THE architects behind the £1.8million building in Purfleet has won an award.

HAT Projects, who designed the artist studio complex on the High House Production Park, off Vellacott Close, won the Royal Institute of British Architects Emerging Architect of the Year gong at the East Regional awards.

High House Production Park also won Client of the Year for its role in development of the artists’ studios.

The complex of 43 affordable studios and work/live units opened in July 2013.

The design was inspired by industrial buildings which artists are traditionally associated with when it comes to creating their work.

Comprising 39 self-contained studios and four work/live units, the building gives artists a place to complete their fine art projects and to retreat to afterwards and was purpose-built for artists.

Jonathan Harvey, chief executive of Acme Studios, a London-based charity which runs this studio complex and others, said: "A great deal of passion and attention to detail was put into the development of High House Artists’ Studios.

"It was a challenge to create a high-quality, flexible building that was suitable for a wide range of fine artist practice and at the same time remain affordable to artists.

"It is a huge credit to HAT Projects that this was achieved with significant architectural merit which has been rightly recognised by the judges."

Acme undertook a two year research programme with top London art college Central Saint Martins College of Art to provide a functional space for artists.

The scheme, which is nestled next to the Royal Opera House set design building on the "creative industries hub" in Purfleet, will now be put forward to the RIBA National Awards in June.