Hotham Park Café which first opened its doors two years ago has been recognised in the annual Sussex Heritage Awards.
The contemporary structure was ‘Highly Commended’ in the Commercial Category at the awards, designed to recognise and reward the highest-quality conservation, restoration and good design on newly-built projects while encouraging the use of traditional skills or crafts.
The Heritage Trust’s slogan, “design for the future, respect for the past” closely mirrors the design brief for the café, which was for an innovative and low-impact “green” building which sat comfortably in the unique environment of the park.
The building was also designed to be in keeping with the heritage of the park, which is in a Conservation Area, and features the Grade II listed Hotham Park House with its cupola clock tower, the listed rock and flint park boundary wall, the curved form of the adjacent boating lake and the rich woodland surround.
Now in the 19th year of the awards, judges’ comments included, “The café has become an important component of the regeneration of the park”, and “Contemporary but attractive, fitting well into its surroundings and complimentary to the environment of Hotham House. A great team effort.”
The building was designed and built by Arun District Council, working with local architect Phil Brown from Sloane and Brown, and local builders Falcon Homes.
Operator Tom Barnes was then given the keys to begin part two of the project which was to fit-out, furnish and decorate the café, before opening the doors to the public to serve a range of freshly-prepared, locally-sourced food and drinks both day and evening.
Councillor Stephen Haymes, who collected the award on behalf of the Council, said: “This is a fitting tribute to everyone involved in the café project. As the judges noted, the café sits beautifully in the parkland setting, and provides a great service for all park users.”
Other award winners in the Arun District were the South Downs Bunkhouse in Houghton, also Highly Commended in the Commercial Category, the new sustainable Community Playcentre at Walberton, which was a winner in the Public and Community Category and the low-carbon footprint sustainable House at Hill Lane, Barnham, which was a Small-Scale Residential Category Winner.