East Anglian connection takes surveyors' awards

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The Independent Online
LIVERPOOL Street railway station, gateway to East Anglia, has won first prize in a national environmental competition organised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

The recently replanned and restored terminus in central London is also winner of the Rics annual building conservation award.

The showpiece station, fusing Victorian architecture (some of it reproduction) and hi-tech design without resort to kitsch or embarrassing pastiche, has shown what British Rail architects and designers can do when adequately funded and left to get on with a job they have been doing well for 150 years - aside from a hiccup in the Sixties and Seventies.

The awards, handed out last night by Robert Kilroy-Silk, are in recognition of the handsome and functional station that marries history with advanced technology and links the City of London to Stansted airport.

The new airport terminal at Stansted is, by chance, winner of the Rics contiguous efficient building award for 1992. Smart new trains run into the basement of this much-acclaimed building designed by Sir Norman Foster and Partners for the British Airports Authority.

This particular award 'honours design and construction which ensure efficient use of space and energy throughout the lifetime of a building'.

It might be early days for the competition judges - who included Sir David Hunt, former diplomat and BBC television's Mastermind champion for 1977 - to gauge the efficiency of the stunning new terminal but they were 'particularly impressed with the way the building has met a functional brief in a way that delights the passenger. Its maximum use of natural light and efficient use of space promotes confidence in its uses and reduces the tension shown in air travel'.

Still in East Anglia, the Rics judges chose the restored west doorway of King's College chapel, Cambridge, as winner of the institution's craftsmanship in conservation award.

The doorway was added to the perpendicular Gothic chapel in 1513. Crafted from magnesium limestone, the doorway has had to be repaired many times, but the last restoration was carried out in an unsympathetic manner employing strong modern cement and mortar.

The heraldic Gothic doorway has now been restored to its original 16th century condition using appropriate materials.

Although apparently unable to tear themselves away from East Anglia, the judges stretched a geographical point by declaring the Canning conservation area, Liverpool, and Newcastle Business Park as joint winners of the Rics urban renewal award.

(Photographs omitted)