Top awards for Norwich buildings

Jon WelchTwo Norfolk building projects have been named among the winners of prestigious awards for architecture.Jon Welch

Two Norfolk building projects have been named among the winners of prestigious awards for architecture.

Norwich Cathedral Hostry and Hunsett Mill at Stalham are among seven East of England winners in the RIBA Awards for architectural excellence.

The Hostry, designed by London-based Hopkins Architects, is the second building of a two-phase �12.5m project, funded mostly by Norwich Cathedral and charitable donations.

The new hostry has been created on the site of the cathedral's medieval original and, together with the new Refectory building, provides the visitors with a greatly improved range of facilities.

The design of the buildings drew on historic precedent, and responded to immensely complex heritage, archaeological and ecclesiastical planning issues.

The design also emphasizes the hospitable and educational ethos of the Benedictine order. The new buildings are constructed on, or very close to, medieval walls, touching them very lightly, and most of the structure is built from locally-sourced traditional materials.

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The winning project at Hunsett Mill was an extension to a 19th century mill-keeper's house, next to the grade two-listed mill.

The house was the residence for the keeper of the mill until 1900, when electricity made wind-powered pumps redundant.

In order for the new extension to retreat behind the listed setting of the mill, the new additions to the house are designed as shadows of the existing house.

The structure of the extension is made entirely from solid laminated wood, which is exposed in the interior and clad in charred cedar boards externally. Ground source heat pumps, passive solar heating, independent water well supply and a new treatment plant will make the house almost fully self-sufficient.

Louise Todd, regional director of RIBA East, said: 'Yet again, the East of England has proved that it is a leading light in architectural excellence.

'Each project is unique in its own way and shows how really good buildings can make a difference to individuals, communities and businesses alike. I extend my warm congratulations to the winning architects and my thanks to the clients for making these inspiring projects possible.'

Have you won a prestigious award? Call reporter Jon Welch on 01603 772476 or email