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The Reigate Society Awards 2011

These were announced and presented during the Reigate Society's Members' Evening on 10 October 2011. The judging panel's comments on the five award winning developments are given below.

Redhill Baptist Church, Hatchlands Road, Redhill

Refurbishment of church and community centre

The Redhill Baptist Church and Community Centre refurbishment is the product of an innovative architect working effectively with a fully committed client team which was willing to be clear but flexible in its brief.

The exacting demands of the client are seen in all aspects of the completed building, as are the creative design ideas of the architects, which have turned a very plain existing building with limited facilities into one which is attractive and which boasts excellent facilities and finishes.

Historically, Redhill Baptist Church has been a landmark building on the main road between Redhill and Reigate, and though its growth in parishioner numbers prompted the fairly recent construction of the new Reigate Baptist Church, continued parishioner growth in Redhill required refurbishment and expansion of those facilities, resulting in an increased floor area of some 33%.

Key to planning of the development has been has been repositioning of the front entrance in the form of a two storey glazed atrium on the west elevation providing an attractive access at the lobby junction between church and community centre. To the rear of the site a steeply sloping area of land has been formed into a grass play area with direct access from first floor mothers and toddlers group facilities, while at the front of the site what had been a misused area of hard standing between pavement and site has been acquired by the church to form part of a landscaped setting for the development.

Internally all spaces work effectively with expandable meeting rooms at ground floor by provision of acoustic folding screens, each room having its own access and connection to kitchen facilities.

The architect's attention to detail is exemplified by the back lit glass cross motif on the old building front façade as viewed inside the church itself.

Because this refurbishment has been such a success in terms of overall design and in the context of a church dedicated to serving the community around it, the panel decided it is appropriate to confer the award.

Reigate Baptist Church and Community Centre, Sycamore Walk, Woodhatch

New church and community centre

Reigate Baptist Church & Community Centre is a well designed new building which has a scale and form that blends well into its suburban context. The retiring nature of this building is reflected in the unusual sense of peace and tranquillity both in its setting and also inside the building.

The welcoming entrance to the building is designed as a generous two storey atrium forming a central core linking church and community centre facilities. This impression of 'welcome' is enhanced by the warmth of the ochre and yellow multicolour brickwork throughout the building.

Standards of finish and detail are excellent, and the facilities provided are of the highest order.

All spaces are well designed, particularly that of the church itself, in which its multi-facetted shapes and use of ceiling mounted acoustic panelling has added to the overall sense of peaceful contemplation.

The panel are of the opinion that this new church and community centre are of a good design standard creating a fitting environment for their purpose, and which therefore are deserving of an award.

Reigate Community Centre, Methodist Church, High Street, Reigate

New extension to existing church

Reigate Methodist Church is in the enviable position of being in the centre of Reigate where it is able to provide facilities at the heart of the community. It has always been well known as a place to meet and local events have frequently taken place there.

The church fully understood the advantages of its position and saw the opportunity to expand and provide enhanced services to the community, which it has now achieved with a rebuild programme on the site of the previous community hall.

The result is a major new building which works well with the existing church internally and externally, both complementing and contrasting with it, and thus the slate roofs match, while the red brick walls contrast with the Reigate stone walls of the old church.

In spite of a restricted budget and insistence by the Borough Council on expensive construction methods which has resulted in the use of Flemish and English bond in the external brickwork, the project has been a great success.

Architecturally, the circular window head motifs from the old church windows are repeated on the new community centre windows which give a strong visual sense of continuity externally and internally.

Because this is a well designed building which has made a significant effort to fit into the architectural context of Reigate town centre while creating a facility which will make a significant contribution to the life and community of the town, the panel recommend that this project receives an award.

Earlswood Community Recycling Centre, Horley Road, Redhill

Improved facilities serving the community

This facility was developed by Surrey County Council with the technical assistance of their contractor SITA, and working closely with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council.

Located south of Redhill, it provides a valuable service to a significant number of people in a large catchment area around Reigate and Redhill, and replaces a centre at the same location which was congested, dangerous and inefficient.

The new recycling centre by contrast is well planned, very efficiently run, and safe. It was remarked by the panel when visiting the site that other users repeatedly commented on the great improvement provided by this facility.

The employment of two levels to segregate the working yard where lorries and skips park and circulate from the public area access parking and movement areas is very good. Similarly the signage and direction notices are well positioned, clear and simple, enabling the public to use the site efficiently and safely.

In creating the new facility, access to the site from the busy A23 has been substantially improved to relieve a potentially dangerous situation by creating a long on site road circuit which takes queueing off the A23, a heavily used single lane trunk road.

Because of its great benefit to the wider community, the panel are of the opinion that this public facility should receive an award.

Chart Lodge, 24 Chart Lane, Reigate

Sympathetic restoration

Chart Lodge is a beautifully detailed Victorian town house which over many years had fallen into disrepair through neglect, with spalling stone window arches, peeling paintwork, and grimy brickwork. The grounds were badly overgrown and the lean-to utility shed disintegrating, while the interior had deteriorated badly.

The building was purchased by its new owner and over about three years has been lovingly returned to its proper condition, with cleaned and re-pointed brickwork, re-painted timberwork, and the utility shed replaced by a tastefully designed and proportionate conservatory which forms a dining area extending for the full wall width off the modest kitchen. Great care has been taken to retain all interior features such as doors and pitch pine floor boarding.

An extension at first floor has been built over the west wing of the building to create a new bedroom. This has been very effectively executed with reclaimed brickwork from part of the property boundary walling. Guttering and fascias along with tiles etc have been carefully taken down, cleaned and re-used on the extension.

Internally decoration has been tastefully carried out to match the building, complemented by period style furniture while fire places have been returned to their former state.

The panel found the project to be a wonderful example of restoration, an absolute gem, and a perfect example of effective recycling which led the panel to have no hesitation in giving the project an award.

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