REFURBISHED / RECYCLED WORKPLACE

 

National Winner/Winner Scotland Region - Sponsored by Keltbray Group Ltd
Fairmilehead Redevelopment, Edinburgh

Client

Scottish Water

Architect

Michael Laird Architects

Structural Engineer

Arup

Services Engineer

Blackwood Partnership

Quantity Surveyor

Gardiner & Theobald

Main Contractor

Morrison Construction


There are buildings the length and breadth of the British Isles which face their owners and occupiers with the problems of the 1970's - and the Fairmilehead development which is now the Edinburgh base for Scottish Water is a prime example. With a tight column grid (3.6m in one direction), a limited floor-to-ceiling height, practically no spare capacity in the designed floor loading, floorplates designed without open plan use in mind, and the aggregate faced pre cast concrete cladding panels so beloved in those days, it set the design team the standard shopping list of problems that come with that generation of buildings, and the decision to refurbish rather than redevelop must have been a marginal one.

Now, however, the building can serve as an example of how to overcome many of those problems. By removing internal walls, demolishing a stair core and construction of an extension with contains a new core and arrival and meeting facilities, the floor plate has been cleared for open plan use.

The limited floor-to-ceiling height has been well handled with a carefully integrated scheme with chilled beams for air conditioning, combination up lighters and down lighters, and ceiling - with limited use made of bulkheads only where it is unavoidable.

The building had then been overclad with silver anodised aluminium panels, to create a crisp contemporary appearance, and to harmonise the original 1971 building and a later 1994 extension.

Sustainability wasn't an issue in the 1970's either, and it isn't always easy to achieve in a building that was not designed for it. Apart, however, from the inherent avoidance of waste involved in refurbishing rather than replacing the building, Scottish Water's redevelopment incorporates heat recovery solar collectors to pre-heat hot water, water saving devices, and a grey water system served by an attenuation pond.

Just as the building has been reconstructed, so has the business; and a primary objective of the redevelopment was to introduce new working practices, desk sharing, workplace districts, hot place desking, and some teleworking.

Scottish Water are convinced of the business benefits of this, and dramatic improvements in productivity, staff morale and overall business performance are the result.


Winner London (within M25) Region - Sponsored by Keltbray Group Ltd
Squire and Partners, 77 Wicklow Street, London WC1

Client

Squire and Partners

Architect

Squire and Partners

Structural Engineer

Price & Myers

Services Engineer

BDSP Partnership

Quantity Surveyor

The Collins Partnership

Contractor

Sames


A dark and damp abandoned 1930's printworks below five storeys of affordable housing (which would need to remain in occupation throughout the works) would appear to many to be an unlikely prospect for the studios of an architect - those handlers of space and light. The building was also located in an area which could then be described only optimistically as "up and coming"; and to make things more challenging still, the housing (whose services ran down through the space to be remodelled) would need to remain in occupation throughout the works.

The first award for Michael Squire & Partners, who saw the difficulties but were not daunted, is therefore one for enterprise - recognising the potential of both the building and the neighbourhood, and deciding to relocate there from a stucco'd mansion in Kensington.

And the promise has been fulfilled. The ground floor slab has been demolished and rebuilt at a level which gives adequate headroom in the basement. Double-height space has also been introduced at both the front and rear of the building, so that the basement can borrow light from the windows on those elevations, creating space which is well lit and which gives a sense of connection between those working at the two levels, to prevent a split into separate communities.

Using the project to say something about their approach to design, Squires have made for themselves a base which cannot fail to act as a shop window - both for them and for the principle of added value through design.


Commended BAE Systems, Crewe Toll House, Edinburgh

Client

BAE Systems Avionics

Architect

Hurd Rolland Partnership

Project Manager & Quantity Surveyor

Thomas & Adamson

Structural & Services Engineer

Blyth & Blyth

Contractor

Balfour Beatty Construction