Radar station renovation in line for award for its architectural excellence

Bawdsey Transmitter Block. Picture: IAN LAMBERT/RIBA

Bawdsey Transmitter Block. Picture: IAN LAMBERT/RIBA - Credit: Archant

A £1.8million project to restore the world’s first fully operational radar station and create an important national heritage attraction has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The scheme at the Grade II* Transmitter Block at Bawdsey Manor has seen the building renovated with the creation of new displays inside telling the pioneering story of radar and its huge impact on the outcome of the Second World War and beyond.

Organisers of the heritage project had warned that without the work the building could have been closed to the public forever, as it was getting into a dangerous condition.

The project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England and others, and designed by Freeland Rees Roberts Architects, has now been nominated for a RIBA East (Royal Institute of British Architects) regional award.

It is one of three projects in Suffolk to be shortlisted – Downs House, by James Gorst Architects, and Five Acre Barn, by Blee Halligan, are the others.


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In Essex, St Chad’s housing, Thurrock, by Bell Phillips Architects, White Heather House, Southend-on-Sea, by SKArchitects, and Bracelet Close housing, Thurrock, by Bell Phillips Architects, are in line for awards.

In total 19 projects across East Anglia have been chosen.

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RIBA East director, Louise Todd said: “From the original 50 entries, the jury deliberated long and hard to decide which projects should move forward to the next stage.

“That 19 projects should make it through is testament to the inspiring architecture that the East of England offers.

“Eight of the projects involved practices based in our region – this demonstrates the wealth of knowledge and talent that exists locally to work with clients to create remarkable buildings, both new build and restoration or re-use.

“Well done to all the practices and clients involved in getting this far – I wish you all the best for the next stage of judging.”

All shortlisted buildings will be assessed by a regional jury during April, with the winning buildings announced at the RIBA East Awards celebration dinner on May 24.

Regional Award winners will then go on to be considered for a highly-coveted RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence.

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