WSCA AGM 2019 – Tuesday 8th January

Tuesday 8th January 2019 – 6.30pm 

Bolero, 34 Foregate Street, Worcester, WR1 1EE (, Worcester

Calling all architectural professionals living or working in Worcestershire! Please come along to our Worcestershire Society of Chartered Architects AGM on Tuesday 8th January at 6.30pm. Bolero, 34 Foregate Street, Worcester, WR1 1EE ( Although there are a few formalities to cover, this will be a social occasion.

During 2018 we were pleased to hold the second year of the Worcestershire Architecture Awards. We were delighted to have over 35 entries, a slight increase on last year. Press coverage was good and the exhibition has already been displayed in 3 locations, with more planned next year including a provisional booking at the Hive. We hope the awards will continue to run as it’s a great way to raise the profile of what we do in the county.

We will explain in more detail at the AGM, but we are appealing for some volunteers to take small roles to help with running the awards in 2019. We now have an established format, and the dates are planned for next year already, so we know what is involved and when. We are just asking for a few people to offer to give around a day of their time over the course of the whole year to manage a small part. We are going to group tasks by themes, for example:

  • someone to contact the judges to invite them to be involved, and coordinate when judging will take place. This involves a couple of emails and / or phone calls
  • someone to check off entries and arrange for the exhibition boards to be printed
  • someone to make any agreed amendments to the ‘call for entries’ document
  • someone to liaise with the exhibition and awards venue

These examples demonstrate that jobs will be varied, small and manageable and hopefully there might be something there to interest you. I hope you can give this some thought and will come along to the AGM and get involved. It would be a shame for the awards to come to an end after only 2 years when it feels to be gaining some momentum.

Christmas Drinks 2018

Calling all architectural professionals! If you work in across come along to our Christmas drinks from 6.30pm, Thursday 13th December  Bolero – 34 Foregate Street, Worcester, WR1 1EE (

It will be an informal evening and a chance to catch up with others in the profession, reflect on 2018 and look ahead to 2019!  If you can make it please drop us an email to

Worcestershire Architecture Awards 2018 Exhibition

An exhibition of winners from this year’s Worcestershire Architecture Awards will be displayed at St Helen’s Church, Worcester from 21st September to 12th October.

The exhibition will be open to the public every Friday during St Helen’s ‘pop-up cafe’, 10am-2pm and at other times the building is open.

St Helen’s is located on the corner of Fish Street and High Street in the centre of Worcester –

Tuesday 11th September 2018 – Post Awards Meeting

Our next meeting is Tuesday 11th September 2018 at 6.30pm at Bolero Bar and Kitchen in Worcester.

Following on from the Worcestershire Architecture Awards 2018 we are reviewing this year’s awards and planning activities for the coming months.

Is a great opportunity to get involved or just to find out more about the WSCA.  All welcome, if you want to find out more in advance please drop us an email –

Stanbrook Abbey Talk and WAA 2018 Launch

Stanbrook Abbey talk

Our event held at Stanbrook Abbey on Wednesday 30th May 2018 was well attended by architecture professionals from across the county keen to hear Phil Howl from Howl Associates talk about this Worcestershire Architecture Award winning project.  The Worcestershire Architecture Awards 2017 exhibition was also displayed for people to peruse before and afterwards.

Phil gave an insightful presentation, giving context to the Stanbrook Abbey project by explaining the historical evolution of the abbey, before it was purchased by Clarenco to be developed for weddings, functions, conferences and other events. He explained how the existing buildings, including cloisters, chapels and cells, were sensitively restored and carefully altered where necessary. The team worked closely with both English Heritage (as was) and the Local Authority Conservation Officer, as many details such as fire and acoustic upgrades to the building fabric had to be cheerfully considered. Quirks from the different eras of development were retained, and the one major change was the new main entrance. Early on Phil knew that this could never compete with the existing gothic architecture, and explained how his approach one was of ‘new classicism’. There were challenges in linking with the existing building, where the gable had existing openings and circulation at each level, none of which lined through. The new build needed to address this, and introduce additional circulation that linked the two phases, without dominating the existing historic building. The sequence of design development models Phil showed us followed an interesting journey, and everyone agreed the final solution is very successful, as demonstrated by the fact this is an award-winning scheme!

Following the talk Phil was kind enough to give us a guided tour of of the abbey, drawing our attention to various details and showing us all the ‘secret’ passages connecting spaces! The cloisters are beautiful in their simple rhythm and symmetry and the conversion of cells to ensuite bedrooms is very successful. The extended function room is definitely a highlight, with original carved ‘mouseman’ features in tact, plus the new and magnificent views that have been opened up across the landscape

To view Howl Associates WAA2017 Stanbrook Abbey entry visit our Worcestershire Society of Chartered Architects website (

Worcestershire Architecture Awards 2018 launch

Following the talk, the ‘call for entries’ to the Worcestershire Architecture Awards 2018 was announced. The Worcestershire Architecture Awards recognise inspiring new architecture in the county and the work of Worcestershire architects. Last year’s Awards successfully engaged the wider community, promoting local architects with a public exhibition of entries at the Guildhall, Worcester, followed by a presentation of awards. The entries were subsequently exhibited in the county at the Sawyard Gallery. The awards received publicity in the local press through collaboration with the Worcester News who organised online voting for the People’s Choice Award. Last year’s winners together with the other entries can be viewed on our website.

This years entries are now open, closing at the end of June. More information can be found on our website. The entries will be exhibited at the Guildhall, Worcester, from 10am to 4:30pm, Saturday 25th August 2018, during the final weekend of the Worcester Festival. Admission is free. Awards will be presented at a short ceremony at 2pm on the day. Local press will once again cover the awards, and we already have further showings booked for the exhibition at other venues in the county, which is great for promoting practices and what architects can do!

So, if you know of an outstanding Worcestershire-related project, whether you’re a member of the public, a councillor, Client or other Consultant, get in touch with the architect and encourage them to enter this year! There are 6 categories catering for both built and unbuilt schemes ensuring every type of scheme, irrespective of size or cost, can be recognised. Good luck!

Wednesday 30th May – Stanbrook Abbey talk and WAA2018 launch

Join us at Stanbrook Abbey (Jennet Tree Lane, Callow End, Worcester, WR2 4TY) on Wednesday 30th May 2018 for an inspiring talk by Phil Howl about this Worcestershire Architecture Award winning project.

Arrival from 6pm; talk commences 6.30pm, finish 8pm.

Phil will tell us about the conservation and restoration work Howl Associates ( have completed, along with a new extension, all part of a project to convert the abbey into the hotel, wedding venue and conference facility that it is now. There will also be a short guided tour of key spaces.

Howl Associates WAA2017 Stanbrook Abbey entry is available to view at

Following the talk, exciting information about the Worcestershire Architecture Awards 2018 will be announced.

Refreshments will be provided, and some of the Worcestershire Architecture Awards 2017 entries will be displayed for you to peruse at your leisure.

Due to the WSCA being awarded RIBA LIF funding this year there is no charge for the event, but if you could let us know if you plan to come along it would be appreciated so we can confirm numbers with the venue for refreshments – email us at

For more information on the Worcestershire Architecture Awards – click here.


Tuesday 17th April, 7pm – getting ready for Awards Launch 2018

Our next meeting is Tuesday 17th April 2018 at 7.00 at Bolero Bar and Kitchen in Worcester.

Following on from the Worcestershire Architecture Awards 2017 we are planning the final details for the launch of the 2018 Awards.

Is a great opportunity to get involved or just to find out more about the WSCA.  All welcome, if you want to find out more in advance please drop us an email –