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Sunday March 07, 2021

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Four designs have been shortlisted in an international competition to create a new £1.5m community hub for Sessay and Hutton Sessay. And over Christmas, people living in and around the villages will be able to vote on which of them they like best – and want to see transform their community.  Those votes will be used as one of the factors in the final choice.

The competition – funded by the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency  and run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) – saw 86 entries from all over the world, including from Japan, Guatamala and Australia!   The four shortlisted teams are now working up more detailed plans ready for the Christmas exhibition.  
They are:

  • Faed Browne Architects, Edinburgh
  • Gibson Thornley Architects Limited, London
  • Sutherland Hussey, Edinburgh
  • Daykin Marshall Studio with Edward Hutchison, Landscape Architect, London

The project to create a new community centre and sports pavilion is being led by Sessay Parish Council working in tandem with the Village Hall and Playing Fields Association.

Shortlist 3

The ambitious scheme follows the production of a Community Plan for Sessay and Hutton Sessay that set out to understand the community’s future needs and aspirations.  Organisers spent a year engaging and consulting with local people – including with children and young people.

The winning proposal will replace the existing outdated Village Hall, with a new, modern building and provide a second cricket pitch, Multi-Use Games Area for tennis and other sports, outdoor adventure play equipment, exercise equipment and allotment gardens.

“We were staggered, not just by the number of entries and by their quality and innovation – but that they came from across the globe,” said Sessay and Hutton Sessay Parish Council Chair, John MacPherson.

“We have chosen four very different designs to take forward to the next stage - we want this scheme to deliver the highest standards in design, functionality and construction and provide a new community hub that takes into account the special features of the Parish”. 

“This competition – and this new building – will put Sessay, and Hambleton, on the international map.   It is a very exciting opportunity for us - and one which we cannot wait to start building!”

Guy Musgrave, Chair of the Cricket Club and Village Hall Committee added “I am confident that the whole community will benefit from the thinking that has gone into this process, and the novel solutions proposed”.  

“We are now looking forward to a modern facility at the heart of our community that we will value for the long term, and a range of new sporting opportunities”.  

“We would like to thank the Govt's Homes and Communities Agency and Hambleton District Council for supporting us”.

A final decision on the winning design will take place in January at a meeting Chaired by Wayne Hemingway MBE, author and designer.

Many village communities are now feeling the loss of public facilities such as post offices, local pubs, libraries and other services.  The Parish of Sessay and Hutton Sessay in North Yorkshire has found a novel way of engaging the architectural profession to design them a new multi-functional village hub.

Sessay is situated on the edge of the Vale of York, six miles south of Thirsk, and has stunning views to the White Horse of Kilburn on the Hambleton Hills.

Shortlist 1

Robin Snell, RIBA Adviser to the Judging Panel added: “This was a terrific response to the first stage of the competition, with creative approaches to the brief for this emerging building typology – a Village Community Centre combining Cricket Club, Bowls Club, multi-use Hall and Social Centre. The four selected concepts represented those best able to be developed further to produce an innovative design proposal.”

Launched in September, this was the first Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) design competition to be funded by the Government's Homes and Community Agency ‘Community led Project Support Funding Programme’.  



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