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Award-winning ways with stone

The triennial 2003 Natural Stone Craft Awards, organised by The Worshipful Company of Masons of London, attracted a wide variety of entries. We show the winners in the three categories

Category 1: New buildings in natural stone

THE WINNER: THE QUEEN'S GALLERY, BUCKINGHAM PALACE (Stonemason Cathedral Works Organisation; architect John Simpson & Partners; client the Royal Collection Trust; main contractor Wates Construction. ) The judges admired the excellent craft skills evident from the submission, and the feeling for material on the part of the designers. The project comprises eight different elements including the art gallery (largely re-used Portland stone); the garden pavilion in Hartham Park Bath stone; the entrance hall in rusticated Bath stone ashlar; and the portico with its eight fluted Portland stone columns.

RUNNER-UP: BUILDING AT SOUTHWARK CATHEDRAL (Stonemason Paye Stonework & Restoration Ltd; architect Richard Griffiths Architects; client Southwark Cathedral; main contractor Walter Lilly. )

SPECIAL COMMENDATION: MERRILL LYNCH FINANCIAL CENTRE, LONDON EC1 (Stonemason Bath & Portland Stone; architect Swanke Hayden Connell; stone contractor Techcrete; client Merrill Lynch Europe; main contractor Mace. )

Category 2: Repair and restoration

THE WINNER: ST ETHELBURGA'S CENTRE FOR RECONCILIATION AND PEACE, BISHOPSGATE, LONDON EC2 (Stonemason St Blaise Ltd; architect Purcell Miller Tritton; client Trustees of St Ethelburga's Centre; main contractor St Blaise. ) The judges were very impressed by this high-quality project, an unusual mixture of reconstruction, repair and new work following a terrorist bomb blast in 1993.Wherever possible, stone from the original building was reused, with stones individually sorted and labelled.The front elevation uses Kentish ragstone rubble, of which 15 per cent was reused.Reigate dressed stone was also saved, while the west front is founded on original footings.Remaining standing walls were carefully conserved, while replacement fabric is clearly identified.Floors have been laid with new Portland stone, with the exception of the sanctuary, which uses salvaged Yorkstone.The centre is housed largely within the structure of the church.

RUNNER-UP: WELLINGTON ARCH, HYDE PARK CORNER, LONDON (Stonemason Stonewest; architect and client English Heritage; main contractor Mansell Construction Services. )

Category 3: Craft projects excluding buildings

THE WINNER: 16 OLD BAILEY, LONDON EC4 (Stonemason Paye Stonework & Restoration; architect GMW Architects; client Hammerson; main contractor Carillion. ) This exemplary project involved the construction of a new south elevation on a 19th-century Portland stone building, replicating in Portland stone the main front facade to comply with planning requirements.An on-site carving shop was established to ensure accurate replication of the relevant details.The carvers spent three months handworking fine detail from sawn blocks brought to site.A detailed survey of the existing enriched stonework was carried out and production drawings derived that were then used by the carvers.Other elevations were cleaned using fine nebulous water spray, and repaired with natural stone, and indents and lime mortars.

RUNNER-UP: MEMORIAL GATES, CONSTITUTION HILL, LONDON SW1 (Stonemason Cathedral Works Organisation; architect Liam O'Connor; client Memorial Gates Trust; main contractor Geoffrey Osborne Ltd. )

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