IT is time for you to have your say once again on what you think is the best new building, restoration or public space project in York. STEPHEN LEWIS introduces the entries for The York Design Awards' Press People's Award.

WHAT do a new shopping complex at Monks Cross, a converted chapel in South Bank, new shelters and waiting areas at York Railway Station and the Piazza outsideYork Minster's South Transept have in common?

They are all in the running for a coveted York Design Award, that's what.

The Awards, held every year, aim to recognise the best in new building design in York, as well in conservation and 'public space' projects.

They are a way of helping to raise standards - and so of both protecting York's architectural beauty, and ensuring that the city of today passes on its own legacy of high quality buildings and public spaces to future generations, says Janet Hopton, chair of the awards committee.

"Good building and urban design play a vital role in keeping York special," she says."The York Design Awards recognise and reward building owners, developers, architects and restorers who go the extra mile to ensure that the very best traditions of quality in the city are upheld."

This year, there have been no fewer than 24 nominations for the coveted awards, in three different categories: 'New Build';

'Alterations to Existing Buildings'; and 'Landscaping/Open Space/Public Realm'.

The entries range from the Vangarde shopping project to The Orb in York Minster, and from the refurbished 'Royal Achievement' coat of arms at King's Manor to an extension and refurbishment of Knavesmire Primary School.

A panel of four judges - head judge Julian Bicknell of London-based Julian Bicknell & Associates; David Heath, former chief conservation architect at English Heritage; Stefanie Stead, chair of the Construction Industry Council Yorkshire and Humber; and architect and academic Dr Hentie Louw, of Newcastle University - spent two days last month visiting every scheme on the list of entries.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony being held at Nestlé Product Technology Centre on June 23.

First, however, it is your chance to act as a judge.

Each year, readers of The Press get to vote for the building, conversion, restoration or public space that they like best from the list of entries.

All but one of the 24 entries this year have put themselves forward for The Press People's Award.

We carry photographs of several on these pages today, together with a complete list of all the entries which are in the running. You can see full details, together with written statements about each scheme, on our website.

So now it is your turn. Have a look through the entries - or look online, if you have internet access - and then vote for the project you like best, or which you think does most to make York an even better place to live and work.

It isn't an easy task. This term, admits Janet Hopton, there has been an extraordinary breadth of entries - from school, church and private home extensions and refurbishments to student halls of residence, residential developments, restaurants and major retail outlets.

But your vote matters. The Press People's Award is the only category voted for by members of the public. "It gives the people of York a chance to make their voice heard when it comes to what they admire about architecture in their city," says Janet.

"They may not agree with the professional judges but the more we can engage people in the whole question of ‘what is good design’ the better.”

Over to you.

How to vote for your favourite design

Read through the list of entries on these pages, read the in-depth information [PDF: 4MB], or better still go and see some of the larger, more public schemes for yourself, and choose the project you think is best.

Then vote via the online form at Each reader is allowed one vote.

The deadline for voting is noon on Friday June 20: votes received after this cannot be counted.

The winner of The Press People's Award will be announced along with other category winners at the awards ceremony on Monday June 23.

Entries for the Press People's Award

1. 1&2 the Beeches, College Court, Dringhouses, architects Sayell Roth. Two 6-bedroomed semi-detached new homes in Dringhouses. "Our philosophy was to produce highly appealing modern homes, the design of which is not only sensitive to many people’s wish for as much privacy as is possible within a crowded town environment, but also to apply an authenticity of design to emulate the historic and unique Ashfield House... which sits directly next door."

2. 'Beehive', School lane, Upper Poppleton: Designer, Lee Hellewell/ CL Parker & Sons. Extension of former bungalow. "We chose a traditional design with a modern twist which was to use green oak and light reflecting glass."

3. St John Central, Carmelite Street, York, CSP Architects. "A simple 'L' shaped building is arranged around the perimeter of the site with building frontages at the back of the footpath clearly defining public and private domains. This creates a street environment with good enclosure."

4. Bootham School Arts Centre, architects Squires and Brown. "A creative core for the school, combining music, art, exhibition spaces and a performance auditorium for music, drama and dance."

5. This scheme has not entered the Press People's Award

6. Eco Depot Gatehouse, QAD Architects/ City of York Council property services: "The gatehouse was designed to complement the existing Eco Office building with the main structure formed with timber framing and SIPS panels...cedar shiplap cladding and curtain walling."

7. Monks Cross Vangarde Shopping Park, Vangarde Way, DLA Architecture/ Stanton Williams/ Brooker Flynn: "The design brief was to provide York with a unique, high quality retail park experience which delivers individually designed ‘pavilion like’ retail units set in a high quality landscape."

8. King's Manor Royal Achievement, Exhibition Square, advisors Hirst Conservation: "The Achievement includes the unicorn, the supporter of Scotland and the lion, the supporter of England. The two beasts hold lances with the flags of St Andrew and St George...The Achievement was redecorated using a traditional lead based paint...the heraldic colours and detailing were applied and gilding carried out in 23¾ carat gold using loose and transfer gold leaf.

9. St Peter Figure, York Minster , York Minster Works Department, Deangate: "The figure was worked in four parts; the head was carved by Martin (Coward), the torso by Matt Hodgkinson, the legs by Dave Willet and the base stone by Tim Foster...the whole figure was over 7 feet and 2 and 1/2 tons."

10. Purey Cust conversion, the Purey Cust, York, LHL Group: conversion of the old Purey Cust hospital into a gated community of town substantial houses. One result of the conversion was the removal of unsightly structures - lift shafts and an operating theatre - that used to be visible from the city alls. "The view from the city walls is fantastic now," said developer Mike Green during a site visit by judges.

11. 88A South Bank Avenue. Chapel conversion, designer Dale Rhodes form owner Ben Shaw. "I have been sympathetic to the needs of the building, refurbishing as much as possible and using a limited colour palette to enhance features and keep the design clean and simple."

12. Memorial Hall, St Peter's School, designer HarmerFitz: "The Memorial Hall has undergone a transformation. Formerly dingy and tired, and with illogical access that limited its comfortable integration within the existing buildings, it has become elegant and bright."

13. 87 Micklegate, designer Richard Parkin: alterations to a Grade II* listed timber-framed building to create an "attractive and characterful home for an appreciative tenant".

14. 27 Darnborough Street, designer Carve Architecture, alterations to house: "We wanted the extension to be contemporary but sympathetic to its context."

15. Derwenthorpe landscaping, designer Fira Landscape: "There is an emphasis on green infrastructure, water retention and the conservation of the natural landscape features of hedgerows and trees as well as providing ponds and becks."

16. Piazza, York Minster, designer Arrol & Snell: "The view from the East End scaffold ... shows the new piazza as an open space, ramps incorporated into the design which also allows seating for the public. A huge improvement for this iconic building," says Rebecca Thompson, York Minster's Superintendent of Works.

17. The Orb, York Minster, designer Arrol & Snell: "The East End display is both inspiring and engaging and is set within a thriving, working church...The orb contains conserved panels of glass from the Great East Window, a rare opportunity to see the detail of the hand painted glass at such close proximity."

18. Shelters, York Railway Station, designer The Input Group: "The quality of design of the new Platform Waiting Shelters is very evident from the very first view of the shelters within the context of their setting."

19. The Star Inn the City, CSP Architects: "The redevelopment resolves physical, social, technical and aesthetic site constraints to create delightful accommodation for a new riverside restaurant with a sunny riverside terrace."

20. Bootham Green, designers Fining Associates. Conversion of former Shipton Street School into housing: "The contemporary element of housing gives a backcloth to the existing school buildings and encloses the garden areas."

21. The Old School and the Village pond, Wigginton, Wigginton Parish Council, restoration of community centre and dredging and restoration of village pond and surroundings: "The new Old School now enjoys much better local bookings. The pond and its surroundings now provide a very pleasant village centrepiece for passers-by and local residents and those who feed the wildlife."

22. St Giles Church, Copmanthorpe, PPIY Architects, construction of new larger porch plus internal reordering. "The completed scheme unifies the existing floorplan and allows greater flexibility of use not only as a place of worship but for the whole community."

23. Knavesmire Primary School, South Bank, CYC Property Services/ William Saunders: alterations plus new classrooms and sports hall. "The extensions and alterations have given the school the much needed extra teaching space for a growing school, and invaluable break out spaces, and a magnificent new hall."

24. Clifton School & Nursery, Clifton. Designer HarmerFiotz. Extension plus internal refurbishment. "The children... love the new reception: they use it to display their art and as a break out space for small group activities," says Phil Hardy, Head of Clifton School & Nursery.