Recently completed affordable rural housing designed by gcp Chartered Architects has won the ‘Best Affordable Housing’ category in the Somerset Local Authority Building Control Awards. The project, designed for South Western Housing Society and built by EG Carter Construction, provides 12 new homes for local families. gcp designed the homes to be comfortable and cheap to run, incorporating high levels of insulation with heating and hot water provided by ground-sourced heat pumps. Residents will enjoy low energy costs from a simple technology that is easy to operate and maintain.
Working with Stonewater, gcp have received planning permission for the construction of ten new affordable houses in Wiltshire. The new houses will form an extension to an existing Stonewater development of seven houses on the edge of the village of Sutton Benger.
During 2018, gcp has been continuing to work with Courtenay Investments on the strip back to shell refurbishment and extension of their 1950’s office block in Holborn, Central London. Enabling works are now complete and construction work proper will commence in Q1 2019.
Four schemes have been progressing in Lawrence Weston in North West Bristol with ongoing design work for Ambition Lawrence Weston, Pioneer Medical Group and Bristol City Council to try and bring the vision of a community hub building to fruition. We are also working with social landlord Curo at Henacre Road and Corbett Close. The 128 home scheme at Henacre Road will be on site by Easter next year following a painstaking search for any unexploded ordnance scheduled for the New Year. The fourth scheme is for Bristol City Council to the rear of the Ridingleaze shops where we will have designed nine houses for social rent.
We have also been working on an inner-city housing scheme for Acorn Property Group at Brooks Dye Works in St. Werburghs, Bristol (106 units) and large rural schemes for Lindon Homes near Long Ashton (103 units for phase 1) and Stonewater at Northwick Farm near Worcester (62 units).
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has been working with us on the development of their Urban Cricket Centre Concept, designed to bring playing opportunities to some of the most deprived post codes across East London, Birmingham and Bradford. The opening of the first site in East London is scheduled to coincide with the Cricket World Cup 2019.
Halsall Construction continue to be a great supporter with design for projects completed at Silver Street in Willand and Station Road in Castle Carey. In Swindon we have been working with the football club’s community trust to bring about the construction of a new pavilion building to support their new artificial turf pitch at the County Ground site. In Malvern we have just secured planning consent for fourteen homes for c-t-s Construction and Broadway Heritage Ltd on the edge of a local conservation area in the grounds of a former convent.
It only remains for me on behalf of the Directors to express our warmest thanks to the staff, clients and fellow consultants who have made 2018 the most successful in our now 31 year history!
Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year to you all.
gcp chartered Architects
Burthallan Farm is a conversion of semi-derelict agricultural buildings to create a range of artists studios and managers residential accommodation on a prominent site on the edge of St Ives.
The site, unoccupied since 1927, occupies a prominent location within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI); it is within the Green Belt and includes land down to the South West Coastal Path and beyond to the sea.
Working within the tight constraints of the St Ives Neighbourhood Development Plan 2015 – 2030 and the Cornwall Design Guide, the project seeks to build within the original envelope of the farm building formed of cob and granite, enhance the artist studio offer available in the area and provide a further boost to local tourism. The studios will include tuition space for painting and life drawings, private studios and space for sculpture.
A planning application is due to be submitted before the end of 2018 and if successful, it is anticipated the artists studios will be 40% funded by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Rural Tourism Infrastructure Growth Programme.
This is the third project undertaken for this client over a rewarding and successful ten-year period.
A feasibility study to explore potential redevelopment options for the David Murray John Building, an iconic 21 storey 1970’s tower block in the centre of Swindon situated above the Brunel Shopping Centre. Known as the Number One Wonder of Swindon, originally designed and built by the local authority, the building has over 3,500 sq metres of office accommodation on floors 2 to 13 and 72 flats from floors 14 to 21 flats. The office accommodation has been vacant for several years, the cladding has come to the end of its economic life and the services installations needs a major overhaul.
The study investigates a range of interventions including complete recladding and a wide range of alternative uses. The report sits with the council awaiting further instruction.
gcp Chartered Architects has been appointed by Swindon Town Football in the Community Trust to work with Beard Construction to develop a detailed design for the Football Foundation funded ‘Community Club Hub’ at the County Ground in Swindon.
The design team of Kilminster Beer, SDS Consulting and Method Consulting is well on the way to achieving a start on site in January next year. Swindon Borough Council will very shortly be completing the necessary pre-commencement highway improvement works.
The two- storey building amounting to 750m2 will accommodate four changing rooms to support the existing athletics track and a proposed floodlit all weather pitch as well as a café, clubroom, office space for the Trust and ancillary accommodation.
gcp are working for specialist contractor Rateavon on this is an external restoration project for two early 1960’s Bristol City Council tower blocks in sight of St Mary Redcliffe. This scheme includes window replacement, new roofing and complete redecoration.
Working within the constraints of two adjacent conservation areas, colour options to change the identity of the blocks away from established colour palette normally associated with affordable housing in the city have been carefully considered and discussed with the council’s conservation and planning officers before offering then to residents for comment.
Spencer and Norton are the 6th set of tower blocks we have worked on in the city since 2015 and over that time we have developed a detailed understanding of the issues associated with refurbishing these iconic buildings.
A planning application will be made before end of 2018 and works started October 2018 and are scheduled for completion by November 2019.
Housed in a former Victorian primary school, Avonmouth Community Centre is a well used and much-loved community facility on the edge of Avonmouth Docks.
In line with council policy the management team were invited to bid to transfer the ownership via community asset transfer. With financial support from the Port Communities Resilience Fund the community association appointed gcp Chartered Architects to prepare a feasibility study to investigate the potential to increase revenue streams and secure existing tenancies for this popular community centre.
gcp devised a phased development plan that allowed for the progressive refurbishment as capital grants became available. Detailed design work are due to commence in the New Year.
Our latest rural housing scheme was handed over this week at Mark, Somerset.
The 10 new homes for South Western Housing Society are located on the edge of the village and form a lovely courtyard development providing a range of homes that include bungalows, houses and apartments, to cater for a range of housing needs.
The development is already fully let to people from the local area - excited to be moving in to these light and spacious homes. The development has been constructed by EG Carter Construction with a really excellent standard of finish. The homes have heating and hot water provided by Ground-Source Heat Pumps; which will keep energy costs to a minimum.
This development provides an excellent benchmark for affordable rural housing.
gcp Chartered Architects is looking to recruit an architectural technologist with at least three year’s experience producing construction information on multiple unit housing projects accurately and to demanding deadlines. Experience of AutoCad and Revit would be a distinct advantage. If you are interested in this post with salary commensurate with qualifications and experience then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance. No agencies please.
gcp is pleased to welcome Olia Kyritsi to the team!
Olia is a Chartered Architect, with 5 years working experience on residential, retirement living and commercial schemes, work spaces and leisure centres.
She holds a MArch from the National Technical University of Athens and an MSC on Environmental Design of Buildings from the Welsh School of Architecture.
Both she and Matt Bonney join at the start of a busy - and exciting - summer period for gcp.
gcp is pleased to welcome Matt Bonney to the team!
Matt is a recently qualified architect who previously worked for 360 Architecture in Glasgow. He graduated from Strathclyde University in 2016, where his studies focused on developing sustainable buildings with inter-seasonal energy storage.
Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park has been invited by the Rural Development Programme to the next stage of grant funding application, which will help to provide new and improved facilities at the park. We’re excited to continue supporting Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park in this, with the detailed application due in late September.
Southmead Development Trust invited architects and design teams to register their interest in taking part in a limited design competition for the redevelopment of the Glencoyne Square area of Southmead.
gcp Chartered Architects teamed up with Alec French Architects and McGregor Coxall Landscape and Urban Design Consultants to prepare a strong submission from Bristol-based design companies. The team was one of four shortlisted practices selected to develop their ideas through to a public and stakeholder consultation carried out over three days last week. This exercise created good interest from stakeholders and the local community, where there is an enthusiasm to support change and develop new facilities around the Glencoyne Square area. This exciting project could have wide-ranging benefits, supporting community organisations, local shops and traders, creating opportunities for new housing and community facilities and regenerating the infrastructure of the area.
All four design teams were challenged to explain and justify their ideas and approach. Southmead Development Trust are expected to announce a preferred design team to move forward for the next stage of the project that will include detailed consultation and planning applications.
gcp are working with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), to support the delivery of their recently launched 11-point action plan to better engage with South Asian communities, which aims to diversify the game, remove barriers to participation and use cricket to make a positive difference to society.
Through the creation of the action plan, ECB identified that the most significant barrier to South Asian participation is limited access to cricket facilities in urban areas – where the vast majority of these communities live. To address this, ECB plans to provide year-round access to facilities, tackling the challenges of availability, quality and cost, by installing affordable community cricket facilities in urban locations where demand is highest. A key component of this action, is the piloting of three indoor Urban Cricket Centres during the next two years, with the ambition of creating more than 20 Centres over the next five years.
gcp have worked alongside ECB to develop the Urban Cricket Centre delivery model, and Ridge and Partners have worked with gcp and ECB to advise on costs.
This exciting opportunity follows up on gcp’s previous work with the ECB to develop the technical guidance note for indoor cricket facilities.
gcp have been appointed by Curo Group to develop proposals for two large residential developments in Lawrence Weston which will deliver much needed affordable homes for sale and rent in this part of the city. The first main site for 128 new homes has been developed following detailed consultation with Bristol City Council and the local community.
Working closely with Curo Group and Planning Consultants GL Hearn, gcp developed detailed proposals that have been submitted and registered for planning consideration. This project will create a range of family homes in a landscaped setting that will provide a great place to live and excellent affordability for young people looking for their first property.
You'll know from previous blog posts and correspondence that gcp are really proud of our Quality and Environmental Management System. We are committed to continually improving our systems and procedures. At the core of this is a drive to be innovative, efficient and forward-facing - we are dedicated to a high standard of customer service.
Following on from the integration of ISO14001 to our system in 2016, we have just completed a successful transition audit for ISO9001:2015 and ISO14001:2015 in line with the new Annexe SL format.
This continues a long-running history of successful compliance audits and builds on a continued desire for this system to be a robust management tool.
We would like to thank all members of staff, who always approach audits with diligence and good humour; continuing to be at the heart of the extended success of our system.
gcp have been appointed by Curo Group to develop proposals for two large residential developments in Lawrence Weston, which will deliver 185 new homes in this part of the city. The proposals at Henacre Road and Corbet Close will provide a mix of new homes for sale, affordable rent and shared ownership. Lawrence Weston is one of the first areas in the city to have adopted its own Neighbourhood Development Plan and both sites are key to delivering the residential objectives of this plan.
Having had detailed discussions with Ambition Lawrence Weston; the local neighbourhood planning group, the proposals were presented to the wider community at two separate open consultations in March. The proposals were generally well received with useful feedback and comments from the local community – with a lot of interest expressed in the opportunity that new affordable homes for sale and shared ownership will give to local families.
Further details of the consultations for Corbet Close and Henacre Road are available on the Curo Developments pages at https://www.curo-group.co.uk/house-building/schemes/
The Architecture Centre along with UWE Architecture & Planning students have undertaken a mapping exercise of new housing across Bristol that highlights the variety of methods of delivery. Available as a downloadable summary report, a series of case studies from individual dwellings through to large scale developments are explored, they include Torpoint and Junction 3 that were delivered by gcp Chartered Architects.
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;
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