A controversial futuristic pavilion that some have likened to a pagoda built at Oare House for multi-millionaire Sir Henry Keswick has earned its designer a top international award.

When the pavilion, which Sir Henry uses for relaxation and entertaining guests, was built about six years ago there was concern expressed by some local people and by ramblers over the appearance of such an avant-garde building against a backdrop of the Marlborough Downs.

People have, however, come to accept and praise the building and this week it earned a top international award for its designer, the Chinese-born architect I.M.Pei.

Today the architect, who was brought up in America where he still lives, was due to be presented by the Royal Institute of British Architects with its Royal Gold Medal at a ceremony in London.

The architect is world famous and his work includes the new East Wing at the USA National Gallery in Washington DC and pyramids at the Louvre in Paris.

His only UK building is the garden pavilion at Oare for old Etonian Sir Henry, 71, and his wife Tessa.

Sir Henry, who shuns publicity, is modestly keeping quiet about the award. He is currently in the Far East where the company he chairs, Jardine-Matheson Holdings, has huge business interests.

A spokesman said: “Sir Henry very much hopes you will understand that this is just a private pavilion, and he would much prefer not to make any comment.”