A Northamptonshire-based company has won a major design award for its innovative work creating a new young person’s centre in Suffolk.

Scotts of Thrapston, specialists in the design, manufacture and installation of creative buildings, was handed the RIBA Suffolk Design Award for its Lavenham Young Person’s Centre during a presentation dinner at Trinity Park, Ipswich.

The annual RIBA Suffolk awards have been running for more than 20 years and recognise buildings for their architectural design and quality. More than 20 entries were received for the 2018 awards, with a specially-selected judging panel visiting 10 shortlisted projects at the start of the year.

The Lavenham centre is a carbon efficient timber-framed building, which primarily offers pre-school education for two to five-year olds. It has the capacity for 48 pupils and includes a bright and spacious purpose-built play space, staff room, office space, toilets and a separate ‘quiet room’ to support children with special education needs. A large outdoor play area was also created using natural resources to enhance the children’s learning and development.

Richard Jarvis, Director for the buildings and joinery division at Scotts of Thrapston, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our work has been recognised in this way. The design brief was very specific as certain features were essential for the building, including high-vaulted ceilings. Sustainability and appearance were also important with a more natural aesthetic, externally and internally, being of paramount importance.

“We offer a complete ‘turnkey’ service from concept to completion which means we designed, engineered, manufactured and installed the building, with the handover taking place seven months after the order was placed, including a 21-week build programme.

“In this instance, Scotts’ in-house architectural team detailed and managed the project from RIBA stages 3-7 whilst fulfilling the roles of both Principal Designer and Main Contractor. As with all projects completed by Scotts, it was a priority to ensure a high level of attention to detail and specification of materials was maintained.”

The building is designed as a ‘hybrid’, using a traditional panelised timber frame with glulam supporting the main roof structure.

RIBA Suffolk Chairman Bryan Wybrow said: “There were some very notable entries and the judges decided to present two design awards and two commendations this year.”

The award stated that Lavenham Young Person’s Centre ‘sits well in the established context of the new Lavenham Village Hall and has many similarities, being designed by the same architect. Internally and externally, the materials and details are of high quality and the open and airy spaces were comfortably occupied by the full house of active children’.