Gwent Records Office by Stride Treglown

Ebbw Vale steelworks was once the largest in Europe.
Its closure in 2001 sparked a regeneration programme that cleared the site of all buildings except the listed General Offices, for which a new use had been found. The building was to be developed as a new home for Gwent Records Office, a visitor centre for the area, offices and function rooms. Gwent Archives collects preserves and makes accessible archives relating to the area it serves. The architects developed a design theme that alludes to the site’s rich history to complement the building’s existing finishes. The General Offices building is an extensive and grand Edwardian red brick and stone building. It remains largely as built, retaining its clock tower, large drawing offices as well as its board room and chairman’s office. The new extension is a modern design which features flat, shaped and curved forms.

The material used was Alucobond® Spectra Light Grey, Indiana Copper and Corten Steel. Internally much of the original building and its finishes remained.

Doors, ironmongery, the grand stone staircase and glazed wall tiling dados all remained and have been repaired, or restored where necessary.

Project: Gwent Records, Steelworks Road, Ebbw Vale, UK
Architect: Stride Treglown Davies, Cardiff, UK
Fabricator/Installer: Booth Muirie Ltd / Severn Insulation Co Ltd, UK
Construction: BM120 cassette panel system with recessed joints
Year of Construction: 2011
Product: Alucobond® Spectra Light Grey, Indiana Copper
Photos: Booth Muirie | Photosignals


New sixth form centre by Austin-Smith:Lord Architects

Award winning, international architects Austin-Smith:Lord have created the new Sixth Form Centre in Accrington, which is one of the most environmentally advanced buildings in Great Britain. St. Christopher’s generates more than 10 per cent of its energy on site by using ground source heat pumps. Natural ventilation and natural lighting are at the heart of the design and lead to a significant reduction in carbon emissions and running costs. The building uses rainwater-harvesting techniques to provide grey water for toilet use.

Two three-storey blocks are linked together by a glazed circulation area: one block contains 10 classrooms, a meeting room and laboratories for science, art and ICT and there is a 200 m² multi-purpose hall located in the other block, along with a learning resource centre and student hub. The outside space has been maximised by placing roof top gardens on both blocks, one as a teaching environment for art, the other as a student recreation area.

Chris Wright, associate from Austin-Smith: Lord, said: “It has flexible learning space to cater for the different teaching methods and to ensure the best response from students.“ The ventilated façade with ALUCOBOND® tray panels in the colours anodized look C31 and C32 contrasts with the
traditional red brick walls.

Project: St. Christopher’s High School’s new sixth form centre, Accrington, United Kingdom
Architect: Austin-Smith: Lord, United Kingdom
Fabricator: CGL Systems
Installer: Speedclad
Construction: Tray panel cassette system
Year of Construction: 2011
Product: ALUCOBOND ® Anodized Look C31 & C32
Photos: Rebecca Lane

Stone-Walled Mill Transformed Into Sprawling Home

A picturesque remain of a mill near Loch Ussie in Scotland, UK catches second wind thanks to the Rural Design atelier. Architects used the last three standing walls of the mill as frame for a new family settlement. Solid stone walls, just like those of castles that used to be abundant in old ages, support the superstructure with master bedroom. New volumes with wood-clad façade merge with historic elements into a harmonic unity with central open courtyard. The interior wall surface was plastered in white in order to highlight the old walls and wooden framework of the roof. Wooden slats that extend above windows are particularly interesting shade-creating elements.


Student Village by Hawkins, Brown

Architects of the English atelier Hawkins\Brown have recently completed a project of a student village at the Royal Veterinary College’s Hawkshead Campus in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, Great Britain. The project offers accommodation for 205 students, restaurant and various conference and meeting spaces. The design takes up an area of 6480 m² and features three or four storey pavilions connected by a staircase encased in light perforated aluminium.

The pavilions, all clad in cedar wood, have a saddle roofs and are arranged around inner courtyards of various sizes. The largest courtyard, oriented towards the centre of the village, creates a natural meeting point for the students. Public spaces, such as restaurant and the facilities equipped for continued professional development can be found in south-eastern part of the village, linked to the existing services of the student campus.


Serpentine Gallery by Peter Zumthor

The Serpentine Pavilion by the masterful Peter Zumthor embodies a silent meditation of nature packed into a black box. The structure plays with the senses of visitors by initially absorbing all the light and subsequently opening up a lush floral courtyard offering a calm sun-filled relaxation spot. The Pavilion is classic Zumthor with his minimalism and modest modernism, pushing the envelope of restrained design by reducing aesthetic elements and even light itself. As the black box engulfs the visitors, they are led by a distant sunlight through a dark corridor into the inner courtyard.

Only at this point, the true meaning of this space is understood – a closed garden (lat. hortus conclusus) connects the jet black building with vivid nature. The garden is designed by Piet Oudolf (Netherlands) and its size of 250 m2 creates an abundance of space for contemplation in harmony with flora of various colours, shapes, sizes and aromas. Angling into the courtyard, the roof enables unobstructed view of the sky. Sheltered seating area is placed around the garden.


Garden Home by

    A Garden Home – The Modern, Spacious & Affordable 21st Century solution to the ‘Granny Annexe’

    The site – the rear of a detached home in Kent, England, offers a unique contemporary living space for a couple who required additional room for elderly loved ones. The 2 bedroom home provides 98 sq/m of independent living space for the elderly parents and offers a solution for bringing the family together whilst providing the necessary separate living spaces.

    The architectural focus of this build is a practical, modern and relaxing space in an open-plan layout that offers great value for money.

    The front of the house and to the left is an open plan kitchen/diner supplied by; leaving the client with the option to dine inside during the cold winter months, and outside for a quintessentially British cream tea on the spacious ‘Accoya’ fitted decking area during the summer time. The large expanse of opening bi-folding doors on the front elevation allows the large living area and kitchen to be part of the garden space. At the rear of the property are two great size bedrooms with built-in wardrobes and sitting between the two bedrooms is an attractive shared bathroom that is not only in keeping with rest of the house décor, but is fitted with timeless fixtures giving the bathroom suite that matching contemporary design.

    Other modern features include spot lighting which features throughout this self contained home, a sky lit hallway and large floor to ceiling windows, The exterior offers a superb environmental eco design; where the sustainable architecture is achieved without compromising the aesthetics or increased costs. The building is cladded in Canadian Western Red Cedar, which unlike other timbers has better durability and lifespan than most due to the natural oils in its make-up. This helps to preserve the material when exposed to the outdoor environment and has a minimum lifespan of 60 years. Furthermore, the cedar used by comes from sustainably sourced forest certified through both PEFC and FSC schemes. The unique living sedum roof effortlessly ties in with its surrounding environment. This durable living organism requires zero maintenance whilst providing a much improved aesthetic in comparison to most typical roofs.

    Not only does this build offer a great eco design and layout, it lives up to its environmentally friendly features as has managed to not only achieve U-value guidelines set by British Building Regulations, but exceed them by a considerable amount; providing their clients with a well insulated home; and thus saving money on their energy bills.

    The experienced team at completed the build of the home in an impressive 8 weeks, with no compromise on quality or finishes. Operating in an efficient manner that saves their clients’ both time and money is what makes so unique to the market. Unlike a traditional build there are no additional architectural costs and fees as all the work is done in house and within our turnkey service; making the approach towards building a new home or granny annexe one of the most competitive in the market.


Bea’s of Bloomsburys by Carbon

London based creative + boutique studio, carbon, have recently completed work on the much anticipated 2nd location of Bea’s of Bloomsbury; an independent boutique cafe specialising in bespoke cakes and high quality food.

The new location comprises of two floors: a kitchen and serving area on the ground floor, and a mezzanine level with bench and booth seating, offering customers a casual relaxed environment in which to look out through the glazed facade at St Paul’s. The site is a narrow 70 sqm corner unit in the newly developed One New Change building by Jean Nouvel adjacent St Paul’s Cathedral.

The design of the restaurant is modern with a twist of the aesthetic mind-set of a Japanese tea house. With much of the food offered at Bea’s being cute and colourful, the design approach went for a dark neutral background to celebrate the skilled hands at Bea’s. Cupcakes, cakes and quaint objects are displayed in individual glass boxes, showcasing the food as stars of the show.

The upholstery throughout the store compliments the colours of Bea’s food with sprinkles of different coloured cushions contrasting the darker background. The palette was kept tight with dark anthracite on vertical surfaces and soft blue undertones on ceilings and feature areas.

The lighting is kept ambient with a soft comfortable glow from the ceramic teapot lights suspended at various heights, adding a layer of fun and elegance to the scheme. At night, the display boxes and teapot lights output a welcoming glow that puts a smile across the faces of people passing by.

“The focus was in creating a unique and experiential space for Bea that reflected the same care and passion she had for the food she offered. The challenge was in creating an environment that reflected her culture which customers could recognize and engage, despite being an independent retailer.” says carbon co-founder/director Go Sugimoto.

Elements of her packaging design, also by carbon, can be seen with large scale graphics swooping through the scheme. The graphic is broken up along the various vertical surfaces of the space, which can be seen in its complete form along the elevation.

“In creating a strong and present identity, it is crucial to maintain a design language that is consistent throughout her offer” explains Sugimoto, “the store is her experiential identity”

Project: Bea’s of Bloomsburys
Location: adjacent St. Paul’s Cathedral, One New Change, London EC4M 9BX 0207 242 8330
Number of floors: two (ground and mezzanine)
Total floor area: 110 sq m
Budget: £260,000
Client: Bea Vo
Designers: Carbon
Contractor: Form Interiors
Mechanical: 360 Engineering
Electrical: Core Electrical
Lighting: Philips LED Solutions, Philips Electronics UK Limited Original BTC England – Teapot lights


Old Workshop by Jack Woolley

A project by Jack Woolley rehabilitates a worn out carpenter workshop. The original workshop was hidden behind a typical London-esque brick wall which connected neighbouring terraces. This wall, defining the streetline, along with the landscape of tree canopies were preserved. The brick wall became a part of the facade of the house, with the entrance door, visible only as a rectangular cut, seamlessly integrated into the overall appearance.

The residential space was expanded by an additional underground level, which was offset horizontally to allow daylight to penetrate through walk on roof lights running along its length. Materials salvaged from the original abandoned structure were used in rennovation. Pinewood boards from the roof were thoroughly dried, processed and used in construction of the new kitchen cabinets. The new building offers a variety of uses, ranging from residential to work-focused.


Rothschild Bank Headquarters by OMA

The dutch company OMA completed their debut in London. The project covers 21,000 m² in a narrow medieval alley St. Swithin’s Lane in the heart of the city. The said project is a central building of the Rothschild bank, established in 1809. Steel framework of the building enables suspension of the mass above the ground and creates attractive situations, connections and views. St. Stephen’s church can be found in close proximity of the central.

The mass of the modern building, however, does not compete or contrast the seventeenth century temple. They appear together as a unity due to simmilar proportions of their towers. The central bank is composed of a cube shaped core mass, divided into ten floors with an open-plan layout for office spaces, and four adjoined annex buildings with conference rooms, enclosed offices, reception areas a café and a gym.


Sustainable Guest House by

The architectonic office, based in Leicester, UK, is known for its designs and production of modern and ecological garden houses. These garden pavilions are minimalistic and fully sustainable units. One of them can be found in the beautiful outskirts of Oxford. Clients required a guest house in their garden, available during the whole year.

They had strict requirements, mostly in regards of the location and orientation of the dwelling, since the layout of one room with a kitchen counter and a separate bathroom did not need further editing. The final design exceeded their expectations, thanks to the extraordinary connection between the interior and the garden outside, mostly mediated by the adjoined large terrace. The original intent for the house as a guest accommodation, turned into a pleasing and enjoyable place for summer barbecues and celebrations as well.


Faceted House by Paul McAnearney Architects

Paul McAnearney Architects have recently designed a house by the name Faceted house or House of Many Faces. An old house in a decrepit state has been reconstructed and modernized. The house is located within a conservation area, in Hammersmith, London.

The project’s brief was to remodel and extend the living area. The client asked for a contemporary design and functionality and he also expressed the desire to be able to perceive the garden as a continuation of the domestic space. The new extension is added by a clean and clearly defined line to the rear part of the house that respects the heritage of the older building and gives this house a unique aesthetic.

The sculptural façade is visually striking and elegant at the same time. The architects reconfigured and expanded the existing space by designing a huge open-plan. Light floods into the house via the finest possible sections, making up the sliding doors, combined with the large fixed frameless panel of the façade. The result is a “ballet of light”, as the light casts a sharp beam into the depth of the house.


Doll`s House by TDO Architects

TDO Architects have created a Doll`s House. A real building served as a model, it was adapted to the proportions of dolls. The typology of this house is inspired by worldwide known architect Le Corbusier and by his masterpiece Villa Savoy constructed in 1929. Design is very modernistic. While the well-known Villa Savoy design served as model, the initial idea was a free plan, but TDO Architects thought that a free section would allow interaction with all areas. Effective flooring provides the space with an absolute absorption of light coming from the exterior and its redirected to every part of the house. Ramps go through the internal surface of the facade and form the overall appearance. Furniture is very simple, thanks to the transparent walls it can be seen from the outside.


7 More London

“7 More London” is a new headquarter of the company PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Southwark, London. This building has achieved very good results in BREEAM which is BRE Enviromental Assessment Method for sustainable technical building. BRE method was presented for the first time in 1990 and provides testing of the sustainability of new office spaces in Great Britain. The building is located near Thames river and Tower Bridge. The existing 10 storey building was extended by more than 60 000 square meters.

Architecture studio Foster&Partners created a multi-angle building with a polygonal inner court where the wings of the building meet by concave bridges. The facade of the inner atrium looks very simple and discrete. The building has a number of ecological and energy saving technologies and materials. A solar facade made in Germany for example with an incredible surface of 16 500 square meters. Because of the low sunlight transmittance of the facade covering, the interior has an optimal temperature even in the summer, what reduces air-conditioning costs.


Dover Esplanade

Two million pounds that is the planned budged for 3500 meters long esplanade connecting eastern and western docks in the harbour city of Dover as well as coast with a central square. The esplanade would become the welcoming place for all visitors coming to UK by boat as for “islanders”. The concept is composed of three individual projects each of them based on their own social and environmental context.

The esplanade has been opened to the public on the 4th of November 2010, its predominant element is a wave. Waves are present in shapes of the lighting or sitting benches. This unique design has been chosen as the winning project of a competition organized in cooperation of Landscape Institute on behalf of Dover Harbour Board, Dover and Kent District Councils, SEEDA and English Heritage. The project was cofinanced by Sea Change and DCMS support program led by CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) supporting any creative reconstruction of UK`s coastline holiday areas.


Studio East Dining

Studio East Dining, the temporary restaurant was designed by Carmody Groarke and came to life on a roof of a multi-storey car park overlooking the site of the London Olympics. Carmody Groarke is a relatively young London practice which has become known mostly with its public projects, for example their 7/7 Memorial in London’s Hyde Park commemorating the victims of the 2005 bombings. As this building was designed as temporary, it is understandable why architects chose the materials used. The interior resembles not a restaurant but the theatre backstage with visible scaffolding, pipes and rough-sawn boards. This striking construction forms the central part of the building which is wrapped in a white coat. Thanks to the white façade the attractive shape of the building becomes apparent. The floor plan looks like chaotically scattered wood logs and does not disturb the surroundings. The large windows are situated on all sides and offer beautiful views of different parts of the city. The interior is dominated by an interesting steel skeleton covered up to a certain height by wooden boards and long tables from the same wood. The result is a very modern space with charming atmosphere.


Modern elegance

This interesting sophisticated living on Downshire Road in Newbury in England was conceived by the architecture firm Mim Design. The layout of the house is quite simple. On the first floor there is a kitchen, living room and other rooms for socializing through which the garden can be entered. The second floor offers space for relaxing. There is a sense of lightness to the house, from its linear form and pale colors to the heavy use and transparency of glass doors and light-toned wood floors.

The dominant material is metal which was also used in the house’s structural framework but also served as the inspiration for the gray and steel-toned color upholstery fabrics in the house. The interior with its contemporary furnishing is enlivened by large-scale abstract paintings. The rear of the house is anchored by a covered terrace and swimming pool, which are visible from the living and dining areas sided by floor-to-ceiling glass. The light enters the house also thanks to the well arranged skylights which noticeably influence the atmosphere of the interior.


Maggies Centre by MJP Architects

MJP Architects residing in London have recently finished Magie Center, a care center for oncology patient. Situated on the premises of the Cheltenham hospital in the UK, it includes an original reception and a new floor with a woodden siding surrounded by a private garden. New extension features a large social room with a long table in its center and embrasures with seats alongside the walls. A fireplace and a kitchen are situated at one end of the room and another room for private sessions and therapies can be found behind them. Two semicircular rooms in thegarden can be used for private sessions and therapies as well. The purpose of the building is to provide a peaceful sanctuary as compared to the busy hospital and to grant an emotional and psychological support.