Architects' honour for artist's studio

A SUFFOLK artist's studio, described by the judges as “a little gem”, has beaten off competition from major construction projects to win a regional architecture award.

A SUFFOLK artist's studio, described by the judges as “a little gem”, has beaten off competition from major construction projects to win a regional architecture award.

The structure, about the size of a single garage, stands in a cottage garden in Wickham Market and was designed for artist Michael Hughes by his son, Tom Hughes, of Nottingham-based architects firm 2hD.

Together with a new medical centre in Devon, it was named joint winner in the Royal Institute of British Architects' 2009 awards for the East Midlands, in the category for buildings designed by architects from the region but built elsewhere and deemed of excellence in their design and construction.

Tom Hughes, who was educated at Ipswich School, runs 2hD with his wife, Alina, who is also an architect, and engineer Thibault Duvalder.

The Wickham Market studio was build by father and son team Peter and Alistair Howard, from Melton, near Woodbridge, who trade as P J Howard & Son.

Michael Hughes, a former EADT journalist, said: “We knew the project had been shortlisted, but thought we didn't stand a chance of winning as it certainly is small fry compared to the other contenders.

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“We were stunned when the winners were announced. It was a great moment for everyone involved, for 2hD and for Peter and his wife Jean, their son Ali and the team from Woodbridge.”