Harlow Stories - Issue 1
Harlow Civic Society The Harlow Architectural Design Awards (HADAs)
The original master plan for Harlow, drawn up by Sir Frederick Gibberd and his team in 1947, included cutting-edge building design from some of the most recognised architects of the post-war era. As a result, Harlow became a truly novel town: home to the first pedestrian precinct and the first purpose-built health centre in Great Britain. It also had the world’s first modern-style residential tower block at The Lawn. The unique post-war heritage of Harlow is being celebrated for the first time, with the launch of a new public competition last month. Organised by the Harlow Civic Society and sponsored by Places for People, The Harlow Architectural Design Awards (HADAs) aim to recognise the very best in residential and nonresidential buildings in the town, as well as encouraging excellence in the design of Harlow’s future developments. The public is being asked to nominate its favourite residential and nonresidential buildings in Harlow, before voting on the ultimate winner from a shortlist of entries. An expert panel will then use the results of the public vote to select a winner in each category, to be announced in January 2017. The winning buildings’ architects will receive a custom-made glass trophy to hold for a year, designed and produced by local artists at Parndon Mill – Harlow’s creative hub. The winning buildings will also receive a commemorative plaque for display.
Paul McLintic, Secretary of the Harlow Civic Society, said: “Harlow has a unique design history built as a new town to re-house Londoners following the destruction caused by the Blitz during World War II. “The Harlow Architectural Design Awards are a chance to celebrate the town’s history of creative design and encourage new developers to create and build spaces that further enhance the town and its unique character. “I’m sure that everyone in the town has a building with special significance to them. We hope to include as many local people as possible in deciding this year’s winning entries.” Mary Parsons. Group Director of Placemaking and Regeneration at Places for People, said: “Strong design plays such a vital role in attracting people to a place, as well as helping residents to identify with their surroundings. Through the Architectural Design Awards, the people of Harlow will have a say in what makes their town work and help ensure that the future developments stay true to Harlow’s unique heritage.” To get behind this excellent initiative and vote for your favourite buildings in Harlow please visit
In future years, the HADAs will celebrate buildings completed in the proceeding 12 months. As 2016 sees the launch of the awards, however, any building in the new town era (1947 to present) will be considered for this year’s prize.