GUEST ARTICLE: Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Hertfordshire Building Futures Awards

  • 16 Oct 2018

Cassiobury Park Hub Building in Watford, St Albans Museum & Gallery and Garden Avenue/Furzen Crescent in Hatfield were the winners at this year’s Hertfordshire Building Futures Awards, covered in Buildingtalk two weeks ago.

Cassiobury Park Hub Building in Watford has won the Most Sustainable Construction and Project of the Year Award in this year’s Hertfordshire Building Futures Awards.

St Albans Museum & Gallery has won the Retrofit for the Future Award, also scooping a Highly Commended Award in the Project of the Year category.

Garden Avenue/Furzen Crescent in Hatfield has won the Design Excellence Award.

The Awards were held on Thursday 4th October at Knebworth House and are sponsored by Hertfordshire Building Control.


Cassiobury Park Hub Building, Watford.

Knox Bhavan Architects worked with Watford Borough Council to create the new multi-purpose Cassiobury Park Hub Building (pictured above)

A single storey steel frame building which sits on a concrete podium, this elegant, central destination point has been designed to have minimal energy consumption.

The judges were highly impressed, awarding it both the Most Sustainable Construction Award and the Project of the Year Award.

Judges commented: “This is an outstanding example of how modern sustainable construction can be provided simply and can fit into a classic parkland landscape, while managing to produce a significant amount of renewable energy. People love it. Good design and some clever thinking have created a distinct character for the park.”

Adrien Waite, Development Manager Section Head at Watford Borough Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Cassiobury Park Hub/Paddling Pool has won two categories at the 2018 Hertfordshire Building Futures Awards.

“Thank you to all involved for their hard work in creating such an innovative and elegant building which is being used and enjoyed by many residents and visitors to Watford. To be recognised on such a scale is truly wonderful and we are very proud to have created a sustainable legacy for Watford.”


St Albans Museum & Gallery.

John McAslan & Partners architects worked with St Albans City & District Council to undertake an extensive refurbishment and redevelopment of the St Albans Museum & Gallery.

The functionality of the building was maximised and energy usage was significantly reduced, all whilst retaining and enhancing the building’s historic features.

The Grade II* Listed building now boasts extra space and annual energy savings of 19,500 kWH, resulting in a world-class cultural hub.



Judges were pleased with this transformative project and commented:”The rescue and restoration of this landmark Grade II* building has been carried out impressively, cleverly increasing the usable space while retaining the original features.

“Superb attention to detail has resulted in the sensitive refurbishment of this important historic building.

“The vision and energy of a highly motivated group of individuals and an outstanding contractor, has enabled the building to be resurrected as a major community asset, which the City and residents of St Albans can, justifiably, be very proud.”

Councillor Julian Daly, Portfolio Holder for Commercial and Development, comments: “The conversion of the Town Hall into a new museum and gallery is one of the boldest and most challenging projects ever undertaken by the Council.”

“It is very satisfying that the efforts of everyone involved have been given recognised with this award. The judges could see that a great deal of thought and care went into ensuring we created a highly-modern museum and gallery while retaining the essential character of the building.”


Garden Avenue and Furzen Crescent, Hatfield.

Rock Townsend Architects worked with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to redevelop council owned garage sites into 22 new flats and 7 new houses at Garden Avenue and Furzen Crescent, as part of the first Council Housing scheme in the borough for 25 years.

Garden Avenue

Garden Avenue

Judges were highly impressed by the energy efficient housing development: “The quality of design and thought sets a precedent for Council development, showing what a pared down functional play on traditional forms can achieve. Small is beautiful.”

Furzen Crescent

Furzen Crescent

Cllr Tony Kingsbury, Executive Member for Housing and Communities, said: “To receive such high praise from the judges is further recognition that we are leading the way in providing local people with quality affordable homes. The developments are simply outstanding and I’d like to thank everyone involved for their continued hard work.”


Now in its tenth year, these biennial Awards, hosted by the Building Futures Partnership, celebrate sustainability, innovation and design excellence in Hertfordshire.

Alongside the winners, there were projects who were highly commended in each of the four award categories of Project of the Year, Design Excellence, Retrofit for the Future and Most Sustainable Construction.

The winners and highly commended projects for each category are:

Project of the Year

Winner – Cassiobury Park Hub, Watford.
Highly Commended – St Albans Museum & Gallery.
Special Conservation Award – St Albans Cathedral.

Design Excellence

Winner – Garden Avenue/Furzen Crescent, Hatfield.
Highly Commended – 29 Firs Walk, Tewin and The Reserve, Waltham Cross.

Most Sustainable Construction

Winner – Cassiobury Park Hub Building, Watford.
Highly Commended – University of Hertfordshire, New Science Building, Hatfield.

Retrofit for the Future

Winner – St Albans Museum & Gallery.
Highly Commended – Apple Tree Farmhouse, Chorleywood Common.


Alongside the Awards, Hertfordshire Building Futures coordinates a Design Review Panel, providing independent review of projects during the planning process, and has developed a Sustainable Design Toolkit, which details guidance and regulations relevant to all types of buildings.

For more information about the Awards and other Building Futures’ initiatives, click here or email the Building Futures team at [email protected]

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