2017 was a memorable year for gcp. It saw us celebrate our 30th year in business whilst working on some fantastic projects.
Strong in housing
We continued to extend our considerable housing experience having designed and helped deliver over 1,500 homes in the last 10 years alone. 2017 saw a real change in the scale of projects we were being asked to support and currently we have over 1,500 units on the drawing board scheduled for completion over the next three years.
This year’s significant housing projects include:
ten new high-quality homes for private sector developer Shepperton Homes at Hardington Moor, Somerset;
public consultations for housing schemes in Brent Knoll (15 homes) and Lympsham (20 homes), both for South Western Housing Society (SWHS);
the completion, also for SWHS near Load Pool, of six affordable housing units designed to PassivHaus Low Energy Building Standard using the MMC system of construction, Velox insulated concrete formwork ICF;
our selection, following competitive interview, to help Pill Community Land Trust, working alongside Wessex Community Assets, to develop up to 15 affordable homes for local people;
the completion of 13 affordable homes with Guinness Partnership in Pilton on land owned by Michal Eavis (Glastonbury Festival) which was opened twice, firstly by David Beckham and secondly by Jeremy Corbyn. gcp-blog/new-homes-for-local-families-in-pilton-jeremy-corbyn
Towers in Bristol and Swindon
Following on from supporting Bristol City Council with the over cladding of tower blocks in the city, we were delighted to start work on a high-level options appraisal looking at the future use of Swindon’s tallest building. Built in the 1970s, the 83m, 23 storey David Murray John Tower sits above the Brunel Centre, Swindon's main shopping centre. Ripe for redevelopment, the tower comprises of 72 flats and 9 floors of commercial office space.
Developments for St Monica Trust
gcp was appointed by St Monica Trust to develop a Five-Year Enhancement Plan for its prominent nine-acre head office situated to the north of Bristol’s Durdham Downs. This early retirement community, Cote Lane, was started in 1925 by the Wills family and it now accommodates over 320 residents. gcp is masterplanning the upgrade of most of the on-site facilities and creating an open retirement village. gcp-blog/st-monica-trust-future.
Cote Lane was the host of the hit Channel Four programme Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. This project comes on the heels of the successful opening of the Trust’s The Chocolate Quarter in Keynsham where the idea of open retirement communities has been further explored with a swimming pool, gym and cinema all open to the public. The former Fry’s Chocolate Factory hosted the gcp designed B Block wood-fired pizza bistro.
Ongoing projects and supporting local businesses
Our ongoing projects include Lawrence Weston Community Hub that is moving towards a funding decision by Bristol City Council later this year. gcp-blog/lawrence-weston-community-hub
We were also appointed by Avon Valley Wildlife and Adventure Park to support them with plans to relocate the park if the North Keynsham Expansion Plan, as highlighted in the draft B&NES Local Plan 2016-36, come to fruition.
Leading on from the successful completion of 155 Aztec West, the conversion of a tired 1980s office building in North Bristol, now occupied by Hoare Lea Consulting Engineers, we are currently working on the redevelopment and extension of Elizabeth House, another tired office building, this time at Inns Court in central London. Due to start on site in spring 2018, the project involves adding two new floors on top of a concrete frame. gcp-blog/elizabeth-house-London.
We continue to work with local manufacturing businesses including aerospace component manufacturer mcbraida where we designed a car park extension to cope with staff growth. For seal-lite, manufacturer of high quality UPVC double glazing systems, we prepared a site rationalization plan that increased both manufacturing floor area and storage space. In Avonmouth, dssmith, one of Europe’s largest recycling businesses appointed us, with contractor tercon to remodel an existing building to accommodate new machinery following the consolidation of its local operations into a single Avonmouth facility. At Staple Hill we worked up proposals for bristoluniforms to extend their existing factory.
Reasons to celebrate
In celebration of our successful 30th year we held several events. These started with a sponsored walk along the Wye River to raise money for Breast Cancer Research, followed by a trip to the local Karting centre for a race night won inexplicably by the old wise tortoise rather than the young brash hare. Then there was also a charity quiz hosted at Mud Dock, Bristol, which attracted over 20 teams, a lunch at kingswestonhouse affording the opportunity for current staff to meet a range of current and past clients, a trip to the horse racing at Bath for consultant friends, watching T20 cricket in Bristol and a staff picnic and bike ride along the Strawberry Line. The year of special events culminated in a Dinner at the Raddison Blu Hotel in the Autumn, attended by lots of familiar faces belonging to the former staff members who we had managed to track down. Many travelled considerable distances to be there.
Over the course of the year we managed to raise £2,307.25 for our chosen charity, macmillan and received the following letter of thanks.
To everyone at gcp Chartered Architects, we can’t say thank you enough
Thank you for raising a fantastic £2,307.25 (including gift aid) for Macmillan through your online fundraising earlier this year. We hope you are proud of your achievement. The money you raised will mean we can be there for even more people affected by cancer, every step of the way.
For example, £203.00 could pay for a Macmillan nurse for a day, so they can provide expert medical, practical and emotional support to someone living with cancer. And £416.00 could pay for 800 copies of The cancer guide – one for every person who will be diagnosed with cancer today. So you see, the money you raised really will make a difference.
And as a member of team Macmillan, you can support us in lots of other ways too. If you’d like to raise more money for Macmillan, you can find other fundraising ideas at www.macmillan.org.uk/events. Or if you’d prefer to support us in another way, why not think about volunteering or campaigning instead? Visit www.macmillan.org.uk/getinvolved or call 0300 1000 200 to see how you can help.
Thanks again for being such an important part of the Macmillan team. Without your help, we wouldn’t be able to keep providing our vital services. Together we are all Macmillan Cancer Support.
Katie Donnelly, Supporter Donations Team
We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the accumulation of that total and look forward to working with you again in the near future, if we are not already doing so.
1 March 2018