GALLERY: All the pictures from Fenland Building Design Awards won by stunning farmhouse

A STUNNING farmhouse which offers beautiful panoramic views of the Fens was last night crowned the winner of the 2011 Fenland Building Design Awards.

Cirrus, constructed on farmland at White Fen Farm, Whittlesey Road, Benwick, won two awards at the awards, staged at the Boathouse Business Centre, Wisbech, including the coveted trophy for overall winner.

The fourth awards, held by Fenland District Council in conjunction with the Cambs Times/Wisbech Standard, was attended by planning chiefs, designers, architects, builders and property owners whose projects were shortlisted for one of 13 categories.

Also in attendance were sponsors Collingwoods of March, Roberto Mac of March and Rose Homes of Whittlesey. Haven Home Improvements, of Wisbech, also sponsored the awards but were unable to attend the event.

The judging panel, which included representatives from the council’s planning and building control departments as well as Cambs Times/Wisbech Standard editor John Elworthy, selected Cirrus and the new Middle Level Commissioners office in March as the two contenders for the overall winner prize.

Announcing the winner, Mr Elworthy said it took some time to reach agreement and believed, after site visits, that both added substantially to Fenland’s heritage.

The setting and design of the Middle Level building was exceptional and it blended in remarkably well into the Fen landscape.

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Cirrus, the judges agreed, had been skilfully designed providing an exceptional home with panoramic views across the Fens.

Mr Elworthy said the judges felt the decision by Middle Level not to create a substantial open plan arena but to revert to traditional individual offices was, in their opinion, a detracting feature.

“It was, of course, their decision and it would have been presumptuous of us to have imposed our views on their planning but in terms of overall effect we felt this was an opportunity lost,” he said.

“Also, though, there was something special about the house at Benwick that just have it the edge.”

Cirrus also won the Best New Dwelling category at last night’s awards. Judges particularly praised a “horizontal emphasis which visually ties the building into the flat landscape”.

• Return to this website tomorrow for full winner details.

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