PROJECTS UP TO 2,000 SQM

In a hotly contested category, 2010 saw the national award go to a project that was noted as being welcoming and highly accessible.

NATIONAL WINNER
LONDON AND THE SOUTH EAST

GRAEAE THEATRE COMPANY, BRADBURY STUDIOS, 138 KINGSLAND, LONDON

10_6_Graeae

Project Client:

Graeae Theatre Company

Owner:

138 Kingsland Road

Project Manager:

Artillery Architecture and Interior Design

Quantity Surveyor:

Bigham Anderson Partnership

Interior Designer:

Artillery Architecture and Interior Design

M&E Engineer:

Maleon

Structural Engineer:

Cooper Associates

Contractor:

Paragon


The Graeae Theatre Company development gave no ground whatsoever to much larger shortlisted projects in providing what is fair to describe as a joyous and quality office space and headquarters facilities for this national arts group. Graeae is a disabled-led theatre company that profiles the skills of actors, writers and directors with physical and sensory impairments.

The team have taken a historic tram shed, in Hackney in East London, and turned it into a vibrant, colourful and successful workplace that is built around the specific needs of the vast range of users. It is a functional facility that celebrates the diverse mix of artists, staff and visitors who now enjoy the building.

The volume of the original structure has been optimised, with M&E housed in redundant roof space and a new mezzanine offering both expansion and revenue space. The need to support people with a diversity of disabilities has been achieved through exemplary material choice, specifications and design. The highly innovative use of colour, light, management of sound and even scented planting provides a new benchmark for accessibility.

The team of the Graeae Theatre Company, Artillery Architecture and Interior Design, and Paragon have worked together to push the boundaries of sustainability through recycling, energy saving, sourcing local fittings and furniture and even distributing 90% of the used items for re-use following the office move from Graeae’s previous address.

As the UK’s leading disabled-led theatre company, the Graeae building is immediately welcoming and highly accessible. The flooring is tactile and the heating and lighting systems are user sensitive; there are quality acoustics, the work surfaces are all adaptable and even the WCs are stylish. Bradbury Studios is colourful, light, innovative and welcoming.

The pride and enthusiasm for the building that is exuberated by the workforce and reciprocated by its visitors is immediately obvious and impressive. This testimony from the staff in their workplace defines the success of the project. As the theatre company itself concludes: “The building is an antidote to the idea that disability somehow deserves spaces that are grey, dull and utilitarian.”

REGIONAL WINNER
SCOTLAND

BURO HAPPOLD, 57-59 BREAD STREET, EDINBURGH

10_6_Buro_Happold

Project Client:

Buro Happold

Owner:

Buro Happold

Project Manager:

Buro Happold

Quantity Surveyor:

Morham and Brotchie

Brief Consultant:

Buro Happold

Architect:

LDN Architects

Interior Designers:

Buro Happold & LDN Architects (Staff)

M&E Engineer:

Buro Happold

Structural Engineer:

Buro Happold

Contractor:

O'Neill Interiors


This small project was a bold move by the engineering consultancy Buro Happold to search for, find, uncover and rescue what was a hidden derelict triangular gem in a tight urban plot, which was hidden behind some tenements in a neglected corner of the city centre.

Originally built as a printing works and more recently used as a gymnasium, it had lain abandoned for some time. A comprehensive internal consultation process established that the firm’s goals for its new premises were for a city centre-based environment, with a reliance on public transport and cycling; it should be of sustainable construction, even to the extent of eliminating where possible chemical toxins in chosen construction materials and it should achieve a low energy usage.

With the site difficult to access externally, the conversion work was planned to be tackled from the inside. Two major interventions were the construction of a polished concrete floor throughout, giving an easily maintainable uniformity, and the installation of a new central roof light, to enable stack ventilation supplemented by opening perimeter windows, set within a finely detailed timber acoustic ceiling.

The apparent simplicity of both concept and execution belies the depth of thinking the project team have evidently put into sustainable design, environmental comfort, fire engineering, lighting and acoustics. The resulting office environment is light, airy and very quiet and has been easily sub-divisible to accommodate a local architectural practice as a tenant.

REGIONAL WINNER
MIDLANDS AND EAST ANGLIA

1 SEVERN STREET PLACE, THE MAILBOX, BIRMINGHAM

10_6_Severn_Street_Place

Project Client:

Associated Architects

Owner:

Birmingham Mailbox

Project Manager:

Faithful+Gould

Quantity Surveyor:

Buildability

Architect:

Associated Architects

Interior Designer:

Associated Architects

M&E Engineer:

Arup

Structural Engineer:

Curtins

Contractor:

Buildability

Developer:

Birmingham Mailbox


Associated Architects has delivered a workplace that not only provides its staff with a first-class office environment, but also a tangible demonstration of its capabilities and style as an architectural practice.

The firm had to find a new location for its growing business that would allow it to introduce desired transformational change and would showcase its own design skills. As the original architect of The Mailbox, it knew where to find this blank canvas by changing a former materials storage area into a contemporary office offering a spacious working environment.

The holistic approach to ensuring the workplace was practical, robust, sustainable and honest in its look was obvious to the judges during their visit. Providing the technology and work settings that enable people to match the setting to the task was complemented by the use of recycled and natural materials. The design allows for the anticipated growth in staff numbers, giving staff the sense of flexible working while not actually introducing hot-desking.

The flexible, rectangular space provides an opportunity for staff to rationalise the space for meetings or for social interaction. Consideration also extends to the work undertaken with a visually pleasing storage wall, providing the necessary space for the paper-based documents and drawings used by the practice. The quality of the finishes and the detailed design elements impressed the judges.

REGIONAL WINNER
NORTH OF ENGLAND, NORTH WALES AND NORTHERN IRELAND

COOPER'S STUDIOS, WESTGATE ROAD, NEWCASTLE

10_6_Coopers_Studio

Project Client:

The Hanro Group

Owner:

The Hanro Group

Project Manager:

AA Projects

Quantity Surveyor:

AA Projects

Brief Consultant:

Ryder Architecture

Architect:

Ryder Architecture

M&E Engineer:

Screen & Forster

Structural Engineer:

Edward Bird

Contractor:

Whelan

Investment/Property Co.:

The Hanro Group

Developer:

The Hanro Group


The transformation of Cooper’s Studios, a three-storey 1897 horse and carriage salesroom, by the developer Hanro and the architectural practice Ryder, has integrated cost-efficiency, environmental awareness and style within the historic structure of the building. After the heyday of horse and carriage sales, the building has subsequently been used as an early bicycle store and a motor showroom when the motor car was in its infancy.

As the developer’s plans were evolving, the building, which contains elements of Hadrian’s Wall running below it, was listed, further adding to the challenges of the project. Cooper’s Studios was in a truly derelict state: trees were growing out of the gutters and roofs were leaking. The transformation has created 16,500 sq ft of new office space, in a simple and honest fashion, saving most of the original features.

While the character and nature of the space could possibly limit the tenant audience, Cooper’s Studios offers an environment that is hard to find elsewhere. Modern interventions of handrails and bridges have been handled sensitively while original features from the horse salesroom, such as the ramps, the horse tethering rings, the first floor ladies’ gallery and the second floor cycle test route have been preserved to maintain the integrity of the building.

The building makes good use of natural and artificial light, which helps to highlight the quality of the oval, central two-storey workspace and roofscape.