Which do you think is the best new building or design in York? A new ‘People’s Award’ gives you the chance to have your say, reports STEPHEN LEWIS

YORK is special. We all know that. If you want to be reminded, you only have to look about you as you walk though the streets. The city’s history and character is all about you, in the style of the buildings, the pattern of the streets, the majesty of the Minster or the gleam of the River Ouse with its spans of bridges.

Just because there is so much that needs to be protected, however, doesn’t mean the city can afford to stand still. It needs to grow, develop and adapt, just like any other city. But it needs to do so in a way that respects and adds to what makes York such a unique place to live and work.

That puts an added pressure on the architects and designers who want to build something new in York – or who want to convert an old building to a new purpose.

For six years now, the York Design Awards have been celebrating the very best of new design and conservation in the city – whether it involves new buildings (such as York College), conversions (for example La Vecchia Scuola restaurant in Low Petergate, converted from part of a former school), refurbishments (Acomb library learning centre), or new or redesigned public spaces (St Anthony’s Sensory Garden, Peasholme Green).

Each year architects, developers and owners submit schemes and then a panel of architects and conservationists spend a couple of days walking the city to see the buildings for themselves, before choosing winners from a range of categories.

Now, however, the organisers of the York Design Awards have teamed up with The Press to launch a new category – the People’s Award.

We want you to vote for your favourite new public building, conversion or open space scheme – choosing from the same list from which the professional judges made their own selection.

After all, it is the people of York who live here, says Peter Brown, the York Civic Trust director who is involved in the Design Awards. So it is important that you have a say.

Hugh Venables, a member of the steering committee of the York Design Awards, says the idea of the People’s Award is to get everyone in the city involved in ensuring that new development in York is up to scratch.

“We’re not asking people to make architectural judgements, but personal, emotional judgements,” he says. “We want you to tell us which of the shortlisted buildings you think most enhances the city – which delights you.”

This year, there were 17 public buildings or public spaces which made the shortlist.

You can see full details of each – including photographs, and a statement explaining each design via the link given below.

Remember: this is your award, so your vote counts…

Voting has now closed...