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Natural stone awards for Buckingham Palace and York Minster

Natural stone projects at Buckingham Palace and York Minister are among those to win top honours in the 2012 Natural Stone Awards organised by Stone Federation Great Britain.

The awards are held every two years and are “a celebration of the use of natural stone as a traditional, yet vitally modern building material.”

There were also category-winning awards for cladding work at The Merchant Hotel in Belfast, for a new private house in Cumbria and the MoreLondon project in the city’s South Bank.

Work at Williamstrip Park House in Gloucestershire was another category award winner and there was a special mention for the Art in Stone project at London’s Green Park underground station.

The awards were presented by television personality, Charlie Luxton during a ceremony at Lord’s cricket ground in London on Friday (November 30). Charlie has fronted a wide range of construction based TV programmes, including DIY SOS, Build a New Life in the Country, I Own Britain’s Best Home and Brick by Brick: Rebuilding Britain.

He is passionate about sustainability and architecture, two topics that featured heavily in his informative, engaging address to the awards’ audience.

Stone Federation Chief Executive Jane Buxey explained “when coming to their decisions our expert judges considered a number of factors, including sympathy of scale to the project’s surroundings, an understanding of stone weathering, innovative use of stone and the quality of the work.”

The restoration of the east elevation of the quadrangle at Buckingham Palace won the “Repair and Restoration” category. Judges described it as “Imposing a myriad of conservation issues and as “a very impressive project.”

At York Minster work to restore the south quire buttress, turret and spirelet on the east front won the “Craftsmanship” award

MoreLondon, described as “A vibrant new city quarter including offices, hotel, health club, shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, an outdoor public performance space and a new home for the Unicorn Children’s Theatre” won the top award in the “Landscaping” category.

In Belfast the winning project was in the New Build Modern Style Stone Cladding section, updating a building originally built for a bank, to modernise it for use as a cosmopolitan hotel.

The construction of a new private house in Rigg Beck, Keswick, won top honours in the ”New Build Traditional Style” category.

A project at Williamstrip Park House in Gloucestershire won the “Interiors” category.”

A scheme conceived as part of the rebuilding of Green Park underground station won a special “Art in Stone” award for a new work of art intended to develop a unified work for the walls and flooring of all the station’s above-ground building.

Jane Buxey added “Although the winning companies receive a trophy and certificates, the prestige of gaining one of these top awards is probably the most important aspect of the competition. It is also a major mark of credibility when seeking new business in these difficult times.”

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