Boardman House, Norwich – winner of the DCA19 Bernard Feilden Award
Boardman House, Norwich – winner of the DCA19 Bernard Feilden Award

In Search of the best new architecture in Norwich and Norfolk

The Norfolk Association of Architects, The Norwich Society and Civic Voice, the national charity for the civic movement,  have launched the search for the best new architecture in the county, in the lead up to the announcement of their 2021 Norwich + Norfolk Design and Craftsmanship Awards. These biennial awards celebrate outstanding buildings and places in the county. A presentation ceremony will be held this Autumn.

The awards will go to projects that are well designed, meet the needs of their users and also contribute to the public enjoyment of places. The Sir Bernard Feilden award will also be presented for the best conservation scheme in Norwich.

Goldsmith Street winner of a DCA19 award
Goldsmith Street winner of a DCA19 award

The judges will be looking for a high standard of design and craftsmanship in their construction and finishes. The winners will also have to demonstrate that they have taken account of the wider environmental implications, including minimising any impact on climate change from their construction and use. A previous winner for example, is the Enterprise Centre at UEA which is the UK’s greenest building and uses thatch to clad its walls to reduce heat loss; this went on to also win the New Build category of the national Civic Voice Design Awards in 2018. A winner from the last DCA in 2019 was 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.

Other winning or commended schemes from recent years include the Jarrold Bridge that provides an elegant crossing of the river Wensum. Earlham Hall and the Briton’s Arms in Elm Hill both won Sir Bernard Feilden Conservation Awards.

best new architecture
Lyng Community Hall winner of a DCA19 award Community category

The Community category, which is free to enter, promotes projects or buildings by community groups. This was won by Lyng Community Hall at DCA19 not just for its stylish and useable design, but also for its fund-raising and community involvement. Kett’s Heights was also commended as a green public space that was rejuvenated by a volunteer group. The winner of the Community category will automatically be submitted for the national Civic Voice Design Awards.

Any profits from the event will be donated to two charities this year – St Martin’s Housing Society for their ‘Housing First’ project, which provides housing and support for the homeless, 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 16th July. To be eligible, projects must have been completed between July 2019 and end of May 2021. Full details can be found at :


Civic Voice 

Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement. We work to make places more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive. We promote civic pride. We speak up for civic societies and local communities across England and lead the national movement for quality of place, with people actively improving their cities, towns and villages. Since its launch in April 2010, Civic Voice has been joined by over 250 civic societies with 75,000 members. Further information is available at and



The NAA: 

Established in 1921, the Norfolk Association of Architects (NAA) 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.

The Norfolk Association of Architects champion excellence in architecture and the built environment at a local level through talks, seminars, building visits, and other events including the awards. The NAA 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: 

The Norwich Society was first formed in 1923 and its mission is caring for the City’s beauty and history: The Norwich Society acts as a passionate custodian and champion of the built environment and public spaces in Norwich and its surroundings.

Over the years, the Society has worked hard to recognise and stimulate interest in the built environment and their design awards have played a key role in this important feature of city life. Further information is available at