SPAB Edinburgh, Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, Kevin McCloud, Historic British Architecture

SPAB Heritage Awards 2022

20 + 19 January 2022

Kevin McCloud to host new historic building awards

Channel 4’s Kevin McCloud will host the SPAB Heritage Awards that celebrate historic buildings and those that look after them

19th of January 2022 – Kevin McCloud, designer, writer and TV presenter, will host the SPAB Heritage Awards at an event in London this November.

The newly-launched SPAB Heritage Awards championing built heritage are welcoming entrants from across the UK and Ireland. Three new awards – Best Loved Building, Sustainable Heritage and Building Craftsperson of the Year – will join the SPAB’s established awards, Philip Webb and the John Betjeman Awards. Applications close on 28 March 2022.

Kevin McCloud:
Kevin McCloud
photo courtesy of Kevin McCloud

Kevin says: “These awards celebrate excellence in everything I hold dear: conservation, intelligent design, sustainability and craftsmanship. The appeal of ancient buildings and places is a strong and undeniable force.  It connects us to our past, points us to our future and helps us understand the value of our built and natural environments. In turn, these are powerful tools in helping us tackle the big new societal challenges of climate change, sustainability and energy efficiency. Now more than ever we need wisdom, clarity and the long view, qualities abounding within the SPAB.”

The closing date for award entries is 28 March 2022, with the exception of the Philip Webb design award which will close on 12 September 2022. All entries will be judged by a selection of specialists working across the building conservation sector. Winners will receive their award from Kevin McCloud at an event at Conway Hall in London, the atmospheric 1920s headquarters of the Ethical Society.

This is 2020’s Philip Webb Award winner’s scheme from Jess Tyson of Nottingham University. She designed a scheme to create a new Nottingham Arts Centre from a complex of buildings including the city’s former Guildhall and Fire Station. Jess’s scheme gave a nod to sustainability and continued community use – something that really impressed the judges:
SPAB Heritage Awards 2022 PWA 2020 winner Jess Tyson
photo : Jess Tyson

Matthew Slocombe, SPAB Director says: “The SPAB has always championed the traditional skills needed to look after our old buildings. Old buildings contribute positively to the world’s beauty and sustainability. When cared for well, they improve the quality of people’s lives and promote wellbeing. The SPAB Heritage Awards celebrate our historic buildings and those that care for them”

Chris Hamill won first prize in the 2018 Philip Webb Award for his thoughtful and thought-provoking scheme at the disused former Armagh Gaol building. Chris’s project keeps the site in repair and in use, while allowing the community time and scope to consider a long-term future that respects its social and architectural significance, and negotiates its troubled history. His proposal includes in-between uses of the site, temporary removable structures, and explores the opportunity to use the building as a training centre for traditional building skills:
SPAB Heritage Awards 2022 - Chris Hamill first prize in 2018 Philip Webb Award
image : Chris Hamill

The Best Loved Award is for the buildings that have been kept in good repair, that are well-maintained and loved by the community and/or their owner. This award not only recognises the building itself but also the owners, managers, professionals, practitioners and volunteers involved in carrying out regular maintenance and looking after the building. There is a public building and a private building category. The final winners of the SPAB Heritage Best Loved Award will be voted for by the public.

The Sustainable Heritage Award celebrates projects that take a ‘whole building’ approach when tackling sustainability. Winning projects will showcase best practice in sympathetic repair of historic fabric; good new design in historic context; and the sensitive use of appropriate materials and techniques to upgrade or improve a building.

The Building Craftsperson of the Year Award recognises the best up-and-coming craftspeople working with traditional materials and old buildings across the UK and Ireland. The award is open to craftspeople and builders under the age of thirty or craftspeople and builders of any age who are new to their trade, following a career move. This award celebrates excellence in craft skills, whether that’s exemplified by someone working in traditional forms of construction (e.g. bricklayer, conservation builder, glazier) or in a related skills area (e.g. sign writing, wallpaper printing, clock making).

The Philip Webb Award is a design competition that asks entrants to devise a scheme which sympathetically revitalises a historic building for reuse through careful repair of existing fabric and a significant element of new construction in a contemporary design. It is open to recent Part II graduates and current Part II students from Schools of Architecture in the UK and Ireland.

St Doulagh’s Church in Balgriffin, Co Dublin won the John Betjeman Award in 2020 for the exemplary conservation of the stone roof – carried out by Oldstone. Its 12th century stone oratory is believed to be the oldest stone-roofed building of its type still in use for worship in Ireland. Judges loved the honesty of repair and the retention of original fabric:
St Doulagh’s Church in Balgriffin, Co Dublin, Ireland - SPAB Heritage Awards 2022
image : Oldstone conservation Ltd

The John Betjeman Award celebrates excellence in the repair of places of worship of all denominations and faiths. The award is given for repair projects at historic faith buildings (such as churches, chapels, meeting houses, synagogues, mosques, temples) which remain in use for worship. Cathedrals of any denomination are not eligible. Projects can be of any scale but must be for a specific part of the building’s fabric or a significant element of its fittings or furnishings, rather than a general programme of works. Projects must have been carried out within the previous two years.

The SPAB is delighted to welcome Storm Bespoke Secondary Glazing, a company the SPAB has worked with for 15 years, on board as the headline sponsor of the SPAB Heritage Awards. Terra Measurement, a surveying, measurement and engineering services company, sponsor the Philip Webb Award.

Companies interested in sponsoring the SPAB’s other awards should contact the SPAB: [email protected]

All awards are open to entrants from the UK and Ireland. The main entry period runs 1 October 2021 – 28 March 2022. The Philip Webb Award entry period runs: 18 July – 12 September.

For further information about the awards please visit the SPAB website:

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) was founded by William Morris 140 years ago to care for and preserve the UK’s architectural heritage. Since its foundation, SPAB has been committed to maintenance matters, in line with William Morris’ exhortation to: “Stave off decay by daily care.” Today it is a dynamic organisation, and registered charity (no. 231307), taking building conservation into the future.

Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings, 37 Spital Square, London, E16DY, United Kingdom

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8 June 2021

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Dunblane Cathedral, Scotland, prior to restoration of the building in 1890:
Dunblane Cathedral, Scotland
image courtesy of SPAB Archive

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