The Blackburn Wing, a stunning copper and glass centrepiece of a £6m project at Grade II-listed Bowcliffe Hall in Wetherby, has scooped a top award at the 2015 RICS Pro Yorkshire Awards.
The 2,060 sq. ft treehouse conference venue, which is shaped like an airplane wing, won the Tourism & Leisure and Infrastructure category of the event – referred to as the region’s property ‘Oscars’.
Commissioned by serial entrepreneur Jonathan Turner, CEO of the Bayford Group, the Blackburn Wing, at the former ancestral home of unsung aviation pioneer Robert Blackburn, accommodates 140 guests. It is one of only two structures ever to have been built in an area of ancient woodland.
The scheme has automatically been entered into the national RICS Awards to be held later this year.
Designed by architects The Harris Partnership, and built by Conlon Construction, the pioneering project also features a ‘Drivers Club’ restaurant for business tenants and guests. This private members’ club captures the nostalgia of a period when the Blackburns’ played host to guests including aircraft pioneer Amy Johnson, media proprietor Lord Northcliffe, Winston Churchill and RAF officials.
The conference centre is part of a multi-phase restoration of the nineteenth century estate, where redundant space has been converted into offices, many with original period features.
Jonathan Turner said: “This is the third consecutive accolade the scheme has been awarded in as many weeks. It is a tremendous and fitting tribute to the design and construction teams who brought alive my vision to create a lasting legacy to an unsung hero of the golden age of aviation. The feedback we are receiving from tenants, visitors and those looking to organise events, both corporate and private, is phenomenal.”