Foyer nets first prize

PUBLISHED: 12:57 04 May 2007 | UPDATED: 22:46 28 May 2010

Celebrating after winning the award for the Foyer Project are, back, left to right, Richard Hall, chief executive Axiom Housing Association, Dan Horn, Fenland Council housing strategy and enabling manager, Patrick Burke of Burmor Construction, Jenny Wivel

Celebrating after winning the award for the Foyer Project are, back, left to right, Richard Hall, chief executive Axiom Housing Association, Dan Horn, Fenland Council housing strategy and enabling manager, Patrick Burke of Burmor Construction, Jenny Wivel

THE Foyer Project, part of the Nene Waterfront Regeneration scheme at Wisbech, carried off the prestigious regional award on Friday for the Best Public/Community Project in the LABC (Local Authority Building Control), East Anglia Built in Quality Awards 2

THE Foyer Project, part of the Nene Waterfront Regeneration scheme at Wisbech, carried off the prestigious regional award on Friday for the Best Public/Community Project in the LABC (Local Authority Building Control), East Anglia Built in Quality Awards 2007.

As a regional winner, the Foyer Project will go forward for the national award at London's Grosvenor House Hotel in October.

The Foyer Project was submitted for the award by the building's designers, Peterborough-based PDG Architects. The building was commissioned by Axiom Housing Association, but conceived as a flagship for the multi-million pound Nene Waterfront Regeneration scheme, which is set to transform the economic fortunes of Wisbech, and Fenland as a whole.

The Foyer faced stiff competition, beating off the entry from the internationally-renowned architects, Foster & Partners, with an entry for an extension to the University of East Anglia's Sainsbury Centre.

This is the second accolade the Nene Waterfront Regeneration Project has received. Last month, it scooped the Strategy and Master Planning Category in the Waterways Renaissance Awards run by the Waterways Trust and BURA (British Urban Regeneration Association).

The Foyer Project, which opened its doors to 17 young people in December, plays a vital role in providing accommodation, training and mentoring under one roof to help break the cycle of no home - no job - no home that faces many young people.

Fenland Council provided the land to build the Foyer and provided a grant of £330,000 towards the cost of the building. The concept was an integral part of the overall regeneration plan for the Nene Waterfront, funded by Fenland District Council, the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and the European Regeneration Development Fund administered by Go-East and English Partnerships.

Paul Hutchings, from PDG Architects, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have scooped this award in the face of such stiff competition from world-renowned architects. The competition is a measure of the quality of the entries for this regional award. We look forward now to the national awards.

"We designed a high quality building that would live up to its reputation as a flagship for the Nene Waterfront Regeneration project. The award would not have been possible without Burmor Construction, who were responsible for delivering this superbly-built project, the quality of which is evident from every angle as well as project managers Davis Langdon. As architects, we are particularly proud of the way the building blends into the riverscape. I'm sure it will add considerably to the stunning Nene Waterfront Regeneration project that is about to take shape across the river"

Richard Hall, chief executive of Axiom Housing Association, said: "The Foyer is a stunning building, It provides young people with a high-quality environment from which they can find their feet, educationally and in society. This kind of high quality environment will give generations of young people the start in life that they deserve. Our young residents love and appreciate this building. We believe it will help give them confidence to achieve their full potential in life."

Gary Garford, Fenland District Council's director of business and infrastructure, said: "Another award for the Nene Waterfront Project. Wonderful. The Foyer building is modern and very attractive and will be a major asset to the new environment that will be springing up alongside the river in the coming months and years. I am delighted Fenland District Council has been able to play a key role in creating a forward-looking environment for young people. PDG Architects, Burmor Construction, Axiom Housing Association and everyone who has been involved in creation of the Foyer Project are to be congratulated.

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