Awards double for architects

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The architects behind a modern extension of a Dewsbury funeral directors have won a pair of awards for their innovative work.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors crowned Leeds-based firm Park Designed winners of Yorkshire’s commercial building category for their £171,000 revamp of Eric F Box Funeral Directors, in Bradford Road.

The designers, brothers Edward and James Park and their team, also won Best Commerical Build in the Northern Design Awards 2014 for the same work.

In a break with tradition, they created a dedicated space for functions to go ahead at the same time as chapel services, with an entrance leading straight to the new room so that other mourners are not disturbed. Elevations were also put up outside.

Edward, 33, said: “We hadn’t done any work with funeral directors before. I don’t know if they chose us because we would come with an open mind. We worked very well with the Boxs themselves. They knew their limitations. It takes a very strong person to know what they specialise in and what they don’t. It was a tremendous building.”

Edward said funeral director Andrew Box had told him that in the past, the cortège would leave a family home before a funeral.

But because people live longer, and many spend their final years in a care home, often long after they have sold their own property, it means there is not always a family home for the cortège to depart from.

It is now common for people to request that it leave from the funeral home, which is why the directors chose to have the work carried out. Other buildings revamped by Park Designed, of Pickering Street, includes Morley’s Seven Hills complex and Castleton Mills in Leeds.