We're delighted to announce our Project of the Year 2017 — British Airways I-360 in Brighton — and the other seven category winners for the RICS Awards 2017, South East.

47 of the South East’s most impressive and community beneficial property schemes battled it out for top honours at the RICS Awards 2017, South East. TV Presenter Sameena Ali-Khan hosted this year’s sell-out ceremony, held at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, which attracted over 200 local property professionals.

View the winners' brochure

Project of the Year — British Airways I-360, Brighton

The highly acclaimed Project of the Year title is presented to the scheme which demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area. British Airways I-360 — delivered by Marks Barfield Architects and Hollandia Infra for Brighton i360 LTD — has given the city of Brighton a new 21st Century landmark that has once again transformed the south coast skyline.

The British Airways i360 is the world’s tallest moving observation tower, encompassing a 162-metre-tall vertical tower with a futuristic glass observation pod that lifts 200 passengers to a height of 138 metres. It’s design and engineering is an impressive as it is innovative and this exciting tourist attraction is already proving to be a great success.

Brighton has a long tradition of expressing its identity through remarkable architecture and British Airways i360 continues this tradition of celebratory structures. Not only has the project given the city a 21st Century landmark with which to identify itself, it has created new jobs and spurred economic growth. The innovative form of funding used to build British Airways i360 means that Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) earns nearly £1 million per year for the city. These earnings are used for regenerative purposes, to breathe new life into forgotten areas and to give back to the city.

Since opening in August 2016, British Airways i360 has welcomed more than 260,000 visitors. The attraction was officially opened by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh in October 2016. To date, more than 10,000 city residents have joined the project’s local resident membership scheme and hundreds of journalists from around the world have visited the project.

Winners and Highly Commended entries from the seven other categories:

Building Conservation - Glynde Place, Glynde

Glynde Place is a Grade I Elizabethan Mansion; surrounded by a Grade I listed park and a number of Grade II listed curtilage structures. It lies within the South Downs National Park. The property has had many alterations, omissions and additions throughout its history from its original construction in the mid-16th Century through the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and GQA's first phase of works in the 21st century and now the latest restoration project of the main East façade.

  • Highly Commended: Pump House No 5, Chatham

Commercial - The Yarrow, Broadstairs (sponsored by Sika) 

The project created a new 28-bedroom training hotel from a redundant building on East Kent College’s Broadstairs estate. The Grade II  listed Victorian building was first developed as a children’s hospital with separate staircases to a boy’s and girl’s wing. The project provides a range of bedrooms and suites; restaurant, bar, private dining areas; spa suite; large function room and is supported by two kitchens and other training areas. Owned and run by EKC, the refurbished area is 3,200sqm.

  • Highly Commended: The White Building, Southampton

Community benefit - Civitas, Reading

Civitas Academy is a new Primary School with community facilities built upon a contaminated brownfield site in central Reading. It formed part of a programme of work by Reading Borough Council to provide 2520 new school places by 2017 and to regenerate the Fairview area of the town. The building forms a sheltered courtyard with rooftop playdecks arranged to maximise available external play space. Planning approval was gained March 2015, works commenced August 2015, with completion in October 2016.

  • Highly Commended: Warwick Hall Community Centre, Burford

Design through innovation - British Airways I-360, Brighton (sponsored by Forbo Flooring)

British Airways i360 is the world’s tallest moving observation tower lifts 200 passengers to a height of 138 metres. Its design and engineering is as impressive as it is innovative. Acknowledged by Guinness World Records as the world’s most slender tower, it has a height-to-width ratio of 41:1. State-of-the-art cable car technology drives the pod up and down and energy is generated on its descent.

  • Highly Commended: Forest Lodge, Brook, New Forest

Regeneration - Chapel Arches, Maidenhead

Chapel Arches is a three-phase town centre development delivering 242 apartments combined with commercial space wrapped around an historic waterway through Maidenhead Town Centre. Once described as “The Jewel of The Thames” this riverside town had lost its sparkle and local residents had become disillusioned by empty promises from developers that never delivered. The first of the Local Authority’s Opportunity Areas to be brought forward, the development has kick-started the regeneration of the town and has been exceptionally well-received locally.

Residential - Camber Beach Houses, Camber Sands

Situated on Camber beach these stunning houses offer spectacular views of the sea and unparalleled access to the beach. WAM set out to minimise the houses’ impact on the environment, both visually and physically. This greatly informed the design process and choice of materials throughout. They were required to be both flood resilient and resistant to the often hostile marine location, whilst nestling comfortably alongside the natural backdrop of the sea and sand dunes.

  • Highly Commended: Finberry Village, Ashford

Tourism and leisure - British Airways I-360, Brighton

British Airways i360 is a 162-metre-tall tower that gently lifts passengers to 138 meters, offering panoramic 360-degree views. At beach level, a single storey building houses a restaurant, shop and event facilities. Located at the landward end of Brighton’s West Pier, British Airways i360 is a modern-day ‘vertical pier’, inviting visitors to ‘walk on air’ and gain a new perspective on Brighton, just as the original pier welcomed society to ‘walk on water’.

  • Highly Commended: Bombay Sapphire Distillery & Visitor Centre, Whitchurch

View the winners' brochure

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