The Future Cities Forum has announced the winners of its 2021 Summer Awards. The “High Streets” category was won by Coventry’s Burges Project, recently visited by CovSoc in May. The winners were judged by an all women panel of experts,
The overall criteria for the awards judging were whether the projects showed real vision in their concept and design and additionally but not least, sustainability in how they would be delivered and how they would add to their host cities. The judges were asked to consider the use of heritage to improve the high street from economic, social and aesthetic perspectives.
The Burges project was a partnership between Historic England, the Historic Coventry Trust and Coventry City Council with architects Corstorphine + Wright. The judges stated that “Historic England’s Heritage Action Zone programme has released funds for restoration and upgrading of one of the few remaining medieval / Victorian streetscapes in Coventry, including Hales Street and Palmer Lane, boosting the local economy and engaging directly and successfully with the community.“
The Burges project has restored and regenerated a forgotten part of Coventry’s historic townscape, boosting the local economy and celebrating the city’s rich heritage. The Burges area forms a key element of Coventry’s surviving historic townscape and includes three streets: The Burges, Palmer Lane and Hales Street, all of which lie within the Lady Herbert’s Garden Conservation Area.
Buildings on The Burges and Hales Street date from the late medieval period through to the 19th century. Palmer Lane is also a medieval street which runs alongside Coventry’s forgotten river, The Sherbourne.
The Burges area has survived many changes over time, from those made by city planners and architects in the 1930s to the devastation of the Coventry Blitz during the Second World War and the subsequent redevelopment of the city in the 1950s and 1960s.
Lack of investment in recent decades has seen the area decline, with the conservation area being added to Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.
The Coventry Society are partners in a consortium that is implementing the Coventry River Cultural Programme. This project is supporting the restoration work in the street with a programme of cultural activity.
Amongst the runners-up in the Science Cities category was Warwick University’s £30 million IBRB biomedical research building – designed by HawkinsBrown Architects and built by Wilmott Dixon – which includes the Wolfson Tissue Mechanobiology and Human Disease Laboratory.