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The Mid Sussex Design Awards is held every three years to celebrate the best new architectural projects in the area and acknowledge the important role that high quality design plays in enhancing the distinctive character of Mid Sussex.

This year's awards were supported by Cordek, a local manufacturer of products for the construction industry.

The awards were presented by Cllr Andrew MacNaughton, Mid Sussex District Council Cabinet Member for Planning at a ceremony, held at East Court in East Grinstead on the 12th October 2018


The 2018 award winners were:

Judging Panel's report

View the Judging Panel's report

The People's Choice

For the first time, we gave the public a chance to tell us which schemes they feel most deserved an award.

The schemes were exhibited in the reception of our Haywards Heath offices and on our website for people to vote on.

The Beacon Heights scheme was commended for its impact in helping to regenerate Haywards Heath town centre as well as for its interesting contemporary and innovative design which it was felt could set a quality benchmark for future developments in the town. The green wall and choice of materials were also welcomed.

Judging Criteria

(A) Residential Extensions and Small Works

Small can be beautiful too – The judges will be looking for schemes that combine modest budget with good design. We recognise that high quality home-making and site-specific small works make a valuable contribution to the built environment which should not be overlooked.

(B) Small Residential Schemes (less than 10 dwellings and single houses)

Whether contemporary or traditional, the judges will be looking for site-specific schemes making a positive contribution to the local area. Regard will be given to developments that encompass a neighbourly and thoughtful approach to creating well-proportioned homes, built with attention to detail

(C) Large Residential Schemes – Greenfield (10 or more dwellings on previously undeveloped sites)

This category includes retirement and care homes.

Development of this type is often contentious. Judges will merit schemes where the developer recognises their design responsibility when impacting on a local environment.

Consideration will be given to schemes that create a strong sense of place in context with their local surroundings and that seek to provide the occupants with well laid out, practical and attractive dwellings.

Well-proportioned and well detailed design is valued and appreciation will be given to site- specific layouts. The design strategy for vehicle and pedestrian use within the site should be thoughtful and include well-designed and integrated open spaces.

(D) Large Residential Schemes – Brownfield (10 or more dwellings on previously developed sites)

This category includes retirement and care homes.

A successful scheme should set bench-mark for good design in response to context. Traditional or contemporary, re-use of existing or new build, such schemes should make a positive contribution to the local area with well-proportioned and well-detailed building solutions.

The quality of space designed for the occupant as well as the quality of design presented outwardly to the local community will be assessed.

(E) Non-residential Schemes

This category includes hotels.

Regard will be given to integrated design solutions that display unity of form, function, structure and aesthetics.

The panel will be looking for site specific, well-proportioned and well-detailed design that gives consideration to building users and the wider public.

(F) Conservation and Heritage schemes

Submissions are welcomed from Architects, Surveyors, Designers, Artisans and Specialist Trades, showing an understanding of the built environment past, present and future.

The judges recognise the value of this niche category for those working with traditional buildings and methods or engaging with contemporary solutions for historically sensitive buildings.

(G) Sustainability

Whether tried and tested or experimental and exploratory, an engagement with the sustainability agenda through design is to be welcomed.

Submissions may include small-scale domestic projects, landscape measures, re-cycling and energy efficiency measures, Passivhaus building and community projects.

Judging panel

  • Giles Ings, ABIR Architects (Chairman)
  • Jenny Lewin, Jennifer Lewin Architect
  • Mike Alete, Lewis & Hickey Architecture
  • James Rae, Geraghty Taylor Architects
  • Colin Trumble, MSDC Councillor
  • Norman Webster, MSDC Councillor
  • Steve King, MSDC Planning Applications Team Leader
  • Will Dorman, MSDC Urban Designer

The Award

A winning scheme is the best scheme within its category and must have achieved a high standard judged by the Panel. Commendations were awarded for other schemes that were judged to be well designed.

All Award winners and Commended schemes received a framed certificate. In addition to this Award winners received a 200mm diameter plaque that may be fixed to the awarded building. These are presented to the client and professionals involved in the design.

Judging day

The shortlisted schemes were visited by the Judging Panel on Tuesday 17th July and Tuesday 31st of July

2015 Winners

The Pheasantry, Turners Hill Road, Crawley Down

Design Award Winner in the Sustainability Category (A)

A development of 26 affordable family homes built for local residents on an exception site. All homes meet the Passivhaus standard, with insulation values two and a half times more efficient and air tightness five times better than housing built to current building regulation standards. By utilising mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, energy use is 3 times less than the average built home, with only two radiators required in each house for use during exceptionally cold conditions. There is no need for photovoltaic roof panels giving a cluttered free roof scape.

Tobias Place, East Grinstead

Design Award Winner in the Small-Scale Residential Category (B) and
Commendation in the Sustainability Category (A)

This project consists of the conversion and adaptation of a former hostel building, set in the Tobias School of Art and Therapy campus, into 9 one and two bedroomed flats, a guest apartment and community space. The buildings forming the campus are the only known buildings in the UK designed by Erik Asmussen and date from 1965. The original important features have been retained and the new elements are sympathetic to Asmussen’s original design intentions. The scheme includes a small stand-alone building of similar design and form containing the biomass woodchip boiler that serves a district heating system for the existing community, the new apartments and spaces and has adequate capacity to serve a future phase of 5 dwellings.

Bevan Bank, Cuckfield

Commendation in the Small-Scale Housing Category (B)

From the Whitemans Green road frontage there is little to give a clue as to the development tucked away behind the gabled elevation of the first property. The other 5 houses are accessed from a new long winding access road. The design and detailing of the houses is contemporary, but has drawn on examples of the architecture locally to the site, incorporating a palette of materials of brickwork, render, horizontal timber boarding, slate roofs and stone window reveals to create a design to reduce the mass of each individual dwelling.

Wilmington Way, Haywards Heath

Design Award Winner in the Large-Scale Residential Category (C)

This development of 186 houses and apartments completed in 2013 was a joint venture between Clarion Housing Housing Association and Linden Homes. The estate was originally built by Mid Sussex District Council in the mid 60's using a metal framed building system. A poor and outdated layout, together with the degradation of the two storey flat roofed accommodation led to the Council and Clarion Housing setting up a community steering group in 2005 to agree a master plan for the total redevelopment of the site to include 115 private homes and 71 social rented properties pepper-potted throughout the scheme. The two and three storied homes utilise a simple palette of face brickwork, painted render, weatherboarding and grey tiled roofs.

Corbett, Clayton, Cherry Tree Court, Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Burgess Hill

Commendation in the Large-Scale Residential Category (C)

A number of dated redundant office buildings occupied this important town centre site prior to the development of this residential scheme. MSDC set out the aspirations for this site in the Burgess Hill Town Centre Master Plan SPD, proposing Queen Elizabeth Avenue to be transformed into an attractive boulevard to improve the entrance to Burgess Hill from the west, with new buildings actively engaging with the road frontage. This development consists of 56 Assisted Living extra care units, 46 Retirement Living apartments and communal facilities and 22 age-restricted affordable apartments in three 4 and 5-storey blocks. The buildings principal facades face onto Queen Elizabeth Avenue with the return elevations fronting onto School Close and The Brow where the rear car parking is also accessed.

Woodlands Meed Special School

Design Award Winner in the Non-Residential Category (D)

This new build purpose built two storey school and nursery provides 140 places for 2 – 19 year old children with special educational needs and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties set within a shared campus with London Meed Primary School and Oakmeeds Community College in Burgess Hill. The school is rectilinear in plan with a wide central corridor providing access to spaces both sides. From the entrance and parking, the built form is of a simple brick public facade, punctuated by a limited number of windows. This is in complete contracts to the other side, where it opens up to engage with the playground. By contrast the other side opens up to engage with the playground. Here, a series of ‘pavilions’ have cleverly allowed natural light to flood the corridor space by creating a number of internal glazed atriums that are open to the elements which are used for play areas, gardens and even a chicken coop providing joyful distinctive areas of interest.

Cedar Lodge, Alexander House Hotel

Commendation in the Non-Residential Category (D)

Set within the historical grounds of this country hotel is a two storey flat-roofed linear building containing 19 luxury bedroom suites. Its contemporary design is in complete contrast to the mix of Victorian Gothic and Neo-Classical styles that characterise the main hotel building. The front façade of the new building faces the gravel approach to the main reception building and facilities and is articulated with projecting first floor balconies below an over-sailing roof. The support columns, balconies and cladding material are of wood, while the rear elevation is appropriately simpler in detail as it is adjacent the parking facilities. A spacious double height glazed entrance lobby houses the staircase and lift.

Last updated: 22 May 2023