Since 1990 The City of Durham Trust has given an annual Architectural Award to selected new buildings and restorations of existing buildings in the City of Durham. In recent years this award has been extended to internal restorations.
Each December Trustees consider all eligible buildings suggested to them, making site visits to consider such key factors as overall architectural challenge, adaptation to site, unity of design, interplay of form and function, and the use and quality of materials and detailing.
Criteria to consider What makes a good building? Quality is derived from:
Context(‘Places before buildings’): appropriate siting: relation to adjacent/nearby/surrounding buildings: acknowledgement of grain and character of city: (‘Durhamness’)
Massing: 3D disposition of different parts of a building (height, bulk, and silhouette)
Scale: dimension of building to other buildings and to dimension of human beings
Proportion: relation of parts of building to each other and to the whole
Rhythm: arrangement and size of constituent parts of façade (eg windows, bays); of solid to void, light and space
Integrity or honesty: e.g. order/formality of classical, or separate/articulation of gothic?
Expression: recognise a building for what it is: form and function
Materials: determine colour and texture; (can soften or sharpen differences between parts)
Details: intrinsic or added (ornamental, decoration)?
Quality of finish
Extent of challenge: last, but certainly not least