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May 18th, 2017

Milford-on-Sea Beach Huts ready for occupation

 
Milford-on-Sea Beach Huts and Public Realm Improvements 
The Milford-on-Sea Beach Huts and Public Realm Improvements at have now been completed.
After the original terrace of beach huts were severely damaged in a huge storm on Valentine’s Day 2014, New Forest District Council agreed to replace the 119 beach huts and, following our involvement, took the decision to use the opportunity to improve Milford’s seafront for residents and visitors.
The brief was to design identical replacement huts that could withstand a 1:200 year storm event. Critical constraints were; there could be no increase in the height or change to the location of the huts. Through engagement with the public and a public exhibition, attended by over 600 local residents, we were able to establish support for significant enhancements to the project. The most significant was moving the promenade onto the roof. This has opened up a whole new waterfront experience, visitors now able to enjoy uninterrupted views  of the coastline and the Needles. This increase in the area of upper prom then allowed us to move the beach huts further back, away from the sea, reducing their exposure, widening the lower prom and increasing the space available for beach hut owners.
The new huts are very robust, constructed of concrete c-sections with precast graphic concrete front panels and marine ply doors. The beach hut owners were presented with a carefully selected pallet of colours to choose from for their new doors. Our objective was to achieve vibrant highlights of yellow and pink against a predominantly blue back drop. The challenge was how to achieve this whilst having no control over peoples individual colour choices. To achieve this we banked on blue being peoples favourite choice. To ensure this would become the dominant colour we provided a choice of vibrant pint, a zesty yellow and a subtly distinctive lime green as well as two shades of blue. The result was a randomly selected colour scheme that achieved exactly what we were hoping.
 
In addition to these primary moves, the scheme also benefits from a number of more subtle marginal gains. By narrowing the party walls we have been able to shorten the overall length so that one whole terrace of huts could be removed from the most exposed section of the waterfront. This has the added benefit of opening up new views, and along a greater extent of the promenade.

A walkway with handrails has been installed along the tops of the beach huts, with connecting bridges between sections of terraces enabling pedestrians to enjoy the spectacular Solent views from an elevated position. Steps up to the rooftop walkway from the rear upper promenade double as extra seating for visitors, interspersed with benches.A galvanised steel ramp now curves around the World War II pillbox at the western end of the site and concrete ramps have been installed to give wheelchair users and pushchairs access to both promenades.

Construction techniques more common to civil engineering projects were employed to create structures designed to withstand the conditions. Pre-cast concrete sections form the body of the huts. The design is softened by concrete front panels featuring a range of coastal-inspired designs from pebbles to Keyhaven River and the Needles. A new sea wall has also been incorporated into the rear of the huts to improve the coastal defences.

 
The project is an exercise in concrete design and the use of a bespoke Reckli formwork liner allowed us to create a bespoke piece of public artwork on the end of each terrace, adjacent to the improved access steps.

The project was managed by a project team made up of NFDC councillors and officers along with representatives of Milford Parish Council and the New Forest Beach Hut Owners’ Association.Engineering consultancy Ramboll UK Ltd led the design development of the scheme for NFDC, appointing Totton-based Snug Architects to develop the vision. Importantly, early design ideas were shared with the public and their views taken into consideration when the project team selected the preferred design.

Damian Westlake of Ramboll UK Ltd, who led the design team said “We were delighted to have the opportunity to design and supervise this interesting and challenging scheme. The design started with an aspiration to enhance the waterfront, provide robust beach huts and meet the needs of beach hut users, local people and visitors. Through close working with NFDC, project stakeholders and latterly with Raymond Brown Construction Ltd, we believe that the new beach huts and promenade areas have been designed and constructed in a way that fully realises this aspiration.

Following design development and public feedback the scope of the scheme expanded to include improving the public areas around the beach huts, which resulted in an increase in the original budget which had been based on like for like replacement. A budget of £1.26million was allocated in 2014 for the like for like replacement of 119 beach huts at Milford-on-Sea. The scheme expanded to include improvements to the public areas around the huts, resulting in a total investment in the seafront and 119 replacement beach huts of £2.36million. This includes £430,000 contributed to the rebuild costs by the owners of the 119 beach huts.

Raymond Brown Construction of Ringwood, began construction in September 2016 and completed the build on schedule. Kevin Valentine, Divisional Director for Raymond Brown Construction said: “It has been a pleasure to work with New Forest District Council on this project. Our team has worked diligently to deliver the scheme in time for the summer season and fully in line with expectations. I know we are all proud of the end result and hope the community and visitors alike will enjoy the new facilities”. 

 The result is a subtle transformed and highly distinctive new waterfront for both the beach hut owners, residents and visitors at Milford-on-Sea. The project is also an exercise in how sea defences can be effectively inhabited. The integration of sea wall, beach huts and promenade into a single integrated entity has resulted in significant added value and is a case study of how our coastlines could be transformed in an age of climate change.
Paul Bulkeley, Snug’s Design Director sums it up: “This is a great example of what can happen when you have an open minded client and dynamic collaboration between architect and engineer. This is how we will best solve societies emerging challenges. Together we were able to transform what was a disaster for the hut owners into an opportunity for all.”
May 8th, 2017

Ranked 76 in the Top 100 Architecture Blogs

We were chuffed to discover our blog is ranked 76th in the Top 100 Architecture Blogs Every Architect Must Read prepared by @_feedspot

http://blog.feedspot.com/architecture_blogs/#badgeaward

The list is the Best Architecture blogs from thousands of top Architecture blogs ordered using search and social metrics. These blogs are ranked based on following criteria

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts.
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

We will endeavour to keep up the blogging and the quality of what we say and do. Thanks to all those who have been sharing the adventure and following us.

May 8th, 2017

Planning secured for retirement housing in the New Forest National Park

 

We are delighted to have secured planning permission for specialist property developer, PegasusLife’s first scheme in The New Forest. Situated in The Rise Conservation Area in Brockenhurst, within the New Forest National Park, the development will comprise 24 one and two bedroom apartments exclusively for those over sixty.

The apartments will be split between three villas and a coach house to transform the site of the disused Watersplash Hotel. Sympathetically designed to fit seamlessly with the local landscape, the development will also include cleverly designed internal and external shared spaces designed to help residents and neighbours to easily socialise and create a thriving community.

Commenting on the development, Howard Phillips, CEO, PegasusLife said:

“Brockenhurst is a beautiful place and we’re looking forward to creating homes that are right for the local area and will enrich the lives of the people who will choose to live within our development.

“Having revised the scheme, we are particularly pleased that the Planning Inspectorate has agreed on a proposal that preserves and enhances the character and appearance of this wonderful Conservation Area and is also respectful of the existing hotel building.”

The defining features of the site are the historic house, prominently fronting The Rise, and the mature planting, which features two veteran oaks. To ensure the new development complements the spirit of the surrounding area, the design is a contemporary interpretation of the arts and crafts tradition.

The new accommodation is formed from three new buildings, all subservient in scale to the refurbished and extended character property. Positioned in response to the site constraints, and to fully utilise the site levels, the new buildings have familiar forms and use local materials to achieve a locally distinctive feel to the development. Rather than standard balconies, Snug designed an interstitial space, between gables of louvered timber cladding with traditionally proportioned punched hole apertures and the more generous contemporary openings from the interior. The result is an outside space for each apartment that enjoys a playful dance of light and mediates the interface between modern apartments and this sensitive context.

Snug Architects design director, Paul Bulkeley, commented:

The design makes a progressive contribution to the New Forest vernacular. We worked hard to create a place that responds sensitively and creatively to the context, enhancing both the period property and character of the area. It will be a stunning place in which to enjoy later living.”

PegasusLife is on a mission to make a fundamental change in the way that retirement property is understood and delivered in the UK. In addition to a focus on desirable locations that appeal to those in later life, the business is committed to developing high quality, flexible, well-proportioned living accommodation. PegasusLife offers all homes on a 1000-year lease and will not charge customers exit fees. Property management is provided on a not-for-profit basis.

We are grateful to the team who worked with us to develop the design and secure what is a significant provision of much needed housing in the National Park.

May 8th, 2017

Shortlisted for the LABC Awards

Great way to start the week. Hanlin House has been shortlisted for the LABC East Anglia Building Excellence Awards @labcuk. We are one of only four projects shortlisted in the Best Individual New Home category.

April 20th, 2017

Symbiotic design

Snug are starting a national debate on the merits of Symbiotic Design. This is about thinking outside the silo, exploring how multiple functions can be added to a project without compromising the primary function. The result can be significant added value at little or no added cost. It is an inherently sustainable approach to design that creates additional outcomes from what were single function solutions.

Our first application of this approach was our proposal for adding wind turbines to lamp posts. The lamp post already provides the support, the wiring and all the prelim costs of installation. All the wind turbines need is to borrow the existing infrastructure supplied by the lighting columns. The result is symbiotic infrastructure, a net gain at little or no extra cost or impact.


Our most recent applications of this ground breaking approach is in the design of symbiotic sea defences, a prototype applied and now delivered at our Milford-on-sea beach hut project. The concept is simple. Take the costs of essential infrastructure, normally a sea wall, and add value by inhabiting it. In this case we inhabit the wall by adding multiple uses in and around the essential concrete sea defence. In this instance concrete c-sections laid on their sides achieve a robust 1 in 200 year sea defence whilst also providing new beach huts within, and a promenade on the roof.


Symbiotic Sea Defences

99% – Beach huts, promenade, inhabitation

1% – Sea defences

The result is a liability transformed into an asset. A government grant transformed into the seed funding for a major waterfront rejuvenation. Traditionally the money spent on sea defences achieves one thing and one thing only, defence from the sea. It often comes at a high price, cutting people off from the waterfront and destroying the everyday due to fears about the ‘one day’. Our approach ensures that the essential requirement of sea defence is not compromised. Instead it is added to with multiple additional uses being derived from the core ingredients of the project and at little additional cost. We believe this approach could create significant long term revenue for local authorities, leveraging government grants to create cultural and economic transformation of the seafront.

Symbiotic Design is all about thinking across silo’s. Our inhabited sea defences recognise the all important necessity for robust sea defences. Delivering sea defences is not, however, seen as the end but instead becomes the beginning, the seed funding for wider urban regeneration. Secondary uses leverage the primary use in the same way as symbiote’s do in nature.  The result is significant added value and a more holistic and multidisciplinary approach to infrastructure design. We believe it is this approach that will deliver truly sustainable solutions in the future. It is time for cross silo thinking, it is time for Symbiotic Design!

March 30th, 2017

Snug shortlisted for the RIBA South West Awards

We are delighted that Woodlands has been shortlisted in the RIBA South West Awards 2017 alongside entrants that include Eric Parry, WilkinsonEyre, Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios, Mole Architects, Hawkins Brown, Glenn Howells and near neighbours Design Engine, AR Design Studio and Strom Architects. Woodlands is one of only two housing schemes shortlisted. The project comprising 17 spacious later living apartments for PegasusLife and was constructed by Midas Construction. The design concept is informed by the geometry of the prominent corner site and the surrounding mature trees in Canford Cliffs, Poole. The scheme develops our ideas for ‘shrink wrapped function’ with the juxtaposition between the gently undulating skins of brick and timber contextualising the scheme within its built and landscape context. We’re very proud of the scheme which has been delivered by an excellent team and, looking at the high calibre of other entries, we are amongst good company. You can see all the entries at:

March 21st, 2017

The Valley, Stanmore submitted for planning

We are pleased to have submitted a full planning application for 76 new affordable houses at the Valley, Stanmore on behalf of Winchester City Council’s New Homes Delivery. This will be their largest scheme to date.

The scheme provides a mixture of 2 and 3 bedroom houses and 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats. The site nestles into the steeply sloping topography creating a new edge to the existing park. The buildings  are positioned in response to existing and proposed patterns of movement through the site. The flats are pitched and facetted in response to the site geometry, reducing the perceived scale of the buildings and softening their impact on the landscape. The approach to the buildings form and appearance is derived from a contextual analysis of the existing Stanmore estate’s arts and crafts character and results in a significant new development that sits comfortably in its setting.

The application was developed through a comprehensive process of public engagement with the local community and will deliver much needed affordable housing for the city.

March 20th, 2017

Seaview

Lovely to stumble across an article about our Beach Hut project in Seaview magazine. Only a few more weeks and they will be complete. We can’t wait!

March 17th, 2017

Thinking outside the box

Now this is what thinking outside the box looks like…a circular runway. This radical and novel airport concept is known as the endless runway. It is not a new idea, but this incarnation is the brainchild of www.endlessrunway-project.eu/ and is backed up by proper research and integrates science and technology in order to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of the airport.

Whether it ever comes to fruition is secondary. It is this kind of willingness to think differently about the challenges of modern life that keeps our species on a forward trajectory, or is that a curved one!

March 16th, 2017

Elephant Cage – Part 2

Following last November’s involvement with the ‘Elephant Cage’ symposium, #ECage17, Richard joined a number of talented Anglo-Dutch Architects and Engineers on an invigorating and inspirational trip to the Netherlands, to reflect on the conceptual proposals for the ongoing strategy for Sea Defence along Southsea seafront.

As part of this trip Richard was able to view and talk to the original designers and engineers responsible for world renowned infrastructure projects that seek to integrate within their environment to enhance as well as protect the urban context.
It was heartening to find so many parallels with these global leaders in design and innovation, sharing many of the values and strategies that Snug has been promoting in our own work and thinking.
And of course, no trip to the Netherlands would be complete without a tour of some of the most sublime and eccentric architecture our planet has to offer! Markethaal by MVRDV; De Rotterdam by OMA; Delft Railway Station by Mechanoo and the Cube Houses by Piet Bloom to name just a few!
Thanks to @ProjCompass @ArchLokaal @arch_port  with our media sponsors the Architects Journal @ArchitectsJrnal