HIS & HERS HAD AN INVITATION THAT COULD NOT BE MISSED. WE GAZED UP AT THE PRINCIPAL HOTEL. ITS CLOCK-FACE RISES MAJESTICALLY ABOVE THE HUSTLE, BUSTLE AND TRAFFIC OF OXFORD ROAD. THIS HOTEL SEEMS A FITTING PLACE TO HOLD THE NORTHERN DESIGN AWARDS 2017. IT IS A GRAND GRADE II LISTED BUILDING. IT BOASTS A BEAUTIFULLY ORNATE, GLASS DOMED LOBBY. IT IS SOMEWHERE TO BE RECKONED WITH.
Words: Jean Hill
We checked in and found refuge in our spacious, comfortable rooms. A short time later, we emerged dressed to impress and ready to mingle and celebrate great design in the North West region. There are finalists and winners, yet it is all inspired. Dinner was served in a ‘grand ballroom’ space. More guests than ever before had come to experience the evening in style.
The dinner starter was confit and pressed Gressingham duck with figs, and a tomato jam. The duck, just a little coarse, added bite to moist flavour. The slow cooked beef cheek in a smooth sauce, was rich in taste and melted in the mouth. The caramel and chocolate tart carried a little salty sharpness to offset the dark, sticky sweetness.
Jazz Events have made it their mission to showcase architecture, interiors, retail, and landscape design in the North West. Trombé is associate sponsor. Shelley Bond, the Director of Events at Jazz, started the proceedings by paying tribute to all finalists and highlighting the quality of the entries.
Wayne Hemingway brought sparkle and spice to presenting the awards. SDA Architecture Ltd gained the award for Best Residential Architect. Their buildings impress, and are composed of clean dramatic lines, sky lights, and fine white space. They are rooted in their surrounding landscapes. Stone, glass and wood connect with the habitat. It makes for a green and pleasant prospect.
Arki Architects Ltd gained the award for Residential Build. The Autonomous Subterranean House, is that and more. Different levels of terraced build: layers of wood, stone and grass seem to emerge organically. This is an eco-build that incorporates solar panels. The interior has an industrial feel. The natural brick-work in the kitchen rises upwards to incorporate the gallery space.
Tom Howley won the award for Kitchen Retailer using natural brick, blue/grey units and a marbled, floaty grey, tiled floor. The award for Residential Landscaping Design went to David Keegan. The Eco Garden incorporates indoor and outdoor living. The view from the dining area is enticing. Huge tubs define the boundary of the garden, with a glorious Copper Beach feature. Herbs are contained alongside large grey stones in varying tones, that match the spaced, blocked fencing and beyond a glimpse of the encroaching landscape. I feel very privileged to have been there on the night.
For a complete list of winners, or to find out about entering the awards next year, visit: www.northerndesignawards.com
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