SMALL PROJECTS

 

National Winner / Regional Winner South of England (Outside M25 and South Wales)
The Lemsford Mill Estate, nr Welwyn Garden City

7_7_lemsford_mill

Project Client:

Ramblers Holidays

Owner:

Ramblers Holidays

Project Manager:

Aldington Craig & Collinge

Quantity Surveyor:

Northcroft

Brief Consultant:

Aldington Craig & Collinge

Architect:

Aldington Craig & Collinge

Interior Designer:

Aldington Craig & Collinge

M&E Engineer:

Whitbybird

Structural Engineer:

Whitbybird

Contractor:

T&E Neville


The judges saw this quaint, immaculately refurbished mill building, supporting a modern commercial business as a rare joy. And as a bonus, Ramblers Holidays has been able to use the property as a surety for its ABTA bond.

Renovation of this landmark on the historic Great North Road is the latest chapter in the life of these resilient listed buildings. The mill was converted for light industrial use by Aldington Craig & Collinge 20 years ago with a quality that clearly influenced the wise decision for Paul Collinge to make the latest transformation.

Living space for visiting staff has been provided by rebuilding on the site of original outbuildings. The business case for conversion also required development of a number of B1 units, which are elegant, single storey and linked with a novel roof structure.

All three components demonstrate a sensitive and sustainable approach which has created a memorable and stylish working environment in harmony with the historic context. It is the sort of place where everyone would like to work, said the judges.

Linking house and mill has been done with a visual connectivity that belies awkward level differences. This promotes a high degree of movement between the two parts - a critical factor in preventing polarisation of mill and house - although more could have been made of this as a public entrance.

Despite the challenges of the historic fabric, workspaces are well planned and provide a stimulating environment, daylit and naturally ventilated. Core and support space is compact and clearly articulated with aluminium clad ply panels rising through the occupied space.

Commitment to re-energising the building has extended to the re-introduction of a water wheel as a source of renewable power. The installation, designed in conjunction with a research group at the University of Southampton and manufactured by Hydro Watt in Germany, creates the first 'breast-shot' wheel in the UK to generate electricity. The wheel produces, on average, 60% of general daytime demand. It is sound proofed but visible from the workspace through glazed floor panels, providing a dramatic focus and continual reminder of the site history.


Regional Winner Small Projects London (Inside M25)
Cinven, Paternoster House

7_7_cinven_paternoster_house

Project Client:

Cinven

Project Manager:

Drivers Jonas

Quantity Surveyor:

Gardiner & Theobald

Architect:

Pringle Brandon

Interior Designer:

Pringle Brandon

M&E Engineer:

SKM

Contractor:

Overbury


This mini-campus around London's Paternoster Square met all the client's aspirations to provide an atmosphere of restrained and sophisticated quality befitting the resources and client profile of a private equity firm. Specifications were generous, providing the feel of a luxury hotel in an office setting. Overbury and Pringle Brandon deserve praise for the speed of fit-out - from lease to occupation in six months - while still creating a conspicuously competent result.

Bespoke detailing meets the brief for acoustic and climate control, quality of finish, privacy and sophisticated IT infrastructure. Flexible space enables work in a variety of groups, with conveniently located amenity facilities close to a sound proof meeting room. The design team worked within BCO guidelines but with the luxury of a generous, if undisclosed, budget to provide a polished workspace.

Sensitivity of operations makes privacy paramount and soundproofing was successfully implemented. Global operations also need video conferencing, which was also incorporated with immaculate precision. The finely worked palette was under-whelming in some places, especially the lift lobby/reception, although attention to partition glazing details was almost forensic.


Regional Winner Small Projects The Midlands and East Anglia
19 George Road, Edgbaston

7_7_george_road

Project Client:

Calthorpe Estates

Project Manager:

DBK Back

Quantity Surveyor:

DBK Back Group

Architect:

REID architecture

M&E Engineer:

ESC Consulting

Structural Engineer:

Waterman Partnership

Contractor:

Costain

Developer:

Calthorpe Estates


This relatively small, stand-alone office building near the city centre fits well within its surroundings despite the variation in style from neighbours. The scheme provides an exceptional public profile from the street and has created a strongly structured, finely stylised end product. Despite being on a tight site, the aspect out of the building is very good, providing high levels of natural light to public and private areas. Concentration on providing a mixed-mode ventilation system and achieving an excellent BREEAM rating is pleasing in an environment that might otherwise have been used for a more traditional building.

The key aspirations and brief have evidently paid off well, with full occupancy and a good level of positive feedback from the occupier. While the building lacks commercial flexibility, it has an exceptional 'feel good' factor and the regional judges were unanimous in their decision in making the award. The national panel was impressed by the boldness of a major local landowner creating modern offices when it could have easily made do with repeating the traditional vernacular. This will help set a tone for the shape of regeneration by rebranding what had become a tired estate. Construction was fast and of generally high quality, although let down by a few details. However, the exceptional speed in which the plans were approved showed a refreshing relationship of trust and understanding with local planners which bodes well for a shared vision for the future.


Regional Winner Small Projects North of England, North Wales and Northern Ireland
eOffice, 1 Portland Street, Manchester

7_7_e_office

Project Client:

eOffice

Owner:

Bruntwood

Project Manager:

Workspace

Interior Designer:

Assemblyroom

M&E Engineer:

Workspace

Contractor:

Workspace




High quality furniture with a range of configurations and services have made good use of a base building on a busy city centre corner. A key difference to similar projects is the open plan layout and quality equivalent to a top hotel. This is more an office club than a workshop - in the words of the operator, a 'mini business district under one roof'. There are cellular offices, meeting rooms, touchdown benches and private areas, plus conference space for up to 100, but openness and integration is the overriding concept. The aim is to promote the cross-fertilisation of ideas and networking vital to start-ups and mobile workers.

Design and attention to detail is part of the secret. Ferrari-red casual furniture and record covers on the walls create a dynamic character from a limited budget and tight space. eOffice collaborated with IT, furniture and design specialists to create a stimulating and sociable environment which matches its view of the future of office work. The reception area is more like a hotel than an office and the decor incorporates Manchester themes to give a sense of place.


Regional Winner Small Projects Scotland
1 Pennyburn Road, Kilwinning

7_7_pennyburn_road

Project Client:

EDI Group

Owner:

North Ayrshire Ventures

Project Manager:

GTMS

Quantity Surveyor:

Mackenzie Partnership

Architect:

Austin-Smith:Lord

M&E Engineer:

Whitbybird

Structural Engineer:

Woolgar Hunter

Contractor:

CBC

Developer:

North Ayrshire Ventures


The quality of this small office building deserves recognition because it has helped make a major contribution to regeneration of North Ayrshire by attracting more than 100 jobs via relocation of the accountancy and bankruptcy department of the Scottish Executive from Edinburgh.

The site, close to a railway station linking Glasgow to towns around Irvine and Ayr, was bound to appeal to a public body, yet the required building standards would be challenging within the budget for a speculative development in an untested location.

It is simple and elegant, establishing a new standard for this peripheral location. A simple palette of sustainable local materials applied to a clear span structure has produced an efficient and stylish pavilion at a very low cost.

As the end-user was unknown and development of this nature very uncommon within the local market, the building had to be very flexible and capable of sub-division. It also had to reflect the prominent location. The boundary wall is splayed to accommodate traffic visibility but also to create dramatic pedestrian space under an oversailing roof, emphasising the glazed prow at the road junction.

The building envelope is held within protective flanking walls conceptually akin to a Victorian walled garden, defining the private and public domain. Glazing around the perimeter is intended to give the illusion that the roof is floating over the perimeter walls. The building only missed out on an 'excellent' BREEAM rating by the slightest margin due to late inclusion of comfort cooling to maximise the letting options.