Social housing conversion wins architectural award

Bury Society presented Havebury Housing with an award for its conversion of  the long disused building into flats. ''Pictured: Havebury development officer Scott Bailey, Aoife O'Gorman (From MLT Architects), Chief Executive of Havebury Karen Mayhew and  Bury Society chairman Alan Jary
Bury Society presented Havebury Housing with an award for its conversion of the long disused building into flats. ''Pictured: Havebury development officer Scott Bailey, Aoife O'Gorman (From MLT Architects), Chief Executive of Havebury Karen Mayhew and Bury Society chairman Alan Jary

A building left to deteriorate for 20 years has won an architectural award for the way it was given a new life.

The Maltings in Mildenhall Road, Bury St Edmunds, is the only building the Bury Society felt worthy of one of its annual Architectural Awards this year.

The award was presented at the society’s annual general meeting on Wednesday to Scott Bailey, Havebury Housing Partnership’s head of development, and the architect Aoife O’Gorman, of Bury based MLT architects, by the society’s vice-chairman Karen Hurden.

Miss Hurden said transforming the building, which was last used as a carpet warehouse, into light and attractive flats ‘ must have been a very difficult project’.

Society chairman Alan Jary said: “The clever thing is the use of light wells to bring light into the heart of the building. Every apartment is getting natural daylight. They have used their imagination.

“This building was in disrepair and is now in pristine condition with a very good purpose.”

He stressed that the award is only given if the society’s judges feel there is a building, or buildings, worthy of it. Though it is intended as an annual award, it has not been made in years when the judges felt the town had no new buildings deserving of it.

Karen Mayhew, Chief Executive at Havebury Housing Partnership, said “We are delighted to have been recognised in this way by The Bury Society.

“It’s hugely rewarding for all those who have been involved with this development and the local community, to see the transformation of the derelict grade II listed building into thirty five stylish and attractive homes.”

MLT Architects was also responsible for turning The Maltings in Westgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, into homes.

The projects it has handled range from private homes to Glasswell’s distribution centre in Bury and a Blue Cross horse adoption centre in Derbyshire.

MLT is no stranger to awards. Littlethorpe House, a private home it designed in Honington, won the Best Sustainable Building 2012 in the LABC East Anglia Building Excellence Awards.

Its Millbrook House care home in Soham was shortlisted in the Community Benefit category of the RICS East of England Awards 2012 and rated as ‘excellent’ by the international sustainable building assessment body BREEAM.