One contender for this year’s York Design Awards is a working building – and with the addition of steel columns to support the previously shifting structure, it should remain working for many years to come.

York Press columnist Stephen Lewis joined the award judges on a tour of York’s Bonding Warehouse, opened in 1875 alongside the River Ouse as a drop-off point for goods arriving by boat.

In the run-up to the Millennium it was in use as a restaurant, pub and music venue, but following the floods of November 2000, it stood empty for nearly 13 years.

Then along came developers with a plan – a sympathetic balance between residential space on the upper floors, and offices below to ensure this once-working building would retain its place in local industry.

Julian Bicknell, a London-based architect and head of the judging panel, pointed out where the steel columns that now support the building contrast with some of the ‘settlement’ that had taken place over the years.

At one point he remarked to Mr Lewis: “That’s quite an exciting crack, isn’t it?!”