Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Speaking at the M&CEE Expo

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

The Marine and Coastal Civil Engineering Expo, the UK’s leading marine and coastal exhibition, is fast approaching on the 27th & 28th September and Snug’s design director, Paul Bulkeley, is speaking!

The entire event combines 100 seminars, 150 exhibitors, masterclasses, live demos, interactive features, and more over two incredible days. There’s a lot to get involved in so make sure you don’t miss our talk on Inhabited Infrastructure at the event.

Tickets for the M&CCE Expo are completely free, you just need to register via the website – http://bit.ly/2uxFQSo

I look forward to seeing you @MCCE_Expo!

 

Snug work placements 2017

Friday, July 28th, 2017
Over the last 2 weeks and earlier in the year Snug has played host to four work experience students; Matthew, Dan, Jonah and Anna, all from different schools and at different points in their education – GCSE and AS Level.    Each student was given the same ‘lose’ brief of creating a small off grid living pod for a quarry site in Cornwall.  The brief came from SPUD Youth Group, a local architectural youth group which a member of our team helps out with regularly.
The project allowed the students to form their own project briefs from a rough client brief presented to them at the start of the week, then work through the initial project stages and produce their own proposals, all in a week.  Each student was mentored through the week they spent with us but effectively worked independently to research, analysis, and create their designs.  A final deadline was given to the students for the end of the week to present their designs and research to a few of the Snug team, including one of our Directors – as a mock ‘crit’ or client presentation.
Each student produced brilliantly creative designs and very impressive bodies of work for the short time they had.  Most are going forward and seeking to progress with a career in architecture and we are greatly excited to see what these impressive young people come up with in the future!
Anna presenting to Amy and Matt

Planning won for Winchester’s largest social housing scheme

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Snug have just won planning permission for Winchester City Council’s largest affordable housing scheme. The project consists of 76 new affordable homes at The Valley in Stanmore and forms part the council’s ambitious New Homes Delivery programme. The scheme was unanimously approved at Committee with councillors commending both the innovative design and the consultation process.

The scheme provid​​​​​​es a mixture of 2 and 3 bedroom houses and 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats. The site nestles into the steeply sloping topography of The Valley and creates a new edge to the existing park landscape. The buildings are positioned in response to existing and proposed patterns of movement through the site, serving to reinforce views and vistas. The design utilises Snug’s theory of Shrink Wrapped Function to reduce the perceived scale of the buildings, soften their impact on the landscape and relate well to the human scale. The approach to the buildings form and appearance is derived from a contextual analysis of the existing Stanmore estate’s arts and crafts vernacular 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 commun​​ity and will deliver much needed affordable housing for the city by realising the potential of an under-utilised open space.

This is going to be an exciting new addition to an established estate that balances design innovation with contextual sensitivity. It is great to have been part of a development that delivers housing whilst also making meaningful enhancements to the landscape in which it sits.

We are Prior Approval experts

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

One has to be cautious saying one is an expert. With some caution we do however feel we have built up considerable expertise in Prior Approval projects.

We have come to both enjoy and believe in the Prior Approval system. It was not always that way. In the early days Prior Approval looked like it was going to be a race to the bottom. There seemed to be no limitations, no rules, no standards that had to be upheld. It was supposed to be very simple. Cram them in, stack them up and flog them quickly. Of course life is never quite that simple. In the end a market is only as good as its product. Units that no one wants to buy, no matter what the spreadsheet says they are worth per square foot, won’t last long.

Property development is not a cost focused industry. It is always a customer focused one. No matter how we enter property development the outcome must always be the same. We must create a product that people want to buy that can be created at a margin.

By its very nature Prior Approval requires a bespoke approach to design, in order to realise the maximum development potential of each site. No two office buildings are ever the same and with a fixed structural grid and external envelope it can be much harder to achieve a quality product than traditional new build products. This requires creativity and experience. Tried and tested typologies cannot just be regurgitated. Units must be created from first principles every time. It takes experience to do this efficiently.

We have now worked on over 20 projects and designed in excess of 500 units over the past 3 years. Projects that vary in scale and size from 9 units to 90. This has given us a host of experience to build on.

We have come to believe that Prior Approval is a good thing, when it is done well. It is bringing truly affordable housing to the market and it is making efficient use of redundant office buildings. It is also side tracking an often slow and frustrating planning system, bring housing to the market quickly and efficiently. Prior Approval has also allowed a new generation of developers to enter the market. This can only be good for competition and delivery. Prior Approval may yet prove to be one of the best things that happened to the housing market.

South Coast Property Awards

Friday, July 14th, 2017

We had an enjoyable, if largely disappointing evening at the @SCPA2017 last night. The saving grace was some great networking and seeing our logo pop up on the screens more times than any other practice. Having been shortlisted for Best Housing Development, Best Regeneration Project and Architectural Practice of the Year we had hoped to come away with something. Oh well….three shortlistings is not bad.

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.

Constructing Excellence

Monday, June 19th, 2017

We are pleased to have become members of the Hampshire branch of Constructing Excellence @constructingexc

Constructing Excellence is a platform for industry improvement to deliver excellence for clients, industry and users through collaborative working. This is a subject close to our heart, having helped to establish the joint Civil Engineering and Architecture M.Eng @unisouthampton

By joining the Hampshire branch we hope to do more then just support the good work of others. We will also help to champion excellence in the region, working with others to promote the quality of what is being achieved in the South by firms like ours.

More can be seen at their website:

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What a thank you!

Friday, June 16th, 2017

This arrived in the post for us this week…. What a lovely ‘thank you’ from a very happy client, ‘eternally grateful for the amazing home you created.’

It was our pleasure. Nothing is more satisfying then hearing our clients are happy.  We also loved the box, really goes with our branding. Nice one @selfridges.

Milford-on-Sea Beach Huts shortlisted for host of awards

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

 

 

​​Our beach huts at Milford-on-Sea have been shortlisted for a flurry of awards. These include:
Institute of Civil Engineers
Innovation Award
Best Infrastructure Project
South Award for Engineering Excellence
South Coast Property Awards
Regeneration Project of the Year
It is great to see what is a highly innovative piece of public infrastructure receiving worthy recognition. Well done to all the team.

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.”
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