Hertfordshire Association of Architects returns to its birthplace to celebrate its 90th birthday and

The Hertfordshire Association of Architects (HAA) recently celebrated its Awards scheme and annual dinner in the newly-refurbished St Albans Town Hall.

The event was particularly special as the HAA was formed in the very same building ninety years ago. The first chairman was St Albans architect Percival Blow, who designed many local houses and landmarks including significant buildings at St Albans School and the Ryder Seed Hall (now Café Rouge).

Cllr Annie Brewster gave a lively presentation on ups and downs of the Town Hall building project and the enormous effort made with fundraising. HAA chair Simon Knight illustrated the HAA’s history and presented the Awards judges with a book on Percival Blow, recently published by the St Albans & Hertfordshire Architectural & Archaeological Society (SAHAAS).

Simon said, “ It was a great evening. Last Easter we held our Lego event here in the Town Hall and now we have just celebrated excellence in design and our 90th Birthday. “

The Awards scheme for noteworthy Hertfordshire projects attracted a record number of entries and over 110 people were present. The event was sponsored by Town Hall project contractors, Willmott Dixon.

Local winners included Sheldon Peever Studio’s extension on Jennings Road, St Albans and Roger Mears Architects’ Highfield Park Visitor Centre.

Tom Foggin of RIBAEast presented the Region’s Student Award to University of Hertfordshire architecture student Josip Pijevic. Percival’s architect grandson, Christopher Blow came specially for the event and proposed a toast.

Photos by Virginia Cinquemani

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