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2018 Project of the Year: RICS Awards, South East

We're delighted to announce our Project of the Year, South East — Command of the Oceans — along with the winners and highly commended for the RICS Awards, South East 2018.

Over 35 of the South East’s most impressive and community beneficial property schemes battled it out for top honours at the 2018 RICS Awards, South East where the Command of the Oceans Project took the overall, esteemed ‘South honours Project of the Year’ title.

Held at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford on 9 May, the annual RICS Awards, South East celebrate inspirational initiatives in the region’s land, property and construction sectors across eight category awards.

The winners of the seven individual categories were announced by Fred Dinenage, Television Presenter in front of local property professionals. Sponsors include Sika (Commercial), Forbo (Design through Innovation) and Historic England (supporting).

Image gallery

Project of the Year — Command of the Oceans, Chatham

This project comprises a new exhibition telling the story of Chatham Dockyard through the age of sail, accommodated within the redundant Grade I Listed Mast House buildings. The catalyst was the discovery of the remains of an 18th century warship, built at Chatham, under the adjoining Grade II Listed Wheelwrights shop. The project also included adapting this building for public display of the warship and linking this via a new build reception, to form the main entrance for the Dockyard.

This well designed, elegant insertion into the historic dockyard buildings provides a new reception area giving access to the restaurant, shop and the main entrance to the dockyards.

A new exhibition illustrating the story of Chatham Dockyard is incorporated, along with a gentle ramped walkway giving access to the remains of an 18th century warship discovered below floor level.

There has been careful conservation and restoration of the original buildings, however the scheme also forms a striking focal point to enter the historic dockyard. This project enhances the Dockyard as a world class visitor attraction.

Download the brochure

South-East-Tourism-and Leisure-Command-of-the-Oceans
Command of the Oceans, Chatham
Command of the Oceans, Chatham

Category winners

Building conservation

Canterbury Cathedral Great South Window

Securing the restoration of Canterbury’s majestic Great South Window demonstrates how contemporary conservation goes far beyond the physical materials, the stone, mortar and glass. The people of this project, world-class craftsmen, architects and engineers, are undertaking the same work on the same site that they have been for fourteen hundred years, continuing the constant cycle of learning, care and renewal that makes buildings such as Canterbury Cathedral resonate with life.

Highly commended: Command of the Oceans, Chatham

Canterbury Cathedral


Sponsored by Silka

Great Tew Estate Office

The project is the design and construction of a new office building for the combined and growing businesses of The Great Tew Estate, to accommodate a wide range of staff and disciplines. The context and beautiful landscape in which it sits, combines to give a visitor and user experience which truly lifts the spirits. The building is in one sense home-from-home, but in another sense a place of peace and tranquillity which allows focus and concentration.

Highly commended: Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa

Community Benefit

RNLI Selsey Lifeboat Station

Selsey Lifeboat Station has gone back to its roots with the lifeboats now housed on the land and launched by carriage into the sea. The last two lifeboat stations at Selsey have been on the end of jetties with slipway launches, but the capability of the new Shannon-class lifeboat and its launching rig enables the all-weather lifeboat to be both launched and recovered across the steep shingle beach.

Design Through Innovation

Sponsored by Forbo

Wilmcote House, Portsmouth

The regeneration of Wilmcote House addressed resident issues of fuel poverty by reducing home heating demand and consumption by 90%. Designed to the stringent Passivhaus EnerPHit standard, the homes were super-insulated and extended, the walkways were enclosed, and new entrances (and homes) were provided to improve the community sense of health and wellbeing. Creating a desirable place to live, Wilmcote House has become a reference for housing providers and the construction Industry for high-quality large-scale refurbishment both nationally and internationally.

Highly commended: Clerici and Sinclair Building Refurbishments, Oxford Brookes University

RNLI Selsey Lifeboat Station


Wilmcote House, Portsmouth

The scheme comprises the refurbishment of three 11 storey interlinked residential towers, built in 1968, previously accessed by external walkways. ‘Fuel poverty’ was a major issue.

Designed to the stringent Passivhaus standard, and undertaken with tenants in occupation, the homes are now super-insulated and extended, with the open walkways enclosed. Energy bills have reduced by circa 90% and health benefits should follow. New entrances have been created to improve the community sense of wellbeing.

Residential Property

The Old Byres, East Sussex

This self-build project, by a chartered surveyor, was the conversion of some redundant farm buildings, to a single dwelling, to Passivhaus standards. The detailed design, with a focus on buildability resulted in a comfortable, warm, healthy environment that is environmentally friendly and sustainable.

The original hay barn is almost unaltered externally and the attached byres modestly clad and enclosed; but has a high build quality and sustainability, using high levels of insulation, air source heat pumps and triple glazing. A very carefully designed efficient scheme and a model for future projects.

Highly commended: DIY SOS Kent

Tourism & Leisure

Command of the Oceans, Chatham

This unique project at The Historic Dockyard Chatham combines the conservation and re-use of important historic buildings with a bold contemporary intervention. The creation of a new entrance building to the Dockyard alongside landscaping, new galleries and visitor facilities, addresses the display of a major archaeological discovery – the ‘ship beneath the floor’ through elegant architectural solutions and an impressive technical achievement. The project is a champion for progressive conservation, inventive re-use and the adaptation of existing fabric.

The Old Byres

Thank you to our sponsors

  • Commercial Sponsor

  • Design through Innovation Sponsor

  • Supporting Sponsor