Berwickshire mansion and estate among winners at design awards

Leet Haugh at Coldstream.
Leet Haugh at Coldstream.

A Berwickshire housing development was among the winners of this year’s Scottish Borders Design Awards announced this week.

Coldstream’s ongoing Leet Haugh project, off Duns Road, was one of five winners revealed at a ceremony held at Scottish Borders Council’s Newtown headquarters on Monday.

Councillor Ron Smith giving Marchmont House's award to owner Hugo Burge and surveyor Hugh Garratt.

Councillor Ron Smith giving Marchmont House's award to owner Hugo Burge and surveyor Hugh Garratt.

The award scheme, founded in 1984 and run every two years, is organised by the council’s planning and regulatory service to highlight good practice, inspire those responsible for new developments and seek to raise the standard of building design in the region.

The Leet Haugh estate, designed by Galashiels architecture firm Aitken Turnbull for Peebles-based developer and builder Hudson Hirsel, won the award for placemaking.

A spokesman for the competition’s judges said: “With two phases completed, there is now a real sense of place.

“There is a hierarchy of space and a lovely contrast between the courtyard and the large village green.

“The houses have a vernacular theme, and great care has been taken to provide distinctive homes.

“The vision of the landowner has been energetically embraced and enhanced by the developer to provide a step change for placemaking within the Borders.”

The 100-plus-home development, on the edge of the Hirsel Estate, is a mix of two-bedroom flats, three-bedroom townhouses and family homes offering three to five bedrooms.

It was granted planning permission in 2010, and construction began the year after.

Another Berwickshire development among the five winners was Marchmont House, between Polwarth and Greenlaw.

Designed by Ladykirk firm Smith and Garratt for Marchmont Farms, recent work on the home, built from 1750 onwards, picked up a special award for conservation and design:

The judges’ spokesman said: “The internal remodelling of this great house involved a complex interplay of technical, historic fabric and artistic matters to be reconciled with the need to create a home for the 21st century.

“The attention to detail is meticulous, with the surveyors working closely with many Borders craftspeople.

“The result is a tour de force, with a sequence of rooms and spaces which both inspire and surprise.”

This year’s other winners were, for new-build residential, the Wave at Kirkton Manor, south west of Peebles; for new-build commercial, the new sports hall at Peebles High School; and, for work to an existing building, Blakeburn at Gattonside, near Melrose.

Commendations went to Little Lindisfarne at Hawick; Maple Tree House at Darnick, near Melrose; Born in the Borders at Lanton Mill, near Jedburgh; and Old School Place at Lauder.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor Ron Smith, the council’s executive member for planning and environment and chairman of its planning and building standards committee, said: “Once again, the entries for these awards have highlighted the high quality of building design right across the Scottish Borders.

“The judges had a difficult task in selecting winners from the large number of entries.

“Hopefully, the winning and commended designs, which are innovative, contemporary and forward-thinking, will inspire future projects in the region and beyond.”

Some 30 entries were received altogether.

The awards’ independent judging panel was chaired by Andy Millar, former built and natural heritage manager for the council, with David Suttie representing the Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland and Iain Connelly acting for the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

Mr Millar, of Peebles, said: “We shortlisted, then visited 13 entries. Many thanks to all entrants and especially to those we met on the visits.

“These two days were rewarding and inspiring, and the panel is pleased to announce the five awards and four commendations.”