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Chilterns Buildings Design Awards

The Chilterns Buildings Design Awards are organised by the Chilterns Conservation Board and the Chiltern Society to encourage the highest possible quality of building design and thus conserve and enhance the character and outstanding natural beauty of the Chiltern Hills.

Entries must relate to buildings within the Chilterns and should be received by 1st March. The Awards Ceremony will be held in June when the overall winners will be presented with a plaque. Entries of high merit will be presented with certificates of commendation.

The expert panel of judges will take careful account of the advice given in The Chilterns Buildings Design Guide, in particular:

Buildings eligible for consideration include:

Details of previous winners are available from the Chilterns Conservation Board.

Terms of entry

  1. Entries or nominations are invited from members of the public, from clients, designers, contractors and local authorities.
  2. The scheme should have been completed in the course of the previous three years.
  3. The entries must reach the award organisers by 1st March, and the awards will be presented in June at a special awards ceremony.
  4. To ensure the judges understand the design, submissions should include a single page design report explaining the context for the scheme and how the issue of local distinctiveness has been addressed as well as site plans, drawings and photographs (at no greater than A4 size). A short-list for judges' visits will be prepared on the basis of the information given.
  5. Conversions/extensions should include 'before and after' photographs if possible.
  6. Please obtain permission from the owners and occupiers of the buildings for the judges to visit if required, and for the use of photographs.

Information required

  • Location of scheme (full postal address please)
  • Type of scheme (brief description)
  • Owner's name, address and telephone number.
  • Proposer's name, address, email address and telephone number.
  • Architect's/designer's name, address and telephone number.
  • Builder's name, address and telephone number
  • Proposer's signature with the current date

Please note that the judges' ruling is final.


All entries or nominations, which should include where possible the items listed in 'Terms of entry' above, can be sent by email or by post.

By email
Please use this link to send us your entry or nomination by email.

By post
Please use the form (PDF), which you can download here, to send your entry or nomination by post to the address below. Please note that clicking the above link will download the form to the default location for downloaded files on your device.

Chilterns Buildings Design Awards
Chiltern Society
White Hill Centre
White Hill

Tel: 01494 771250.

For further information visit chilternsaonb.org, call 01844 355507, or email design@chilternsociety.org.uk.

Chilterns Buildings Design Awards 2015 (Click to show/hide)

The 17th year of the awards and an outstanding year

We received 12 entries, all were high standard designs and to choose those to see was a major problem. The twelve entries were spread over three counties and six districts. Six were inside the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and six outside them but in the Green Belt.

The judges met to decide on our route a few days earlier, so, on the judging day we set out to see 7 of the entries as there is not time to see them all. We were in for a treat and the sun agreed with us. We had a great day and returned to the Conservation Board office to make the final decisions. This was so difficult that the day ended with a fierce discussion as to which were the winners and ended with one Highly Commended, and three Overall Winners. This is the first year this has ever happened!



Mulberry CottagE, Homer green

Mulberry Cottage

A new build Cottage with flintstone, red brick walls and three dormer windows in local style fitting well with its neighbouring old house, as can be seen in the photo. A good family home.
Owners; Mr and Mrs Fricker
Architect: David Parker
Architects: Watlington
Builder: Chiltern Construction, Homer Green, Bucks.


Kingfishers, Mill Lane, Henley-on-Thames


A nicely done renovation and extension of an old cottage. Insulation has been added and the new walls made of bricks from HG Matthews, locally manufactured to match the existing brickwork, especially the burnt headers which were used in the old building. Improvements against flooding have been added, so Kingfishers is now in the bracket of once in 100 years flood risk, rather than the once in 20 years it was before.
Owners: Mr and Mrs Mustarde
Architect: Robert Kennedy, Spratley Studios, Henley-on-Thames
Builder: Robin Hartley, Pack and Prime Lane, Henley-on-Thames.


A summerhouse, 6 Woodside Avenue, Chesham

A summerhouse

A charming little folly, built to shield the end of the long garden from the blank wall at its rear and erected by the owners with great attention to detail. Inside it is a charming space and could well be used as an office, poet’s writing room or children’s full size play house. An asset many people would like to own.
Owner, architect and builder: James White.


Highly Commended

Chiltern Hills Academy, Chesham

Chiltern Hills Academy

This was a collection of rather dull blocks built in the post war period. It has been extended by a large glass covered opening between the blocks, so that the blocks are linked in a rain-proof area (a great improvement for comfort) meaning the students have a central space for their canteen, library and study areas, while enjoying, through the glass walls on both levels, the superb views of the Chilterns, which were hardly visible from the old classroom windows. This has made a great contribution to the friendly atmosphere in the school. The ever present beauty of the landscape will surely grow an appreciation of the spiritual value of nature in the minds of the students lucky enough to study there. Plus the classroom improvements added at the same time, are examples of elegance, simplicity and technical up-to-date know how.
Principal: Mr Kevin Patrick
Architect: Marcus Burley BAM Design, BAM Construction.


Overall Winner (Renovation and Extension of a Cottage)

Crendon Cottage, Speen

Crendon Cottage

This is a careful and well considered renovation that has been done with real understanding of the Chilterns vernacular. Great attention to the original building has been shown, both in the break in the roof line, which shows the extension is the subservient part of the main building, and in the retention of the single storey timber clad previous extension on the other side of the main block respects the massing of the building with its incremental growth forming part of an organic whole.
Owners: Mr and Mrs E Barrett
Architect: Jeremy Symondson, Foursquare Land Ltd, Gt Hampden
Builder: Chris Warren Construction, Gt Missenden.


Overall Winner (New Building)

Warwick House, Old High Street, Hemel Hempstead

Warwick House

A new block of six modern flats, for a truly sensitive building to end the panorama of mixed styles of the lovely Old High Street. It picks up a lot of the motifs of the street‘s buildings and is a quiet and gentle example of building in the Regency idiom. These six new flats also fulfil a housing need in the town in a delightful way. The car parking is carefully concealed at the rear lower level and the side and rear windows overlook the park. This is a satisfying answer to the problem of building in an old country town without spoiling its ambiance.
Owner: Butler’s Mead Developments
Architect (and previous owner): Victor Warwick
Builder: Butler’s Mead Developments, Hatfield.


Overall Winner (Renovation and Restoration of a Listed Building)

The Great barn, Micklefield Hall, Sarratt Road, Rickmansworth

The Great Barn

This is a magnificent seven bay, double pitched roof tithe barn, dating from 1492, when it was owned by the abbot of St Albans Monastery. It was dismantled and moved to its present site in 1777 when Micklefield Hall was built. It had fallen into serious disrepair and the owners needed to bring it into modern use to cover the high cost of renovation. This has been done with great care and attention to detail. It is now a community asset where weddings and events are held. The ancient timber roof has all been maintained and repaired, with new wood matching the old where it could not be saved. The walls have been completely insulated outside the framework so that after re-cladding with timber, the addition is almost invisible. Kitchens and toilet facilities are contained in adjacent old farm buildings. The setting of the Great Barn with an entrance through a deep archway, opening onto a vista across the gardens is charmingly done.
Owners: Jamie and Anna Rankin
Architect: Jamie Rankin
Builders: Charlie Lang and CPLM, Scots Hill, Rickmansworth.

The Chilterns Buildings Design Awards 2016

This year, after much deliberation, it has been decided to postpone the awards. Fewer entries than normal were received and the judges felt that it would not be competitive enough. All the entrants have agreed to be put forward for next year's competition. Further entries from across the Chilterns area are encouraged for the 2017 competition – closing date is March 1st 2017.

The Chilterns Buildings Design Awards 2015 overall winners

The latest winner

2015 saw an unprecedented 3 joint overall winners. Read the full report at the bottom of this page.