ONE of Gloucestershire’s longest established architects – Tetbury-based Verity & Beverley – is celebrating after being named finalists in the coveted Design Awards 2011.

The 140-year-old practice, which boasts a string of high profile commissions to date, returned to one of its very first design projects – the Pavilion at Lord’s Cricket Ground – to attend the awards ceremony alongside more than 400 industry figures.

Despite a narrow defeat in the Sustainable Design of the Year category, the company claimed a highly respectable runner-up place for its innovation-filled Cheltenham House project, which attracted waves of praise from the judges.

Heralded as a ‘model for the future of new builds’, the project saw the total transformation of a run-down, 1950s house into a chic, contemporary town dwelling, complete with all manner of sustainable features including solar panels and a rainwater harvesting system.

Computer-monitored thermostats in each room enables excess heat to be distributed throughout the building and an air source pump in the loft provides both warmth and cooling functions.

Rachael Sherratt, associate director at Verity & Beverley and an architect for the house, said: "It is great to be recognised for this sustainable project and pay tribute to the latest sustainable technologies which can be incorporated into striking design without compromising the aesthetics or practicality of a building. "It has also been inspirational for us to return to one of our very first projects, the Lord’s Pavilion, which was designed by our founder Thomas Verity way back in 1889. It has reminded us that, 140 years on, we are still designing quality schemes that stand the test of time."

Since its establishment in London’s West End in 1871, the practice has enjoyed a history of prestigious contracts, including a garden pavilion for the Queen Mother’s 90th birthday, a private apartment for the Prince of Wales and the refurbishment of the ballroom at Buckingham Palace.