & Architects
  • Stone Used: Charnockite
  • Other Specialists Involved: Stephen Cox, Gary Newton

This carving is in the mews at the rear of the new 8 St James’s Square office building. It has been inspired by a previous occupier of the site, Sir Edwin Lutyens. This historic link was the inspiration for the architectural form of the building, the carved inscription to the monumental stone guarding and the wall sculpture commission carried out by Stephen Cox. Cox’s work has been influenced by Indian sculpture and processes over the past 30 years where he has worked with Indian temple carvers. The sculpture at 8 St James’s Square was carved in Tamil Nadu, India, from an 18tonne block of basalt. The stone is the same as that used in the main building, which creates a measured continuity. Working alongside the project’s heritage consultant, the following inscription was carved in three lines, across the stones: SIR EDWIN LUTYENS ARCHITECT, DESIGNER OF NEW DELHI, LAID OUT HIS PLANS HERE IN APPLE TREE YARD. The judges thought this was urban sculpture at its best. The lettering was of a high standard. The bush-hammered finish to the surrounding stone enhanced the lettering. The blocks and lettering were to the right scale. The architecture is multilayered, acknowledging the character of the square and creating a symmetry with the dark brick work of Chatham House to the west. “The sculptural figure was simple and well integrated with the surround. The whole project exuded quality, ” commented the Stone Awards judges. Return to list of winners... 

Highly Commended: Pillars Past Sculpture Representing History of Nidderdale

  • Client: Harrogate Borough Council
  • Sculptor, Main Contractor:, Principal Stone Contractor: Joseph Hayton
  • Stone Supplier: (1) Johnsons Wellfield Ltd (2) Hanson Aggregates
  • Stone Used: (1) Crosland Hill (2) Coldstone
  • Other Organisation Involved Nidderdale Visual Arts

The original intention of Sustrans (which establishes bicycle riding routes) was to create a coast-to-coast sculpture trail with installations telling the story of each town along the route. This was achieved with funding from the Arts Council and many other local contributors. The 2m high sculptures of a miner, a farmer and a monk in the Pillars Past sculpture were created as a monument to the great pillars of past industries on which Nidderdale was built. Each character is modeled on the faces of local people of similar vocations in modern day Pateley Bridge, a nearby town. Life-sized clay models were created, cast in plaster of Paris, and then carved in Crosland Hill sandstone using a pointing machine. The roughing out was done with angle grinders then the detailed carving was done by hand and with pneumatic hand tools. Each pillar comprises two large stones pinned together with 20mm stainless steel bar and grout. The judges noted that the faces and other details showed real character and the subtle weathering and algae growth has only enhanced the impact of the carving. The concept of the figures emerging from pitched stone blocks is novel and works well in this rustic setting. Return to list of winners...

Commended: Korean War Memorial, London

  • Client: Westminster City Council
  • Architect: Donald Insall Associates
  • Main Contractor: F M Conway
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Fairhaven Stone Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: (1) Albion Stone PLC (2) Cerrig Granite & Slate Ltd (3) Zungkn Kim
  • Stone Used: (1) Portland Stone/Jordans Basebed (2) Welsh Slate (Penrhyn Heather Blue) (3) Korean Granite Paving
  • Other Specialists Involved Harry Gray Philip Jackson

In the MoD section of Victoria Embankment Gardens between the memorials to Viscount Trenchard and the Fleet Air Arm. the Korean War Memorial is an inscribed, carved Portland stone obelisk, square in plan with a steeply sloping top, set on a Welsh slate base, within slate and Korean granite paving. There is a York stone forecourt. This is the setting for a bronze sculpture of a British soldier looking down at the battle-side grave of a fallen comrade, hinted at in the paving pattern. The judges liked the simplicity of this elegant scheme, with the sort of quiet reverence associated with war memorials in London. The limestone pillar and slate base have been carefully chosen and the base stones have not had their veins selected out. The carving is superb and contains a mixture of letters, flags, landscapes and maps. The fine chiselling produces a subtle image, consistent with the silent statement of the piece. Return to list of winners... 

Commended: Knebworth House, Hertfordshire – Phase 6 of the Restoration

  • Client: Knebworth House Education & Preservation Trust
  • Architect: Donald Insall Associates
  • Main Contractor: Brown & Ralph Limited
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Brown & Ralph Limited
  • Stone Supplier: Cumbrian Stone Ltd
  • Stone Used: Whitton Fell
  • Other Company Involved: Spectrum Stone Ltd

This project at the historic Knebworth House saw the creation of three new carved beasts and three new herbal bosses. Historic photographs showed evidence of beasts sitting on the shafts that run up through the parapet of the west elevation. At some time in the past these statues had been lost, but as part of the on-going restoration works to the house it was decided to reinstate them. The herbal bosses were used to act as corbels for the shafts above and the beasts were hand-carved in a sympathetic British stone, Whitton Fell, to give added longevity and, perhaps surprisingly, a cost saving. The judges applauded the architect’s choice of material. Return to list of winners...

Award category: CRAFTSMANSHIP

Award Winner: Carlisle Cathedral – Renewal of South Port Entrance

  • Client: The Dean & Chapter of Carlisle
  • Architect: Buttress Architects
  • Main Contractor: Lambert Walker Ltd
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Lambert Walker Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: Cumbrian Stone Ltd
  • Stone Used: St Bees

Most of the Abbey in the Carlisle city centre conservation area is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. A major restoration of the Cathedral in 1853-56 by the architect Ewan Christian created a new principal entrance in the south wall of the south transept. It is generally believed that the doorway was largely modelled on the doorway into the Chapter House at Southwell Minster in Nottinghamshire, which Christian also restored. Christian used St Bees sandstone from north-east Cumbria. This stone is the main building material for much of the cathedral, though in places other stones are used. The project involved replacing severely decayed stone and aimed to make the porch resistant to water. Two badly decayed carved angel label stops and the capitals to the orders of the archway were also re-carved and replaced. As sections of the stone were soft and friable and would have been unable to support any conservation intervention, it was decided to remove decayed sections of stone and replace them with newly carved and cut stone. The new St Bees stone was carefully selected to match, as far as possible, the original. Working with the masonry contractor and the carver, it was found that St Bees was quarrying stone of good quality, robust, able to take carving and likely to weather well. The carver replaced some areas which were already totally lost by carefully studying the existing pattern of carving and forming a view of the layout of vine leaves and small animals which were hidden in the vegetation. Each individual stone was bedded in lime mortar and fixed back to the existing masonry by two 12mm stainless steel threaded bars drilled at 45 degrees through the top of each stone and grouted in place. All joints were pointed using lime mortar. The judges commented that the finished product is excellent. Return to list of winners...

Highly Commended: Three New Gargoyles for Ripon Cathedral

  • Client: Ripon Cathedral
  • Architect: Caroe Architecture
  • Main Contractor: Ripon Cathedral Masons
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Ripon Cathedral Masons
  • Stone Supplier: Highmoor Quarry
  • Stone Used: Highmoor, Magnesian Limestone
  • Other Specialists Involved Alan Micklethwaite, Tom Nicholls, Martin Coward

Funded with a grant from the Cathedrals Fabric Commission, this project was part of a wider development that saw a programme of stonework repairs carried out on Ripon Cathedral. Stone for the new Gargoyles was selected to match the geology, texture, density and colour of the existing. To inform the stonework repair project, samples were taken and analysed by the British Geological Survey to provide an evidence base for sourcing all the new stone. There was a competition to find the carvers to undertake the work, and Alan Micklethwaite, Tom Nicholls and Martin Coward were selected from a shortlist of six. The entries went on public display at the Ripon Cathedral Festival, where they were judged. The Stone Awards judges were impressed by the distinct, characterful natures of each gargoyle. Yet while the subject and style varies, all successfully fit into context. Return to list of winners...

Commended: The Chicken House, Gloucestershire

  • Client: Mr & Mrs C Odey
  • Architect: Smallwood Architects
  • Main Contractor: Treasure & Son Ltd
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Treasure & Son Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: Forest of Dean Stone Firms Ltd
  • Stone Used: Forest of Dean Mixed and Blue Pennant
  • Other Companies Involved: Sinclair Johnston & Partners Ltd , Charles Gurrey - Carver & Sculptor

This newly constructed classical Ionic temple is made of locally-sourced Forest of Dean Mixed and Blue Pennant sandstone. The whole project required all of the traditional craftsmanship and design skills, combined with some more modern techniques and materials, in order to achieve the finished article. All the details are carefully designed and executed and well up to the standard of the finest classical buildings that the Stone Awards judges said they had seen in recent years. The work was carried out by four masons and there is the sense that they took great pains to finish every stone correctly. Joints are fine and regular and the hand carving of details excellent. The judges felt the craftsmanship of the four masons should be duly recognised. Return to list of winners... 

 

Commended: Imaginative Sculpture, St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle

  • Client: College of St. George
  • Architect: Martin Ashley Architects
  • Main Contractor: Szerelmey Conservation
  • Principal Stone Contractor: City & Guilds of London Art School
  • Stone Supplier: Syreford Quarries & Masonry Ltd
  • Stone Used: Syreford Cream

Built in 1528, St George’s Chapel has steadily evolved under the careful ownership of the Dean and Canons of Windsor whose far-sighted stewardship embraces change and new ideas. Many of the chapel’s grotesque sculptures had suffered from weathering due to their exposed positions on the building façade. No medieval originals survived, and several Victorian replicas had themselves become badly damaged. In commissioning new sculptures the Dean and Canons initiated a partnership with the City & Guilds of London Art School that, rather than attempt to create copies of what are themselves copies, continued the chapel’s 650-year old decorative tradition though a programme of contemporary sculpture. This has developed the knowledge and contextual design skills of a new generation of designers and craftspeople and ensured the survival of traditional techniques and skills. The judges were impressed with the way the work had been approached from its commission through to carving and the way in which it has been used as an educational tool. Return to list of winners...

Award category: TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION AWARD

Commended: Lions at Base of Obelisk – Private Estate, Oxfordshire

  • Architect: Whitfield Lockwood Associates
  • Main Contractor: Chichester Stoneworks Ltd
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Chichester Stoneworks Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: (1) ROCAMAT Pierre Naturelle (2) Syreford Quarries & Masonry Ltd (3) Realstone Ltd (ceased trading)
  • Stone Used: (1) Massangis (2) Syreford Cream (3) Derbyshire Gritstone
  • Other Companies Involved: Surf Dev Ltd; Stoneworld (Oxfordshire) Ltd

These hugely impressive lions on a private estate in Oxfordshire were an addition to a large stone obelisk created in 2012. The design was based around the Canova Lions at Chatsworth House, which, the Duke of Devonshire allowed to be scanned with lasers so they could be copied. The lions at Chatsworth were carved to fit against a monument and so were unfinished on one side. The missing sections had to be completed using computer design. Carved from the same carefully selected Massangis limestone as the earlier obelisk, each lion consists of five, meter-cubed blocks of the stone, first by a robot and then finished by hand. Both the robot and hand work took months. When finished the lions were set on pedestals of Syreford Cream and Derbyshire Gritstone to guard the four corners of the monument. Two sleep, while two are alert. The lions employ a mix of the most cutting edge technology in the capture of the digital images and the CNC robot work, complemented by the best traditional craft skills in hand finishing and installation. The judges felt that the use of innovative technology coupled with hand finishing illustrated the way the natural stone industry is evolving. Return to list of winners...  

Commended: Standing Stone Monoliths – Inverness Campus HIE

  • Client: Highlands & Islands Enterprise
  • Design Consultant Tristram Woolston
  • Main Contractor: J W Sutherland
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Caithness Flagstone Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: Caithness Flagstone Ltd
  • Stone Used: Caithness Flagstone

At the entrance of the newly constructed Inverness Campus HIE of the University of the Highlands and Islands are these standing stones, each 6m high and created using honed and brushed Caithness Flagstone. Two of the monoliths feature inset stainless steel lettering on the front. This was achieved by using a CNC workcentre to route out the letters in the stone so the waterjet cut steel lettering would fit flush into the surface of the stone. Each stone was made up of three segments, which were lowered down over an internal steel structure before being secured into place. The segments were constructed of four parts – a rear panel, two centre columns and the face. A series of holes were cored on the inside of the stones and steel pins resined in place. The four parts were sandwiched together to create the final shape. All of the segments were assembled off-site before being transported to site and lifted into place by crane. The judges thought these were technologically impressive, with the design exploiting the qualities of the Caithness stone. Return to list of winners... 

Commended: Granary Square Benches, King’s Cross, London

  • Client: Argent (Property Development) Services LLP
  • Architect: McChesney Architects
  • Main Contractor: Argent (Property Development) Services LLP
  • Principal Stone Contractor: S McConnell & Sons Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: DeLank Quarry Ltd
  • Stone Used: Cornish Granite

Outside London’s busy King’s Cross Station is Granary Square, one of London’s newest public spaces and one of the largest of its kind in Europe. The eight benches on it are formally arranged in facing pairs around four existing fountain pools. The design brief was a concept of a seamless bench 8m long with a potential weight of almost four tonnes. The complex shape and requirement for hidden LED lights meant CNC machining was essential. The stones were fully designed in a 3D solid modelling package which enabled all the components to be checked for positional accuracy. Each stone was accurately machined in the selected hard Cornish granite used. The benches had to be designed for strength and integrity, which had to be accompanied by accurate machining. Some extensive weight tests were required after assembly. Purpose made jigs allowing for accurate adjustment were made and used to connect key parts. The benches were too big to be made out of single pieces of stone. Each was constructed of five pieces which were assembled upside down. The benches were moved in a bespoke designed and built frame to eliminate any stresses and avoid any handling machinery coming into contact with the bench surfaces. Weight testing prescribed in the design guide was carried out, with loads of five tonnes being placed on critical joints. Return to list of winners...

Award category: SUSTAINABILITY

Award Winner: Mingary Castle Restoration

  • Client: Donald Houston
  • Architect: Shaw & Jagger Architects
  • Main Contractor: Ashley Thompson Ltd
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Caithness Flagstone Ltd
  • Stone Supplier: Caithness Flagstone Ltd
  • Stone Used: Caithness Flagstone

This 13th Century castle on the west coast of Scotland has been painstakingly repaired and restored. The architect felt strongly about using only indigenous Scottish stone for the project, something that may have been used when the castle was originally built. The entire project has been devised to be virtually 100% sustainable with the Caithness Flagstone the only new element. The majority of the materials used were reclaimed from the site. Retaining its historic character, the entire 13th century curtain wall masonry has been painstakingly repointed with matching lime mortar following an analysis of the original mix, and the exposed wallheads discretely capped with new copestones. Throughout the interior, estate home-grown oak has been used for the high quality timber work and, ensuring the future survival and sustainability of the entire structure, internal heating and power is supplied from a bio-mass plant combined with local wind and hydro generation. The hotel also predominantly uses locally produced food. The Stone Awards judges described this project as a highly successful and integrated conservation, restoration, and rehabilitation programme, where the combination of the broad range of applied masonry work and skill, in every degree, should be celebrated. Return to list of winners...

Highly Commended: The Quirang Sanctuary

  • Client: Stuart Mitchell
  • Architect: Lorn McNeal Architects
  • Main Contractor: Andrew Loudon
  • Principal Stone Contractor: Andrew Loudon
  • Stone Supplier: A & D Sutherland Ltd
  • Stone Used: Caithness Flagstone
  • Other Specialist Involved: Chris Brammall

Built in the grounds of Quirang Lodge at Staffin on the Isle of Skye, the Quirang Sanctuary is behind an original dry stone wall. Sula McEwan of Lorn Macneal Architects conceived the idea as a memorial for the client’s father. The building was constructed of locally sourced basalt field stone and boulders, supplemented with some Caithness Flagstone. It is built totally dry (apart from one small element) and uses more than 20tonnes of Caithness Flagstone. The whole project was technically challenging in dry stone construction and to make things more difficult it is all contained in a round structure. The level of technical achievement was recognised in 2015 when the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain awarded the Quirang Sanctuary a DSWA Pinnacle Award, its highest accolade. The Stone Award judges said the interior was impressive in the seclusion and memory it offers while, at the same time, it is a technically bold piece of dry stone dome construction where the central oculus resonates on the artistic quality of the underlying incised commemorative floor plaque and its setting. Return to list of winners...

To request a printed copy of the Awards souvenir brochure, click here. 

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