Community: Locks Inn, Geldeston
Community: Locks Inn, Geldeston

2023 Design and Craftsmanship Awards – DCA23

In Search of the best new architecture in Norwich and Norfolk

This year, RIBA Norfolk and The Norwich Society have been joined by Norwich University of the Arts for the 2023 Design and Craftsmanship Awards. These biennial awards are a celebration of outstanding buildings and places throughout Norfolk that positively affect our built environment and make Norfolk a fantastic place to live and work. They are also a means for builders, architects, and communities to be recognised in a wider setting. The presentation ceremony will be held this November.

Community - The Nook, Framlingham Earl
Community: The Nook, Framlingham Earl

The awards will go to projects that deliver a high standard of design and craftsmanship in their construction and finishes, meet the needs of their users and contribute to the public enjoyment of places, and demonstrate that they have taken account of the wider environmental implications, including minimising any impact on climate change from their construction and use. Previous winners include the Enterprise Centre at UEA which is the UK’s greenest building and uses thatch to clad its walls to reduce heat loss, and the Goldsmith Street housing development in Norwich, which was built to the Passivhaus standard to create homes that are both comfortable to live in and use virtually no energy for space heating. To recognise the importance of sustainability, a special new award for Sustainability has been introduced for DCA 2023, for the project selected from all categories which demonstrates the highest standard of environmental design.

Community - Matthew Project
Community: Matthew Project

The Award Categories are: Houses and Housing – single one-off dwellings, housing developments, extensions and conversion; Non-Residential – civic, cultural education and commercial buildings; and the Sir Bernard Feilden award will be presented to the best Conservation scheme.

Community Goldsmith St, Norwich
Community: Goldsmith St, Norwich

The Community Award recognises and celebrates successful community projects which have engaged local people throughout the decision-making, design and building processes. There is no fee to nominate a community project for a DCA; submissions can be made by the general public and community group members. The 2021 winners were Lock Inn, a community-run pub at Geldeston and The Matthew Project’s Next Steps Recover Centre.

In 2021 Student Award category was created for the best design work by a student studying architecture at NUA.

The DCA23 will be donating to two charities -The Matthew Project which empowers young people and adults to overcome drugs, alcohol and mental health issues so they can live their lives more fully, and the Architects’ Benevolent Society which supports the architectural community and their families in times of need.

Nominations are now open and entries can be submitted on-line at the DCA website until Friday 28th July 2023. To be eligible, projects must have been completed between June 2021 and end of May 2023. Full details can be found at :

riba norfolk

RIBA Norfolk:

Established in 1921, RIBA Norfolk (Formerly Norfolk Association of Architects) is the Norfolk branch of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and is a volunteer committee-led group, that supports the wider vision of the RIBA at a local level.

The RIBA is a global professional membership body driving excellence in architecture. It serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Being inclusive, ethical, environmentally aware and collaborative underpins all that it does.

RIBA Norfolk champion excellence in architecture and the built environment at a local level through talks, seminars, building visits, and other events including the awards. RIBA Norfolk supports others in the wider construction industry to raise the quality of design and construction across the county through collaboration, celebration and knowledge-sharing. Further information is available at


The Norwich Society

From saving Bishop Bridge and the Tudor buildings of Elm Hill from demolition in the 1920s, to recent advocating for better development of Anglia Square, The Norwich Society has been championing the built environment and public spaces in Norwich, and celebrating the city’s unique character and beauty for over a century.

As the city’s civic society, The Society is an independent community-based charity, supporting the preservation, development and improvement of features of historic interest in the city. It also uses the expertise of architects, town planners, surveyors and other industry professionals within its committees to comment on significant planning decisions on behalf of the public, and has worked hard to recognise and stimulate interest in the built environment in which their design awards have played a key role Further information is available at

nua logo

Norwich university of the Arts

The 2021 Design and Craftsmanship Awards added a Student Award category for the best design work by a student studying architecture at NUA.

Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) has established itself in arts, design and media education for more than 175 years. But whilst its history can be traced back to 1845, its outlook is forward-thinking. NUA has developed a national reputation as an innovative and creative academic community with a commitment to practice-based courses highly -prized by the creative industries and a city centre campus boasting cutting-edge facilities. At the heart of it all, are the students. Artists, designers, makers and creators. Bringing diverse interests and unique perspectives, they share a desire to be challenged and inspired. To learn from the past and shape the future. Further information is available

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