The winner of the Trust’s Architectural Award for 2013 has been awarded for the redesign and restoration of 57-59 Crossgate. The challenge lay in two premises erected in the first half of the twentieth century which, although doubtless more functionally efficient than the properties replaced, could hardly be said to add attraction or interest to this important city centre street. Without resorting to another re-build, the architect has taken advantage of the steeply sloping street to add an additional storey to each building, bringing them in conformity with the adjoining premises higher up the street, and to render the lower property to further indicate its ‘belonging’. Different colour renders continue the pattern set by the higher properties, Nos 53-56, all of which have had what the architect calls ‘a lick of paint’ so that a harmonious piece of streetscape has been created.
Items which contribute to the interest and attractiveness are the provision of strong window surrounds on the lower property and attachment of bays in the upper, the retention of the flagpole, indicating past use (as a RAF Club), and the insertion of a coffee shop, ‘The North East’s First Comic Book Shop.’ The dramatic change that has been brought about can be seen in the two photos.
The architect responsible for the design was Gary Hodgson (who, by coincidence, was connected with Eshwin Hall, which won last year’s award). The developer, Michael Williams, had a special interest in the project, since he lives opposite.
See Bulletin 76, Spring 2014, for details of this building and other candidates for the award.