Double honour for Francesca at Hertfordshire architects awards

A Welwyn-based architect has scooped two top prizes at the annual Hertfordshire Association of Architects awards.

WEAL-architects, headed by Francesca Weal, won the prize for the best domestic project in the county to be completed in the last 12 months and also the top award for conservation and restoration.

The domestic award was for her extension to a house in Canonsfield Road, Welwyn.

She transformed the rear of the house into a light and airy space for cooking and dining, linking home to garden.

Professor Chris Cross, chairman of the judges, explained how they had all been impressed by the “quiet and rigorously thought-through approach.”

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The conservation and restoration award went to the Thatched Barn in Norton Road, Letchworth.

This had been built in the 18th century with timbers salvaged from much earlier buildings.

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It was in a ruinous state of repair, and Professor Cross described the restored structure as “a sensuous and moving building, a labour of love.”

Francesca said she was delighted that the practice had won two awards for such differing types of project.

She said: “The Canonsfield Road project is unashamedly minimalist and modern.

“The Letchworth barn project uses sustainable materials such as lime, lath, sheepswool and hemcrete, creating a family home while honouring the ancient structure.

“Both projects show what can be achieved by close attention to detail and creative partnership with the clients.”

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