Southampton’s Sea City Museum and part of the QE2 Mile are challenging for the top accolades in the 2012 Solent Design Awards.
The judging takes place on Monday 15 October but voting is now open in the People’s Poll so the public can choose their favourite entry.
Organised by the University of Portsmouth, the Solent Design Awards aim to encourage high quality place-making and the shortlisted schemes all demonstrate how well-designed buildings, streets and venues can create special places which add real value to their communities.
The University of Portsmouth’s Paul Grover, who is managing the awards, has praised the diversity of the shortlist. He described Southampton’s SeaCIty Museum as a “brilliant conversion of the old Magistrates’ Court, using courtrooms as display spaces while former police cells have been transformed into toilets.”
He added: “SeaCity Museum is a bold design which captures 21st Century imagination while sustaining the integrity of the original structure.”
Speaking about the QE2 Mile, Paul said: “The Holyrood Square section of the QE2 Mile has been transformed from a traffic-saturated space into a serene pedestrianised urban square. The whole area has been de-cluttered and the creation of the Merchant Navy Memorial has added a landmark for the area and for the whole QE2 Mile.”
Alongside the professional judging, the community is being invited to choose a winner from the shortlisted entries. All the designs can be viewed on the Solent Awards website at www.solentdesignawards.org.uk and voters will need to register online to cast their vote between 1 and 31 October.
Paul said: “We hope for a good response to the poll. The public’s view is as important as the professionals’ as they are the people who have to live with the design and can really attest to its true value.”
Other shortlisted entries include Forest Park special needs school in Totton, housing developments in Andover and Portsmouth, Royal Clarence Marina in Gosport and Winchester High Street.
The final judging will be done by an expert panel which includes Bryan Avery, design director of Avery Architects (best known for IMAX London and the Museum of the Moving Image), Prof. Lorraine Farrelly, Deputy Head of the School of Architecture at the University of Portsmouth, architect and town planner Terence O’ Rourke, and urban designer Lisa Jackson.
The awards, sponsored by construction group Bouygues UK, the Barker Mill Foundation, the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) and the University of Portsmouth, will be presented at a special dinner in Portsmouth Guildhall on 13 November.