The Kent Design & Development Awards 2018 shortlists have been announced, and B&M have two schemes that have made it through to the finals.

The Sibson Building, is a new 8,000m2 building, for University of Kent, which combines the university’s Business School and School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS), allowing them to expand and improve their current activities. The building incorporates innovative teaching environments, academic workspace and open-plan research space, creating 21st century interactive social learning areas.

The building is designed in a distinctive ‘W’ shape and presents an impressive visual impact, helping to combine the two schools, whilst allowing them to have their own dedicated learning spaces. The ground floor has an outstanding central atrium and hosts lecture theatres, seminar spaces, a Bloomberg suite, café and social learning spaces. The natural light shines in to the top-lit atrium providing a bright and welcoming entrance area which acts as a great meeting space for students to study or socialise; this is not only for the two schools whose home is in the building, but also the wider university campus.

The Sibson Building aims to become a world leader that attracts students and academics from around the world. The University continues to invest in new facilities for students. As each new academic year starts, the intake of the Kent Business School and the SMSAS are expected to rise, providing a catalyst for the overall master plan of the university.

The overall vision of the project has brought nature into all the lecture theatres and teaching spaces. This provides a unique learning environment, as the view looking out to the woods beyond change with the seasons, giving both contemplative and calming areas to study in.

Located in Aylesford Kent, the new RBLI  Veterans Accommodation comprises of 24 one and two-bedroom homes for the sick and wounded veterans and their families. This much needed project provided accommodation for those who are not in need of care but require specialist facilities.

The distinctive blue and white cladded apartments are designed around a stunning landscaped centrepiece which was originally designed by Jo Thompson for the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show. ‘The Chelsea Barracks Garden’ was re-established within this development providing a tranquil space for relaxation, reflection and recuperation.

The Veterans accommodation is located in close proximity to the central RBLI Village where veterans can meet and socialise and receive treatment and rehabilitation care if required. A strong community spirit flows through the ex-military hub and all veterans are made to feel that they have a place that they can call home.

These apartments were an integral part of the wider master plan, with the future phases allowing for a sustainable village to be put in place therefore helping future veterans and their families secure employment and housing to stabilise their lives following their transition to civilian life.

With the shortlists being announced, the panel of judges, made up of experienced and respected members of the development industry, will unveil the winners on 8th November.

The awards celebrate the best projects in Kent. The winning projects will be exemplary of their type, demonstrating a commitment to design excellence from client, design team and contractor. They will also consider the design team’s response to context and environmental considerations, along with the response of occupants/end-users and other users to the scheme.