Archive for the ‘Vision’ Category

Bangladesh Government Delegation visit to Milford-on-sea Beach Huts

Friday, October 6th, 2017

New Forest District Council and Snug Architects hosted a delegation of visitors from Bangladesh today (Friday 6 October 2017) interested in UK coastal defence measures.

Representatives from the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) met with representatives from the council and Snug Architects, who designed the beach huts, to hear how the council is taking a holistic approach to coastal sea defence.

The twelve visitors then went on to see the recently-completed beach huts at Milford-on-Sea as part of the senior officials’ visit to the UK, Holland and Germany to look at examples of coastal engineering, infrastructure development, and emergency management.

Bangladesh has a difficult coastline with many rivers and distributaries which are often affected by natural hazards such as cyclones, coastal flooding and tidal surges. The Bangladesh government believes that by focusing on these key areas, the country will better be able to cope with the extreme flooding which at times covers 26,000kms of the country.

The visit to the Milford-on-sea beach huts was to see how they have been designed and built as inhabited infrastructure  able to both withstand severe coastal weather and provide for various types of value added inhabitation. It is hoped this will help when designing this type of infrastructure upon the officials’ return to Bangladesh.

Steve Cook, Coastal manager at NFDC said, “We are extremely proud of the beach huts, which had to be rebuilt due to severe weather damage which destroyed the huts that were here in 2014.  Working with the architects we have built the replacement huts so that they can withstand a 1:200 year storm event.”

The project demonstrates that through creative engagement between funders, authorities and their design teams, significant added value can be achieved when delivering essential infrastructure. The project, although small in scale, represents some big ideas. Our hope is that it will inspire others to take a similar approach elsewhere. Perhaps and not least in Bangladesh.

We are an RIBA Role Model Practice

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

The Royal Institute of British Architects @RIBA has selected Snug Architects as one of only nine practices to be a #RIBArolemodelpractice for the profession.

The Practice Role Models, published on the RIBA’s website architecture.com, were selected to show different characteristics of a role model organisation; and to encourage debate about what it means to be a successful RIBA Chartered Practice.

This is the web link to the page; https://www.architecture.com/campaign/practice-role-models

Paul Bulkeley, Director of Snug Architects says of his practice’s inclusion; “we are very pleased to have been selected. We are passionate about both the quality of our work and our culture. It is satisfying to have our achievements recognised by our peers. We hope to use this opportunity to continue to champion best practice in the industry.”

Snug was founded in 2003 by Paul and moved from its original base in Winchester to Rumbridge Street, Totton last year. The practice’s work ranges from the new beach huts at Milford-on-Sea to Winchester’s largest affordable housing scheme at The Valley in Stanmore, which won planning permission in July.

Snug’s 14 staff love what they do and in addition to working hard they share coffee breaks and Friday lunches, as well as visit inspirational buildings and generally have fun as a team. Once a year, they all go away together, with their families, as a treat on the company. The practice also allocates 10 per cent of its profits to charitable causes, which are selected by the staff.

The RIBA identified nine characteristics of Practice Role Models, including having a clear social purpose, being client/stakeholder focused and having a pioneering attitude. The characteristics are listed here https://www.architecture.com/knowledge-and-resources/resources-landing-page/practice-role-model-characteristics

Paul stated; “We believe architects need to be as innovative about the way they do business as they are about design. Only then can we run successful businesses that effectively serve our clients in a fast changing industry. Snug has always been entrepreneurial, willing to challenge established ways of thinking, and our clients benefit from this. We hope to facilitate wider discussion about how the interests of the profession, and those of our clients, can be better aligned for mutual benefit.”

Our page can be viewed at;

https://www.architecture.com/campaign/practice-role-models/snug

 

Central Winchester SPD goes live

Friday, July 14th, 2017

We are proud to announce that the vision for the central Winchester masterplan has now been presented to the public.

Working with JTP Architects and involving extensive public engagement we have developed a vision for a pedestrian friendly quarter in central Winchester. This includes:

  • a new mixed-use quarter, including retail, market, commercial, cultural, housing and community uses to complement the city centre and serve the whole community
  • plans for attractive buildings, streets and places, designed and laid out with a Winchester character and scale – described as “Winchesterness”.
  • a range of active and restful spaces in the heart of the city, including the opening up of the brook to the east of the site
  • developing a footprint for the way the public realm will be developed across the whole area
  • creating a new bus hub and routing buses away from The Broadway and High Street to allow for environmental improvements to accommodate markets and other street based activities.

These proposals will now inform the development of a Supplementary Planning Document for the future development of the site.

Milford-on-Sea Beach Huts ready for occupation

Thursday, May 18th, 2017
 
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.”

Symbiotic design

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

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!

Thinking outside the box

Friday, March 17th, 2017

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!

Delighted to win Central Winchester SPD

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Historic winchester map

We are delighted to have been selected as part of the team to work with JTP, an award-winning ‘placemaking’ practice of architects and masterplanners, to work with the Council and wider community to create a Supplementary Planning Document for what was known as Silverhill. This will set out a vision for the future development of central Winchester through collaborative planning and consultation.

The decision by Winchester City Council follows the consideration of 17 high quality bids received from organisations who were interested in working on the central Winchester project.

The council stated, ‘JTP has formed a strong team to work on the commission with Hampshire based Snug Architects and landscape architects Ubu Design together with consultancies with expertise in commercial property, movement and infrastructure.‘ We are due to start work on the project early in 2017.

Cllr Victoria Weston, Chairman of the Central Winchester Informal Policy Group said:

‘The Central Winchester Informal Policy Group is delighted to be working with JTP and their team on this exciting opportunity to work with the public and stakeholders to formulate guidance for the regeneration of central Winchester.’

Marcus Adams, Managing Partner at JTP said:

‘We recognise the significance of this site in activating the wider regeneration of Winchester, and appreciate its rich heritage which will play an important part in informing the framework.

Through our unique collaborative design processes we will aim to build a consensus to create a distinctive place, reimaging and enhancing the character and identity of Winchester.’

The Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) sets out the type and layout of land uses that could be built on the Silver Hill site and will help to ensure that the development is fit for the future and will rejuvenate such a prominent part of the City.

Portsmouth Elephant Cage

Friday, November 25th, 2016

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Really looking forward to seeing what Richard and the other participants have come up with for the future of Portsmouth’s sea defences at #ECage16. Early indications are very promising. KEEP THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX.

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Portsmouth Elephant Cage

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
Portsmouth Elephant Cage

Richard Harrison, architect at Snug Architects, will be joining the Portsmouth Elephant Cage design charter over the next three days. The event is hosted by Portsmouth University and organised by Project Compass CIC. Project Compass has been developed and funded by a dedicated group of architects over the last 30 months, who have now formed it as a CIC (Community Interest Company), with the aim of opening, promoting and making access to a high quality built environment easier, simpler, more economical and more importantly transparent. The Project Compass service, whilst developed by architects has a wider aim of promoting higher standards and qualities across all sectors of the built environment, from engineers to landscape, surveyors to managers and clients.

The Portsmouth Elephant Cage is a 3 day charrette with a shortlist of architects, engineers and landscape architects from the UK and NL as well as postgrad architecture students from UoP to look at coastal defences for Portsmouth and Southsea seafront.  We are delighted that Richard will be representing Snug as the only UK architect invited to attend.

An Elephant Cage competitive procedure derives its name from the idea that big young beasts from different countries are put together in competitive teams to elicit a creative ferment of new, fresh and informative design ideas over a short time. In this process they are supported by mentors having expertise and specialisms in the field.

Project Compass state that ‘Elephant Cage competitions have a successful established history as a competitive design ideas procedure developed in the Netherlands. This Anglo-Dutch competition will be the first held in this country and will brings together unique expertise to work in competition in collaborative teams of young Architects, Engineers and Landscape architects supported by eminent mentors from both countries.’

The competition will focus on design of coastal defences and resilient public realm and infrastructure which could create solutions for cities vulnerable to coastal flooding through multidisciplinary international collaboration.

There will be a presentation to PCC, local politicians, press and representatives from the Dutch Embassy will be held on Friday. We can’t wait to see what the team produces.

Re-visiting the Petersfield Neighbourhood Plan

Monday, November 21st, 2016

public consultation event_petersfield neighbourhood plan_snug

Back in 2013, Snug Architects were commissioned by Petersfield Town Council to develop a conceptual masterplan for the future of the town as part of the Petersfield Neighbourhood Plan. This formed part of an exemplary programme of public engagement that would underpin the successful adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan. The Petersfield Neighbourhood Development Plan now forms part of the Local Plan policy used by the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA)when determining Planning Applications in Petersfield. It was formally adopted by the SDNPA on the 21st January 2016.

Snug Architects undertook a comprehensive review of the town and its context, located at the centre of the South Downs National Park ,as well as work previously prepared by the PNP Steering Group. We then helped to developed and deliver a public consultation strategy that engaged with both residents and landowners. Our approach was to clearly articulate the core issues and options in graphical form. Initially we prepared supporting material for an Option Weekend.

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This was the culmination of the previous 8 months of community engagement activities and marked a milestone in the PNP project. The intent was to present a number of aspects of the emerging plan to the public and gauge their opinion. The event was heavily promoted through the local press, an email distribution list, mail shot to all households (circa 6000) in Petersfield, banners at key locations around town and bus shelter branding was updated with “strap stickers”. Following the Options Weekend all of the information on display could also be viewed and comments submitted on the PNP website. Over 500 people visited the event and provided over 1500 comments.

public consultation_neighbourhood plan_snug

As a key part of this day we made a series of rolling presentations with space for questions and answers. This provided a critical opportunity for peoples opinions to be heard and validated and, importantly, for clear and specific responses to be articulated. This significantly improved the depth of public understanding for the proposals. Following this we worked in conjunction with Allies and Morrison to host a participatory Planning Design Event. We also developed more detailed proposals for key housing sites where visual impact was a specific concern. Petersfield was the first town in the South Downs National Park to have it’s own Neighbourhood Plan. It was a privilege to work with such an engaged and motivated community to help plan the future of their settlement. The people of Petersfield clearly know what it means to ‘love where live’ and it made all the difference.

 

 

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