AJ Retrofit Awards 2012

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The AJ Retrofit Awards


A celebratory book in collaboration with Arup

Retrofit – a never-ending environmental story


Introduction Paul Finch, AJ editorial director


Adding value through retrofit Chris Jofeh, Arup global buildings retrofit leader

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Category winners and shortlist

The jury

Paul Finch, AJ editorial director Recent news that the Palace of Westminster will need to close for a long period in order to be able to carry out a major rebuilding programme represents a symbolic moment for those who have been flying the flag for retrofit as an idea in recent years. The awards celebrated in this publication, for example, are part of a long-term strategy by The Architects’ Journal to encourage and promote architecture that incorporates environmental considerations as a fundamental element rather than a ‘blingy’ or fashionable add-on. Nowhere is this approach more important than in the treatment of existing building stock, the main ‘culprit’ in the generation of carbon as a result of inefficient energy systems and poor – or even non-existent – insulation. UK housing stock is notoriously inefficient because of low building standards (which have greatly improved in recent years). Yet, until the Retrofit Awards were instituted, only new homes or the occasional historic restoration were honoured by the profession. What we have been able to show over the past three years is that it is perfectly possible to combine good architecture, conservation of the useful, and appropriate attitudes to energy and carbon issues. That is not to say that retrofit is always the best answer – sometimes it is simply better to put a failed building out of its misery – but it is to say that the evaluation of the existing, including the significant embodied carbon contained in any completed building, needs to be thorough rather than demolition taking place without any thought given to an alternative. At more or less the same time that all of this was going on, Simon Sturgis was carrying out research into embodied energy in office buildings – he showed that it was far more significant than previously realised – and Rab Bennetts was completing the first big winner in this awards programme, Hampshire County Council’s headquarters in Winchester. This scheme retained and improved an existing building, following a competition in which each architect except Bennetts Associates proposed demolition. Making use of the existing is a strategy that has roots in an approach to architecture exemplified by the phrase ‘long life, loose fit, low energy’; buildings are regarded XXXXXX


as envelopes that should be capable of flexible alteration to accommodate the same sort of function, but be adaptable to new uses if required. In a sense, a retrofit project is a test of one or both of these conditions and provides a critique of the original building. Retrofit projects can teach us several broad lessons. The first is the desirability of extending the useful life of a structure and, possibly, more than that in terms of energy and carbon conservation. You can do the sums. Secondly, messages are received about how to approach particular building types and smart ways to make them more flexible or adaptable. However, perhaps the most important lesson concerns how we should approach the design of completely new buildings that, one day, will need to be retrofitted themselves. Why do certain building types tend to last while others become obsolete after a decade or two? What is it about space and volume that add or detract from the likelihood of a long life? Why do Georgian houses out-gun far more expensive buildings types from later generations? What can we learn by studying these histories? A general conclusion might be that those buildings that last tend to be examples of good architecture, as opposed to the most efficient and economic building one might have constructed. So Victorian board schools, for instance, with their generous volumes, windows and dimensions, convert very well into apartments, compared with the system-built equivalent of the 1960s and 70s. Corn exchanges can be used for almost anything; not so supermarkets. The leanest, tightest office buildings tend to be the most difficult to convert because there is no generosity on loadings or floor-to-ceiling heights and the St Pancras International, London St Pancras International demonstrates how effectively design and engineering excellence can come together. The station is the jewel in the crown of the £5.8billion Channel Tunnel Rail Link project, now known as High Speed 1: it is a destination in its own right, and one that has restored the glamour of rail travel. Rail Link Engineering, a consortium of Arup, Bechtel, Systra and Hakrow, provided multi-disciplinary design and architectural services for client Union Railways which included 13 new platforms, a 400m long substructive box for the two platform Thameslink 12-car terminal and a massive extension of the station to the north. On 14 November 2007 St Pancras International successfully replaced Waterloo as home to the UK Eurostar service, a massive project completed both on time and to budget, and one which has successfully maintained the building heritage of this famous station. More than 20 industry awards later, St Pancras International looks set to be a glorious rail gateway into continental Europe for generations to come. 2


Right: St Pancras International is the jewel in the crown of the £5.8 billion Channel Tunnel Rail Link project, now known as High Speed 1







Unilever House, London

cores may be in exactly the wrong place. Modern hospitals are designed to such particular specifications that changes become massively expensive, even if they are possible. From a planning point of view, quite apart from the practical advantages of retaining the existing rather than starting from scratch, there is also the compelling carbon story. Take a local-authority housing block with all its embodied energy, probably financed on 60-year soft loans: demolition means carbon release and the vanishing of something for which you may well still be paying for in years to come. Then there is the cost of temporary tenant placement. Add in the carbon cost of manufacturing and transporting all the materials needed for the replacement building, and don’t forget the finance charges for the new accommodation. So just why do people cheer when a tower is demolished? It should only ever be a last resort. Happily, the examples of retrofit you will read about in this publication are at the cheery end of the design spectrum – successful combinations of survey, diagnosis, prognosis and effective delivery. This is the way we are going to think about our future built environment, both old and new – it’s not just about making do and mending, it’s about getting the best long-term return from the huge investment that we make in our nation’s bricks and mortar.


Unilever House is an outstanding refurbishment of a Grade II-listed headquarters building, which showcases the value of a multidisciplinary approach to design. The iconic 1930s facade was listed and remains unchanged visually; the interior, which was not listed, was partially demolished and refurbished. Working with architect Kohn Pedersen Fox and CM Stanhope/Bovis Lend Lease for client Unilever, Arup extended the existing floorplates and created the so-called ‘flying carpets’. Arranged as four irregular-shaped floors, these are communal areas dramatically suspended within the upper atrium and linked to surrounding office floors via steel and glass bridges. Unilever House has been recognised in a range of awards, including receiving a MIPIM International Property Award for a Refurbished Building. It has achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating and performs better than current building regulations demand in terms of energy performance for a new building. The refurbishment breathed new life into a stunning, yet underperforming, space and recreated the spirit of openness created in the 1930s, which is part of the Unilever Heritage. It shows how successful a marriage of decades-old architecture with modern technology can be.

Top left and above: The refurbishment extended the existing floor plates at Unilever House and created the so-called ‘flying carpets’ – suspended communal areas linked to surrounding office floors Bottom left: The exterior of Unilever House



Adding value through retrofit – Chris Jofeh, Arup global buildings retrofit leader


arrots, rather than sticks, will encourage clients to keep and improve their buildings, believes Chris Jofeh, global buildings retrofit leader at Arup. ‘A lot of the talk is about saving operating costs by retrofitting,’ he says, ‘but the way to make retrofit or refurbishment work even better is to deliver value beyond cost savings, to add value and to make the building work harder for its owners and occupants.’ Although he believes saving carbon is important, preservation of embodied carbon is rarely going to be the primary motivation for clients and the wider community. ‘There needs to be a tangible and immediate business or personal benefit from reducing carbon emissions, otherwise few organisations or individuals are going to do so,’ he explains. From a community perspective, he believes that what is important is that which Stafford Critchlow of Wilkinson Eyre has referred to as the role that buildings play in our collective memory. For this reason, Jofeh believes preserving buildings should be the default position – even if those buildings are not 6


beautiful objects. Based in Cardiff, he cites the houses in the villages of the Welsh mining valleys as examples of buildings that are not intrinsically special, but that mean a lot to their occupants. For owners who do have to decide whether it is worth retrofitting or whether they would be better off demolishing and rebuilding, Arup has developed several tools, which are applicable either to individual buildings or to an entire portfolio, to help with this process. In 2009 it produced the Existing Buildings Survival Strategies guide and from this evolved its AssetMAP software tool, intended to help owners assess both the tangible and intangible benefits of keeping and improving properties. King’s College London, for example, is using this approach to appraise its entire property portfolio, and is working with Arup to produce a roadmap for achieving carbon-reduction targets of 34 per cent. Arup puts its money where its mouth is. Scotstoun House, designed by Arup Associates, has been Arup’s Edinburgh office since 1964. Because of growth in staff numbers and the inflexibility of the building infrastructure it was decided the building should be redeveloped. The redevelopment would bring new life to it and provide a contemporary environment to suit Arup’s needs – now and into the future. The most significant challenge for the project was a result of the Grade-B listing by Historic Scotland, which imposed a number of constraints such as retaining the existing walls and elements of the internal finishings. The project was also subject to the 2008 Scottish Technical Standards for energy usage, which were difficult to achieve given the listing constraints. Not only did Arup meet the standards but it exceeded them significantly. The building now has an Energy Performance Certificate rating of A as well as a BREEAM rating of Excellent, and provides an environment much better suited to modern ways of working. Jofeh is also proud of Arup’s work on the 90-year old 39 Hunter Street building in Sydney, which was the first heritage building to achieve Australia’s highest green accolade of a six-star Green Star rating. Equally important, he believes, was that the refurbished building attracted blue-chip tenants. In Seattle, Arup renovated the 1920s Joseph Vance Building, achieving LEED

(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification. Much of that work involved undoing poor-quality interventions that had been added after the building’s construction and prevented it from working as well as it had done originally. ‘Although we have known for some time what is needed to make our buildings perform better, the technology is always improving,’ Jofeh says. There are now more efficient boilers and chillers, better insulation and better controls. The problems lie more with the way people are expected to use them. ‘As a profession we have had a rather idealised way of thinking about how people use buildings,’ he adds, saying that disappointing performance may also be attributed to inadequate time for commissioning and cost cutting. And there are some buildings that just can’t economically be brought up to the highest standards, he says. Typically these have low ceiling heights, low floor loadings, deep plans and poorly performing facades. Although wireless technology and the end of massive storage may make it technically feasible to use such buildings, it may be difficult to achieve a sustainable ventilation strategy without enough height to facilitate air movement. And although poor-quality facades that have reached the ends of their lives can be replaced, it may be prohibitively expensive to do so. With so much emphasis on carbon, it is easy to pay only lip service to the idea that sustainability is about much more than that; in particular, it is easy to forget the social aspects of sustainability. This is why Jofeh is so pleased about Arup’s recent work retrofitting 87 Edwardian homes in Salford for Salix Homes. Arup not only saved each tenant an average of £353 per year on energy bills, but also applied the New Economics Foundation’s Social Return on Investment tool and showed that for every £1 spent, the social return would be worth £1.58. The tool assesses and monetises factors ranging from employment and training to carbon reductions and the health implications of having better homes. Jofeh can see that such a tool will secure a growing place in the future of retrofit: ‘Where the public sector is the client or has an influence on a project, I think this technique will become very important in helping to choose between competing options,’ he says. Ruth Slavid

Right: The Joseph Vance Building in Seattle was one of Arup’s most successful projects, which achieved LEED Gold certification



Below: King’s College London, which is working with Arup to reduce its carbon emissions by a third


Right: Scotstoun House, Arup’s Edinburgh office



Museums & Galleries


Bringing old museum buildings up to modern standards poses special design challenges. International criteria for art preservation calls for tight control of temperature, light and humidity and adding necessary humidity in winter can play havoc with traditional building envelopes. Secondary glazing and light-control systems can reduce energy consumption and provide vital daylight control, but sensitive design is needed when dealing with historic facades. The natural thermal inertia of heavy traditional construction can provide a ‘flywheel’ effect to stabilise internal climates, giving a low-carbon approach when combined with an intelligent, frugal ventilation system, as demonstrated in the Medieval & Renaissance Galleries at the V&A Museum in London. Andrew Sedgwick, Arts and Culture Business Leader, Arup

WINNER Project: The Holburne Museum Cost: £7.2 million Architect: Eric Parry Architects Client: The Holburne Museum Trust Company Date: February 2011


uilt in 1796, The Holburne Museum was once the Sydney Hotel and the gateway to Sydney Gardens, a late 18th-century pleasure garden. In 1916, the building was gutted and transformed into a museum by Reginald Blomfield, but during the Second World War the collection was stored in a reinforced room in the basement and the property occupied by the admiralty. Over time, problems came to the fore, such as out-of-date services, a damp basement, a leaking roof, inadequate visitor facilities, and a collection that was largely in storage. A clear curatorial brief led to a clear architectural arrangement – principally, that the new main gallery be at the same level as the existing one and that both be top lit. Within the shell of the Grade I-listed Georgian building, and in a manner respectful of Blomfield’s alterations, modifications included reconstructing the stair, upgrading the galleries and adjusting the rear elevation. The 18th-century basement vaults were unaltered and used for plant rooms, while the archive and the picture store



are now housed in a new basement. Creating an axial public connection to the park, the stair hall was enlarged by rebuilding the existing stair to the west of the central axis. The old lift shaft has been re-used as the main vertical riser for the services in the existing building; a separate fire zone, this acts as a buffer between areas with varying climatic conditions. The stairs were rebuilt using a technique similar to the original; the old stone treads were re-bedded onto a new structure and its profiled soffits re-made in fibrous plaster, while existing balustrades were reused. The Picture Gallery is now a top-lit room with magnificent rooflights. New glazing was inserted in the existing steel frames and the lights were raised to allow for the new roof build-up. New internal solar and blackout blinds have been fitted in the profiles of the ornate decorative mouldings. A new closecontrolled air conditioning system with high-temperature and humidity control standards has been installed. Historical features in the ballroom gallery were refurbished, while new window casings replaced old radiator grilles to conceal semi-close-controlled air-conditioning and humidity units. The pipes serving the units run in a new ceiling void in the floor below. New secondary glazing improves air-tightness and reduces heating and cooling loads. Solar and black out blinds control the damaging levels of light and solar radiation. The Holburne’s development has transformed a failing museum into one that makes more of its site, building and collection.





Shortlist Project: The Lower Galleries Cost: £1.1 million Architect: Wright & Wright Architects Client: The National Gallery Date: February 2010


Originally storage and decant space with the western expansion of the National Gallery in the early 20th century, these galleries had become uninviting, felt separate from the rest of the galleries and were often closed to the public. The brief, therefore, was to overhaul and modernise the interiors to make them more inviting and ensure new lighting met current exhibition standards. Specialist background and picture lighting has been installed, and the new system greatly reduces carbon emissions. Every step taken has aimed to balance stringent climatic requirements and cut energy consumption. This scheme has been a success: footfall has reportedly increased threefold, and the galleries are often used as a testing ground for junior curators.

Located between Soho and Oxford Street in London, this brick-warehouse, steel-frame building has been extended to minimise the increase in load on the existing structure and foundations. A new

environmentally controlled floor will mean more work from archives and museum collections can be shown, and higher ceilings in the top-floor galleries provide dynamic spaces for large-scale and moving image works. This building now boasts two floors of generously proportioned galleries, a windowless gallery with the best in climate-controlled display space, access for large-scale works via a specially designed access hatch in the roof, a floor dedicated to learning for all, an improved bookshop, a brandnew street-level café/bar and a new lift.

Project: V&A Lecture Theatre Cost: £100,000 Architect: Nissen Richards Studio Client: Victoria and Albert Museum, London Date: March 2011 The refurbishment programme of this Grade I-listed lecture theatre divided into two phases. In the first, the existing wall finish to the alcoves was removed, the ceiling was replaced, and the whole space was repainted. The second phase involved replacing the existing wall finish around the perimeter of the seating area and the curved wall behind the stage and below the cupola.






Project: The Photographers’ Gallery Cost: £2.9 million Architect: O’Donnell + Tuomey Client: The Photographers’ Gallery Date: May 2012

Project: Sea City Museum Cost: Not supplied Architect: 8build Client: Southampton City Council Date: April 2012 Southampton City Council’s plan was to convert this Grade II-listed Magistrates’ Court into a modern museum showcasing the city’s archaeological and maritime collections. The design strategy ensured

the continued use of the existing building fabric, introduced measures to improve energy efficiency and ensured exhibition spaces, public and retail areas and staff accommodation could perform at an optimal environmental level. Important features were retained and all finishes including stonework, the glazed bricks and the terrazzo floors were repaired – even the cells, which were transformed into toilets, kept their original finishes, including the cell doors. Much of the refurbishment is unseen but ensures the life of the building has been extended considerably.

WINNER Project: Feering Bury Farm Barn Cost: £850,000 Architect: Hudson Architects Client: Confidential Date: April 2011


his Grade II-listed barn on an isolated working farm in Essex has been converted into a large home and artist studios, representing a radical departure from traditional barn conversions. The original building was a large timber-framed aisled barn with a central structure dating to c.1560. Although it would have been thatched, the original roof materials were lost and had been replaced by corrugated material. The philosophy behind the repair and conservation was to retain as much of the original fabric as possible, and local-authority conservation officers were keen to retain the barn’s semi-industrial appearance. This posed no aesthetic difficulties for the owners but had proved problematic for previous designers who had been unable to overcome conservation officers’ insistence that the roof contain no

visible rooflights. Hudson Architects produced a design that not only retained the barn’s stark aesthetic and almost all the original structure, but also met conservation officers’ demands. The main technical feature of the barn is its unique roof. To overcome the prescription against visible rooflights, a method was devised to bring daylight into the 525m 2 space. The existing corrugated roofing was removed and the timber structure used to support a new roof containing large polycarbonate rooflights covered with an expanded steel mesh. The openings in the mesh are oriented skywards, allowing diffuse light to flood the building; from ground level, however, these are invisible and look like a solid, uninterrupted roof surface. This not only satisfied conservation officers and retained the barn’s semi-industrial exterior, but its slightly uneven appearance echoed the industrial nature of the building and the texture of the long-disappeared thatch. The existing masonry walls of the adjoining artist studios have been retained but as the timber cladding was no longer usable, it was replaced with black weatherboard to match the original materials; a large glass door replaces the original doors to the farmyard.



Listed Buildings/Structures

Inside, almost all the original timber-framed structure has been retained. The open-plan interior reflects the owners’ preference and conservation officers’ requirements to avoid unnecessary subdivision. To create private spaces, two large 20thcentury concrete silos were re-used: one holds an oak spiral staircase to a mezzanine bedroom, the other two small bathrooms. A woodchip boiler uses local fuel, saving an estimated 56 tonnes of carbon per year. LISTED BUILDINGS / STRUCTURES



Shortlist Project: Highfield House Cost: £2.1 million Architect: Lathams Architects Client: Nottingham University Estates Date: August 2012


Built in 1797, this Grade II-listed building in the heart of the University of Nottingham’s main campus was not large enough to be a modern academic or administrative department. Plans were made to refurbish and extend it to create an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM-rated building for postgraduate research, and a unique campus venue for events and graduation ceremonies. The coach house became anterooms and seminar spaces, while an inner court was roofed in an all-glass structure and an outer yard given a sedum roof, providing further seminar areas linked to a walled garden. Internally, spaces have been brought up to date with rewiring, heating, lighting and decoration; services achieved seven credits for reducing CO2 emissions. to retain wings from the 15th and 17th centuries as walled external courts. The structure of the new house buttresses and weathers the retained ruins, and every room is a dialogue of construction across the centuries. The gaping openings in the walls created by decades of decay are kept as large windows, keeping the open character of the ruin rather than attempting to recreate its completeness. While being simple, economical and contemporary, the masonry and carpentry that have been used would be recognisable to Astley’s earlier builders. To reduce carbon emissions and running costs from water and space heating, a mechanical services strategy was developed.

Project: Spains Hall Cost: £1.4 million Architect: Kay Pilsbury Thomas Architects Client: The Spains Hall Estate Date: March 2011 Built in 1475, this Grade I-listed timber-framed, country house in Finchingfield underwent a retrofit to become a wedding venue. Conversion to public use required new plant and facilities but these, such as the pinhole smoke detection, were cleverly hidden, allowing the interior to appear unaltered. Installing efficient condensing boilers and insulation substantially reduced the carbon emissions, making Spains Hall vastly more economical and ecological.



Project: St Pancras Chambers Cost: £140 million Architect: RHWL Architects Client: Manhattan Loft Corporation Date: February 2011 Also shortlisted in the Hotels category Guided by the Grade I-listing and constraints imposed by the original design of Sir George Gilbert Scott’s building, the architects worked closely with English Heritage and Camden Council to conserve and restore the best of the original design while creating a contemporary building. The works undertaken were completed with use of traditional brickwork and stone detailing.



Grade II*-listed Astley Castle was gutted by fire 30 years ago and, with large sections of wall collapsed and decay accelerating, it had reached an impasse – it was too expensive to restore but too valuable in heritage terms to let go. The solution was to build a new house within and on top of the oldest part of the castle, and



Project: Astley Castle Cost: £1.3 million Architect: Witherford Watson Mann Architects Client: The Landmark Trust Date: April 2012

Project: Velvet Mill, Lister Mills Cost: £14 million Architect: David Morley Architects Client: Urban Splash Date: December 2008 Set in Manningham, Bradford, this 19th-century Grade II*-listed building was once the world’s largest silk mill. Samuel Lister, who commissioned the building, wanted to challenge traditional design while using new and innovative building methods; it was decided the building’s adaption into 190 residential units should follow suit. The generous openings of the existing elevations have been retained and sustainable systems incorporated to reduce energy use and carbon emissions.

Project: Town Hall Hotel & Apartments (Bethnal Green, London) Cost: £20 million Architect: RARE Architecture Client: Mastelle (Zinc House) Ltd Date: November 2010

In this rare Victorian music hall, features such as the auditorium, stairway and circle bar have been restored to their former glory. Light fittings dating from 1900 now incorporate LED technology and two of the original gas sunburners are fitted with fibre-optic technology.

Along with reinvigorating a local icon in an emerging cultural cluster, the delicate redevelopment and refurbishment of this Grade II-listed former London council headquarters sees a former institutional building transformed into a luxury five-star hotel complex. A total of 98 individually designed luxury hotel/serviced apartment units are seamlessly distributed within the existing fabric while the new 1,500m2 extension offers the building a striking contemporary facade. The facade skin’s bespoke laser-cut adaptive pattern regulates solar gains, views and privacy, forming an ephemeral background set against the classical existing stone facades and the rear utilitarian brickwork. The sensitive, holistic design approach combines original features with contemporary design in a structure long on English Heritage’s ‘at-risk’ register.





The refurbishment of this Grade I-listed building has removed unsympathetic 20th-century alterations and reinstated the scale and integrity of the principal rooms on the ground and first floors. Detailing has not focused on restoration but developing a design palette to fit the scale of interior spaces and the terrace’s historic significance.

Project: City Varieties Music Hall Cost: £6.3 million Architect: Jacobs Engineering UK Ltd Client: Leeds City Council Date: August 2011 Also shortlisted in the Cultural Buildings category


Project: Royal Academy of Engineering Cost: £4.6 million Architect: Burrell Foley Fischer LLP Client: Royal Academy of Engineering Date: April 2012

Project: myplace@Westfield Folkhouse Cost: £6.5 million Architect: Lewis and Hickey Client: Nottinghamshire County Council Date: March 2011 The extensive rejuvenation has transformed a Grade II-listed Georgian property to provide exemplary youth and community services in a sympathetic but stimulating enclave. To meet the demands of new user groups and young people earmarked to use the site once the project was complete, a new building was to be constructed adjacent to the manor house. Originally intended as a standalone unit providing additional activities for young people using the manor house,

it became obvious that a robust sustainable strategy could be developed by linking the new building to the manor house; as such, the building services from the new building could be utilised for the listed building. During the restoration, the method and strategy was always to ‘conserve and repair’, utilising skilled trades and traditional methods. Specialist stonemasons undertook stone and mortar restoration while in-situ cornices were crafted with profiles that were made to match existing moulded features and timber routers found on the skirting and architraves. Mansfield has seen a dilapidated building and youth centre transform into a world-class facility, which truly belongs to various users. Integrating marginalised groups of the youth population, it provides routes back into mainstream recreation, education, training or work.

Project: Borusan Music & Art House Cost: £12 million Architect: Global Architectural Development Client: Borusan Holding Date: March 2010 Also shortlisted in the Cultural Buildings category This design preserves and restores the historic shell of the building, which is typical of the facades on this famous street. The building’s core has been removed and a contemporary ‘box’ inserted there, which offers flexibility between all floors. The symbiosis of the two contrasting construction methods and materials activates a playful tension between past and present.



Listed Buildings/Structures: Post War with a direct circulation route. This spine gave efficient access to academic offices, social space, break-out areas, meeting rooms, toilets, hub rooms and other service functions. The block’s teaching accommodation – which was grouped around a central light well and stair – was re-planned to provide new laboratories, postgraduate write-up areas and seminar rooms, improving the net-to-gross efficiency

WINNER Project: Metallurgy & Materials Building Cost: £21 million Architect: Associated Architects LLP Client: University of Birmingham Date: November 2011



his Grade II-listed building at the University of Birmingham was completed in 1967. Its ‘tartan’ planning grid enables complex laboratory services to be coordinated with the structural frame throughout, thereby allowing flexibility. Although admired architecturally, however, its users had endured poor internal environmental conditions; these were a result of shortcomings in the original external fabric and an ad-hoc approach to responses to improved legislation and the constraints imposed by its historic importance. The strategy was to refurbish and improve the performance of the envelope, while making the internal circulation arrangements more legible and efficient in order to meet the aspirations of the university’s Smaller/Better programme. An internal ‘street’ concept was developed to link the four block elements of the building

by 25 per cent. The building is arranged around four link blocks over three storeys; construction was phased over the four blocks and a detailed decant strategy was developed with the client to ensure key laboratories were operational during construction. Part of the internal re-organisation involved relocating existing laboratories into groupings; support offices and write-up spaces were then organised around these. The groupings were principally organised on the two upper floors, with the ground-floor arrangements developed to provide flexible meeting and student-focused write-up spaces. Much glazing was integrated into the street to maximise natural daylight into the deep plan. The refurbishment included the replacement of all mechanical and electrical services within the constraints of the existing tartan grid. New rooftop plant enclosures were also constructed to consolidate visible roof plant. Fabric upgrades included replacing the existing window system, roof, and undertaking concrete repairs, as well as providing new services throughout. A bespoke replacement glazing system was developed, which matched closely the existing frame proportions, detail and opening light arrangement. The building’s Energy Performance Certificate rating improved from F to B.






Project: Lumiere Apartments Cost: £30 million Architect: Assael Architecture Limited Client: Henley Homes Limited Date: September 2011

Project: Harvey Court Cost: £7 million Architect: Levitt Bernstein Client: Gonville & Caius College Date: September 2011

Project: Royal Commonwealth Pool Cost: £25 million Architect: S&P Limited Client: City of Edinburgh Council Date: February 2012

This scheme revived an iconic London landmark, equipping it for it an environmentally and financially sustainable future. The meticulous restoration of Clapham’s Grade II*-listed Granada Cinema kept the auditorium’s form and original features, carefully integrating 59 new apartments. The project’s success is clear from the support it gained from stakeholders, the local authority and nearby residents.

Restoration works and improvements were undertaken on the Grade II*-listed Harvey Court for Gonville and Caius College at the University of Cambridge. The brief focused on providing high-quality accommodation for first-year undergraduates by improving comfort and saving energy. A new entrance and staircase was completed, bedrooms were refurbished and the upgrade of the existing fabric led to a 13 per cent improvement in heat loss.

This 20th-century Edinburgh building is rare in that it is critically admired by all and still enjoyed and appreciated by its users after nearly four decades of use. Refurbishment of this world-class centre for diving met the high standards demanded of its Grade A-listed status, which has been reflected in its being awarded “best example of the re-use of a listed building 2011” by the Scottish Design Awards.





Cultural Buildings public galleries, each with its own character, a suite of private viewing rooms, a 60-seater auditorium, a bookshop, an archive, offices and facilities for art storage, assembly and documentation. The public spaces are arranged along a 60m-long corridor and differ in dimensions, proportions and light condition. There are three principle exhibition areas: the South Galleries act as the main display area and provide 780m2 of column-free space; the North Galleries are smaller, experimental in character and often subdivided; the area named 9x9x9 is a centrally located cubic space (9m3) – the only one penetrating the existing building envelope and flooded with natural light. These were inserted as free-standing volumes at the building’s heart – shells within a shell – and surrounded by ancillary spaces and service voids. This allows the galleries to be serviced from all sides, which is important for its operation. Mechanical and electrical services were designed to consume minimum energy and incorporate heat-recovery systems to catch that expended by visitors, lighting or the artworks themselves. As a subtly converted landmark building with an exemplary artistic programme, White Cube Bermondsey amplifies London’s position as a cultural hub and enhances Bermondsey’s growing status as a significant creative area.

WINNER Project: White Cube Bermondsey Cost: £8 million Architect: Casper Mueller Kneer Architects Client: White Cube Date: October 2011


n this conversion and extension of a 1970s warehouse in south London for contemporary art gallery White Cube, more than 5,400m2 of warehouse space was transformed to provide exhibition space, warehousing, workshops, a photo studio, offices, private viewing rooms, an auditorium and a bookshop. The aim was to create a building to support the relationship between White Cube’s public and private activities – namely, meeting demanding functional requirements while providing exceptional exhibition and viewing spaces. To secure planning permission, proposed changes had to be limited and reversible so the strategy was to re-use as much as possible, thereby retaining the embedded material energy of the existing building. A new entrance yard allows for the display of art while retaining vehicular and public access. The programme includes several


Project: Borusan Music & Art House Cost: £12 million Architect: Global Architectural Development Client: Borusan Holding Date: March 2010 Also shortlisted in the Listed Buildings – Structures category

Project: City Varieties Music Hall Cost: £6.3 million Architect: Jacobs Engineering UK Ltd Client: Leeds City Council Date: August 2011 Also shortlisted in the Listed Buildings – Structures category

In the historic neighbourhood of Beyoglu, Istanbul, now stands this multi-purpose space for exhibitions, events, rehearsals and various cultural training programmes. It symbolises the cultural and artistic renaissance occurring throughout the city, while also preserving the architectural legacy of Istanbul.

This Grade II*-listed building is the largest surviving Victorian music hall, with a unique history of almost 150 years of continuous use as a theatre venue. The project aimed to restore the building’s fabric, improve public access and circulation, and deliver an ambitious audience-development programme.






Project: Gwyn Hall Cost: £8 million Architect: Holder Mathias Architects Client: Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council Date: March 2012 Built in 1887, Gwyn Hall was a civic and communityuse venue before becoming a performance hall. During refurbishment in 2005–06, the Grade II-listed building’s original structure was destroyed by fire. After this, Holder Mathias was asked for proposals to re-use its remains; it responded with a brief for a 400-seat multi-purpose auditorium, 120-seat studio space with sprung dancefloor, 70-seat cinema, a café and other front-of-house areas.




Project Name: The Barony Centre Cost: £1.2 million Architect: Ingenium Archial Client: West Kilbride Community Initiative Ltd Date: January 2012

Project Name: Hackney Picturehouse Cost: £3.8 million Architect: Fletcher Priest Architects Client: City Screen Ltd Date: October 2011

Project: St Mary the Virgin, Ashford Cost: £1.1 million Architect: Lee Evans Partnership LLP Client: St Mary the Virgin Church Date: August 2011

Barony Church was redeveloped into an arts centre with an exhibition gallery, retail area, production workshop and café. As the church was C listed, it was important to retain its basic exterior form and features. In contrast to the existing building, the added extension is flat roofed and angular with full-height glazing; its projecting form overlooks the town’s main street so visitors are immediately confronted with the building’s new function.

The building was to be transformed to provide four cinemas of varying size, a café area opening onto Mare Street and the Town Hall square, two bars, a live-music venue and an art gallery. Space is provided for a rich mix of activities such as film screenings, music events, performances, art festivals and educational courses, running from breakfast until late at night. Newly created offices will provide affordable spaces for local start-ups.

Until completion of this project Ashford was the only town of its size in the south-east without a dedicated community arts venue or flexible/multipurpose community space in, or close to, its town centre. This scheme aimed to retrofit the Grade I-listed St Mary’s, which dates back to Norman times, so it functioned as a sacred space and the town’s primary cultural venue. CULTURAL BUILDINGS


Public Buildings (excluding educational or cultural) WINNER Project: Golden Lane Estate Leisure Centre Cost: £2.3 million Architect: Cartwright Pickard Architects Client: City of London Date: April 2012


olden Lane Estate, near Barbican in London, is one of the most important examples of post-war architecture in the UK. The leisure centre – a two-storey swimming pool, a badminton court and single-storey ‘club rooms’ – occupies a prominent location in the centre of the estate and contributes to the creation of an ‘urban village’ with a wide range of facilities. The architects believed a housing development should be an organic part of the city rather than simply a collection of dwellings. The building fabric and structure was poor, the layout did not suit patterns of use and much space in the centre and the adjoining Basterfield House was under-utilised. The entrance was uninviting and there was no direct circulation from the changing rooms to the club rooms. The changing rooms, swimming pool and badminton court had become unusable due to deterioration, causing exceptionally high heat loss and energy use. Forming a coherent set of spaces with clear circulation was a priority. An existing plant room was moved to allow for a spacious, new, inviting reception and for internal spaces to be reorganised to give a clear circulation strategy. By removing sections of wall that enclosed damp and unattractive storage spaces, a new circulation ‘spine’ was created; this links all parts of the three buildings. Non-original suspended ceilings were removed to reveal pavement lights along the full length of the spine; repaired and restored, these now flood the space with natural light and express one of the key features of the original building. The swimming pool and badminton hall were re-clad with low iron-content double glazing to reduce heat loss, while photovoltaic panels were installed on the swimming pool’s roof and carefully concealed in existing vaults within the concrete structure. Energy from the panels drives an air-source heat pump that vastly cuts that needed to heat the pool water. The project has been well received by residents of the estate and users of the facilities.






Project: Wigan Life Centre Cost: £50 million (in combination with another site) Architect: Astudio/LCE Architects Client: Wigan Council Date: December 2011

Project: Dalmore Distillery Cost: £750,000 Architect: JAMstudio Client: Whyte & Mackay Date: June 2011 Refurbishing the visitor centre and tour experience at Dalmore was challenging. It required keeping the distillery fully operational; working in hot, corrosive atmospheres; working at height; needing to replace one of the stills almost in its entirety; and having less than 6 months to complete the works. Success was achieved however – since the refurbishment, the distillery has seen a steady upshift in the numbers of visitors and sales have increased four-fold from the previous year.

The new lease of life bestowed upon this Victorian town hall has made it the focal point of a sustainable civic campus that includes council services, a library, swimming pool, gym and healthcare facilities. The pool proved advantageous – using a combined heat and power plant allows excess heat from it to be reused, reducing fuel usage and providing energy to the rest of the campus. So unique was the scheme, BREEAM created bespoke criteria to rate it.





Project: Blackpool Central Library Cost: £3 million Architect: Bisset Adams Ltd Client: Blackpool Borough Council Date: September 2011 Bisset Adams’ architecture, interior design and graphic-design specialisms were all used in this highly successful refurbishment and extension of a Grade II-listed Carnegie library, which was re-opened on the centenary of its original opening in 1911. Funded in part by the Big Lottery, the project involved extensive consultation and design workshops with staff and local communities to redesign a key cultural venue in the town, offering a library, local history archive, arts and learning services.

Project: The Old Fire Station, Oxford Cost: £3.5 million Architect: Allen Construction Consultancy Limited Client: Oxford City Council Date: November 2010 This historical building in the heart of Oxford was one of three that was refurbished to create the Crisis Skylight Centre (which provides education, training and employment workshops) and the Arts Centre. A new glazed frontage and café space was provided, and the circulatory system within the building was simplified to become more user friendly. Many spaces are now naturally ventilated and lit and the development is on target to obtain a Very Good BREEAM rating.






WINNER Project: The Tea Building Cost: £10 million Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Client: Derwent London Date: Ongoing; phase 1 completed 2003


riginally built as a bacon factory for Allied Foods’ Lipton brand in the early 1930s, The Tea Building is full of original features that make it a unique place to work. This is a continuing story of reuse and re-invention, not just of the buildings but of a new model of architecturally and commercially successful workplaces. Undertaken gradually, work started with a light refurbishment project that has built momentum over 10 years and more than 40 projects. The end result? The Tea Building is London’s defining digital hub and mixed-use redevelopment. The driving architectural idea is robust and simple, based on flexible use and addition over time. Flexible unit sizes, configurations and 20


common spaces that are generous, simple and hard wearing attract a lively mix of tenants. What was once conceived as an interim use prior to a more traditional redevelopment has become a landmark project showing how offices for digital, media and creative businesses can combine with a club, restaurant, hotel and art galleries to form a new social place. A ‘Green Tea’ initiative was developed to improve environmental performance and cut the building’s carbon output to make it a model of comfort and sustainable development. Single-glazed windows are being replaced with double glazing, while a rooftop heat exchanger and high-efficiency lamps with passive infrared sensors have been installed. Plans aimed to retain the building’s character so exposed brick and concrete columns, original cobbles, floors, and timber lift doors can be found throughout. The Tea Building is now home to a vibrant community of some 50 technological, media and advertising companies, each with a unit that is unique in size and shape. Avoiding an over-designed, sterile approach, it houses low-cost spaces that can be continuously reconfigured and personalised by tenants.

This 1950s office block in the Bloomsbury conservation area required extensive redevelopment to provide high-quality, contemporary office space appropriate to its prestigious location. The target was a design that would anticipate future changes in market expectation and deliver a sustainable approach. The space has been developed around a bespoke Trox passive, chilled beam cooling solution, with integrated Zumtobel strip lights that provide up and down lighting, while African sapele parquet flooring that was rescued from the original building has been used as the entrance flooring to some lift lobbies. The building can now accommodate more than 200 people, bringing education, employment and diversity to the local area.



Project: Conquest House Cost: £5 million Architect: Emrys Architects Client: GMS Estates Date: June 2011

Project: Britton Street Cost: Confidential Architect: Archer Architects Client: David Farries Date: March 2012 This 1970s office building in the Clerkenwell conservation area had developed an iconic status in the immediate locale and was locally listed. The brief requested complete refurbishment and reconfiguration of the site, creating more flexible and sustainable office accommodation, a new entrance arrangement, enhancement of the public piazza, and an improved environmental performance.





Project: Pear Tree Court Cost: £929,000 Architect: Buckley Gray Yeoman Client: LaSalle Investment Management Date: May 2011

This City of London redevelopment incorporated a strip-back to the existing structural frame of the 1960s building and a full re-clad and internal fit-out. To maximise daylight into office areas and take advantage of the spectacular views to St Paul’s Cathedral, a tripleglazed unitised cladding panel system spanning the full structural bay width and the floor-to-floor height was designed. Mullions and transoms for the cladding are hidden to open up the view from the floorplate – when viewed straight on, these give the impression of a windowless office space. The southern elevation includes an interstitial copper mesh, which acts as a sun shade and visually connects this facade with the red-brick finish of the adjacent Bracken House. At design stage, the building achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating.

This scheme in Elgin, Scotland, inventively transformed a disused supermarket into a vibrant, efficient and highly sustainable workplace for council staff, with a public access point for council services. The project addresses the council’s aims for greater efficiency and improved service delivery to the local community. Together with an adjacent council building, which was retained, the new scheme means the council is able to consolidate its building stock, reducing 21 dispersed offices to just two and bringing council staff together onto a single city-centre campus. The building now provides some 3,000m2 of flexible, open-plan workspace, which is zoned to help foster interaction and collaboration, while providing departmental identity.

Spread over five floors, this building in Clerkenwell was used by the printing industry before being converted for office use. Hidden by a clutter of exposed servicing, poor office layouts and bad retrofits lay a fantastic building. In the reception area, bespoke, hand-finished materials, including acid-washed steel integrated with ceramic and rustic oak floor finishes, sat alongside areas of exposed brickwork that were unveiled during refurbishment; these now give occupants an immediate flavour of what lies within. A sense of identity translated to those passing in the street enforces the high-quality finish throughout. The success of the reception was instant and, before completion, enquiries into the availability of the space began to flow.



Project: Moray Council Headquarters Campus Cost: £4 million Architect: Bennetts Associates Architects Client: Moray Council Date: December 2011


Project: 20 Cannon Street Cost: £5 million Architect: Denton Corker Marshall Client: Allied London Properties Date: May 2012

Project: The Sharp Project Cost: £9 million Architect: PRP Architects Client: Manchester City Council Date: July 2011

Project: Soundtree Cost: £600,000 Architect: Ben Adams Architects Limited Client: Soundtree Date: March 2012

Project: Grove House Cost: £3.3 million Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Client: Kajima Properties Date: February 2012

This warehouse conversion aimed to create state-ofthe-art workspace, film, television and music production facilities, start-up office accommodation, multi-purpose communal space, a sound stage and production space – all in a development that would complement rather than compete with MediaCity UK at Salford Quays. The project is Manchester’s way of playing its role in nurturing the digital entrepreneurs of the future.

Soundtree wanted to convert a building into its new office and recording studios. The contrast between the acoustic hush of the studio spaces and the bright chatter of the open-plan area is one of the project’s defining themes. Due to the need to provide an acoustically controlled environment, most studios are now isolated, hermetic boxes with few or no links to their immediate surroundings.

The six-storey postmodern building has been transformed to create a modern, sustainable and flexible working environment. The feel of the office space had to be greatly improved; this was achieved by adding space and value to the existing footprint, as well as new glazing, ceilings and installing new services. Simple, high-quality, durable materials were used to cut maintenance and management costs. OFFICES



The hotel sector accounts for some 20 per cent of all greenhouse-gas emissions generated by the travel and tourism industry so it’s great to see these projects reducing CO2 emissions while maintaining the best possible service. It is key to consider sustainability at all stages from initial audit to design, investment, brand value, procurement, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance; the earlier it is addressed, the more chance there is to influence design, costs and operation. This can help projects be more cost effective and achieve high BREEAM or LEED ratings. Gregoir Chikaher, Global Hotels and Leisure Leader, Arup





Project: The Four Seasons Cost: £120 million Architect: Reardon Smith Architects Ltd Client: GCC Investment Fund Date: January 2011

Project: Citadines Prestige Trafalgar Cost: £6.2 million Architect: Buckley Gray Yeoman Client: Ascott International Date: March 2012 A total of 187 apartments are housed in this turn-of-the-century Grade II-listed building. Each apartment has been designed with a contemporary open-plan arrangement, as was the reception area, maximising the double-height space and blending contemporary design with the building’s traditional architectural elements. All products were sourced in the UK and natural materials used where practical.

Project: St Pancras Chambers Cost: £140 million Architect: RHWL Architects Client: Manhattan Loft Corporation Date: February 2011 Also shortlisted in the Listed Buildings/ Structures category Transformed from a run-down Gothic masterpiece into a stylish hotel and sought-after apartment building, this project was guided by the Grade I listing and constraints imposed by the original design. A 189-bed hotel wing was built, new services installed and clear signage introduced to aid navigation. Project: Savoy Hotel Cost: £220 million Architect: Reardon Smith Architects LLP Client: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Date: October 2010 London’s largest-ever hotel restoration, this project has re–affirmed the extraordinary heritage of this iconic hotel. The programme included the restoration, rebuilding or redesign of all guest rooms and public areas, a new services infrastructure and the structural stabilisation of the listed riverfront facade. The riverfront restaurant has been transformed and the lavishly theatrical Beaufort Bar introduced, complete with The Savoy’s refurbished 1930s stage. Throughout, there is now a level of glamour and a sense of luxury that echoes the finest of 1920s art deco combined with an Edwardian–inspired, classic English style, both of which are synonymous with The Savoy.




his project aimed to increase the asset value of the building and enshrine the exceptional brand values of Four Seasons. The key challenge was to achieve a modern hotel within the constraints of a 1970s building envelope. The building was stripped back to its structure and a new rooftop level added to provide space for a spa and lounge with unparalleled views of London, while a new lift core allowed for better servicing of the hotel’s operation. Also included were newly modelled garden suites with conservatories, kitchens and a two-storey glazed extension. The extension to the north elevation, designed to create a unique restaurant experience with street entrance, also featured an executive meeting room above with garden views. With its precisely planned spaces and chic interiors, the hotel now offers a far-greater sense of belonging to its prestigious London location. The ground floor has been opened up to allow glimpses to the freshly landscaped garden beyond and, despite working as one, the area also provides areas of intimacy. Eight floors have been reconfigured to offer more than double the number of one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, many of which now enjoy magnificent views, large outdoor terraces and working fireplaces. This done, the value of the building as a luxury, revenue-generating hotel has been significantly increased. Although a BREEAM rating of Very Good was obtained, suggestions are being considered with a view to improving the building so an Excellent rating can be achieved.




Housing – Large

Housing retrofit could deliver 20 per cent of the UK’s total carbon reduction targets but the range and complexity of the sector will make securing this a significant challenge. With global pressure on commodity prices on everything from construction materials to operational running costs, we need to be able to balance the need for long-term benefits with short-term return on investment. There is clearly scope for making a big impact on the residential sector’s carbon emissions through retrofit; however, the way we finance these will ultimately determine how wide-ranging the effects will be. Daniel House, UK Middle East and Africa Residential Leader, Arup


he scheme was to convert an existing 1970s commercial building into 23 apartments – 16 private plus seven affordable – on seven upper levels and provide B1 office space on the ground and lower-ground floors. The site is located within an area that has a varied mix of urban building types, illustrated by the different conditions at the front and rear of the building. The front of Newman Street is characterised by a vertical Georgian pattern, whereas Newman Passage, at the rear of the building, is mews-like in scale and populated by workshop-type buildings. The essence of the scheme is to strip the upper floors back to the concrete frame, to fit out the interior to provide residential accommodation, and cloak the converted shell in a new high-performance envelope. The original building was constructed in a concrete frame with a rib-slab and beam arrangement. The clear-span floor plates and intermediate lightwell meant the building was ideal for retrofit, and a vast amount of embodied energy could be saved by retaining the frame itself. The facades were formed of existing single-glazed ribbon windows with concrete spandrel panels, suiting neither a residential layout nor the thermalperformance requirements of a contemporary 24




Project: 23 Newman Street and 18 Newman Passage Cost: £6 million Architect: Emrys Architects Client: Great Portland Estates Date: October 2011

building. The facades were removed but the original floor slabs that extended beyond the facade line were cleverly adopted as balconies, saving further embodied energy. In order that the facades respect their separate urban condition, stone cladding was applied to Newman Street and timber and render to Newman Passage. The existing floor-to-underside of slab heights were nominally 2.5m. Early consultation with the agents determined that the internal floor zones could be no less than 2.4m without adversely affecting the sales figures of the apartments. A challenge for the design and construction team – one that was



Project: 2 Hyde Park Square Cost: £10 million Architect: Hawkins\Brown Client: Liberty Properties Plc Date: June 2012

Project: The Brassworks Cost: £6.6 million Architect: Belsize Architects Client: Church Commissioners for England Date: March 2012

In this redevelopment of a 1960s block into luxury flats, the existing building has been stripped back to its concrete frame and remodeled to create 36 new apartments with underground parking, a portico and reception area. A rooftop extension has been added to house a large penthouse flat with spectacular views across London’s West End and Regents’ Park.

This factory in central London has been remodelled into light-filled, spacious, loft-style apartments. Car parking and other facilities are screened behind arched doorways, whose gates contain a brass motif referencing the building’s history. Tucked away are two apartments, including a particularly playful flat with irregular walls, an internal glazed courtyard and a sunken media room.

Project: Engels – Barton Village Cost: £3.7 million Architect: Halsall Lloyd Partnership Client: City West Housing Trust Date: March 2012 Engels, a 10-storey 1960s concrete-built tower block with 58 one- and two-bedroom flats, is the first block of four to be completed at City West’s flagship Barton Village. This high-rise development in West Salford creates a modern residence that is eco-friendly, secure, energy efficient and reduces fuel poverty.


Project: The Peckham Group Repair Scheme/Low Carbon Zone Cost: £1.3 million Architect: The Facility Client: London Borough of Southwark Date: August 2012 The Peckham low-carbon zone includes housing split into eight typologies ranging from 1860s Grade II-listed terraced houses to properties built in the 1940s, 70s and late 90s. The key drivers of the project are carbon reduction, eliminating fuel poverty and urban regeneration.



met successfully – was to ensure all services could be coordinated within a very tight 100mm zone. Public art has been introduced into the building: Royal Academician Tess Jaray has designed the front entrance steps and ramps of the Newman Street entrance. The use of Jaray’s artwork was continued into the building within the common areas on the ground and upper floors, thereby contributing to the sense of quality in the development. In addition, the apartments feature very generous internal layouts as well as ample storage provision. The following key considerations have been integrated to optimise sustainability: a well-insulated building thermal envelope, high-efficiency air-source heat pumps and boilers, a centralised solar hot-water system for all private apartments, low-energy lighting design and lighting control, low nitrogen oxide and global-warming potential building services systems, energy and water metering, a waste-management plan to divert 90 per cent of construction waste from landfill, a recycling strategy, re-use of the building facade and structure to reduce embodied carbon, a green roof to reduce heat-island effect and surface run-off, low water-consumption devices and greywater recycling for the private apartments. Large windows and light wells provide better daylight environment. The scheme has achieved BREEAM and EcoHomes ratings of Very Good.

Project: Low Carbon Zone Peckham Cost: £2 million Architect: The Facility Client: Southwark Council Date: July 2012 In the heart of Peckham in London, 150 properties, local amenities and the streetscape are being regenerated and retrofitted with a range of energyefficiency and energy-generation interventions to create one of London’s leading low-carbon zones. Buildings, condition, energy and resident behaviour will be surveyed to create CO2 savings of 50 per cent. HOUSING – LARGE


Housing – Small

Project: 100 Princedale Road Cost: £178,000 Architect: Paul Davis + Partners Client: Octavia Housing Date: November 2010



Project: Cambridge Street Cost: £3.8 million Architect: Hunters Client: Network Housing Group Date: April 2012 Situated in a high-value conservation area in Pimlico, London, this redesign involved turning a 41-bedroom sheltered accommodation unit into 16 new 3- and 4-bedroom homes for local families. Carbon emissions and energy consumption were to be reduced by 49 per cent and 52 per cent respectively, without compromising the external beauty of the buildings. The refurbishment has been positively received by neighbours.


s this Victorian terraced house is located in the London conservation area of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, there was a strict requirement that its external appearance remain as existing. Part of the Retrofit for the Future programme, the aim was to see an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions. The team decided to work to Passivhaus principles; the house has since been listed on the Passive House register and is the first to achieve this standard. The house was in a bad state of repair and no previous energy-efficiency measures had been carried out, allowing plenty of scope for improvement. All the materials used were normal but the engineering designs employed were clever and

innovative. To achieve good air tightness, the insulation was designed in two layers around the building envelope, including party walls, and the designers created their own version of Victorian sash windows. The doors, which used box structures for the panels, styles and rails filled with phenolic insulation, are indistinguishable from the originals. A mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery was installed, and a drain-back system of solar thermal panels enabled 80 per cent of hot water to be heated by the sun. The floors were supported on a steel beam spanning the void between the party walls carrying the floor joists, and positioned inside the insulation layer next to the external walls. The beams sat in foam, glass-insulated mountings with steel spreader plates used to carry the loads. The external walls, now separated from the floor joists, were linked to the steel beams using ties made of magma rock fibre, which has twice the strength of steel and good insulating properties. Thermal bridging was almost eliminated. This project achieved an 86 per cent reduction in energy demand.




Project: Dyne Road Cost: Confidential Architect: bere:architects Client: Not supplied Date: May 2012



This low-energy refurbishment greatly improved the energy efficiency and comfort of this early20th-century, brick-built family house. The original building was cold and draughty, with poorly fitting single-glazed windows and no insulation. Energysaving measures included fitting external and internal insulation, replacing existing windows, fitting triple-glazed windows to new openings, stopping up air leakage to eliminate cold draughts and installing a heat-recovery ventilation system; a 76 per cent reduction in carbon emissions was achieved. This shows how old houses can be beautifully renovated and secure energy cuts for the occupants.




Project: Westover Road Cost: £175,000 Architect: Granit Chartered Architects Client: Confidential Date: September 2011

Project: Elliot Drive Cost: £125,000 Architect: Orbit Group Client: Orbit Heart of England Date: April 2012

Project: Rose, 1 Lodge Close Cost: £85,000 Architect: Keith Dicken Associates Client: Not supplied Date: December 2010

This project aimed to enlarge this home’s living and entertaining spaces, making the most of the available natural light and taking a sensitive approach to the property’s environmental impact. Multi-room layouts were replaced with large open living areas, windows were refurbished and new false ones added – along with a glazed roof and near-full-width sliding folding doors – to increase the feeling of space and light. Air tightness was improved, and insulation and draught proofing added.

Work at 56 and 58 Elliott Drive in Wellesbourne put Orbit’s knowledge and expertise to the test and enabled it to explore ‘blending’ the best of traditional and Passivhaus techniques. Both properties are 1950s semi-detached houses; number 58 was retrofitted to the Passivhaus EnerPHit standard, while number 56 has had a traditional retrofit, which allowed for monitoring and review of the two technologies adopted and skills requirements in identical environments.

The intention was to make more efficient use of the spaces in this 1970s house and get light into the centre of the building. This was achieved by installing glazed screens, doors and roof lights. The stairs were altered to enable an internal porch to be installed. Structural defects were addressed and a new condensing boiler and heating system installed. Electrics were renewed and all lighting is energy saving, using fluorescent and LED technology.





Project: The Nook, Lover’s Walk Cost: £172,000 Architect: BBM Sustainable Design Limited Client: Two Piers Housing Co-Operative Date: September 2011

Project: Midmoor Road Cost: £95,000 Architect: Prewett Bizley Ltd Client: Technology Strategy Board Date: January 2011

Project: Clover House Cost: £325,000 Architect: richard pain architect Client: Not supplied Date: October 2011

The brief was to cut the carbon emissions of this large, energy-guzzling, Victorian detached villa in multiple occupation by 80 per cent. The solution was to insulate the outside of the building on three sides and the inside of the front elevation. The first-floor ceiling was built up to avoid interstitial condensation and the ground-floor finish raised in line with the first step of the staircase. Demanding air-tightness standards were met and the building fitted with a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery. A large solar thermal array, lowenergy lights, kitchen appliances and water-efficient fittings were also part of the works. As a result of the retrofit, residents’ fuel costs were cut by 72 per cent.

This typical mid-terrace Edwardian solid-wall property in Balham, south London, forms part of a charming streetscape near a conservation area. The designers were keen to pursue a ‘fabric first’ approach – where energy demand is minimised initially – working towards the Passivhaus EnerPHit standard that was being developed at the time of the design. They also wanted to show that the primary structure of the house could be left intact while still achieving excellent levels of air tightness and insulation, but did not want to pursue a ‘full gut’ solution as it was felt that this would limit the future replication potential of the project. Data gathered so far indicates an 87 per cent reduction in space heating demand.

The central two-storey volume of the house has been retained, while the single-storey garage wing has been demolished and replaced with a new two-storey extension accommodating kitchen and utility with a master bedroom suite over. At the back, a new bedroom has been added over the existing living room, with a new linking stair bursting through the curved wall and wrapping around the conical chimney. The new spaces are taller than the original rooms and so each volume can be understood as new or old, but the detailing of the new has been carefully handled to evolve from the existing materials and details. HOUSING – SMALL


The new buildings take their lead from the historic buildings that existed on the site and care has been taken to ensure they are deferential to the qualities of the 19thcentury architecture. However, a threefold strategy to reduce, reuse or recycle was developed and all aspects of sustainability were taken into consideration. Solutions such as the use of photovoltaics, a brise soleil and biodiversity roofs were made clearly visible so that they could be exploited as educational tools.

attention paid to improving natural light and ventilation, which were previously lacking. The new Nightingale building houses the sixth-form accommodation and is home to special educational needs, information and communications technology facilities, and an assembly hall. The new dining pavilion greatly improves the lunchtime experience for students, which positively impacts on teaching and learning in the afternoon. It can also be used as a flexible and attractive additional learning space outside of lunchtime hours.

Schools WINNER Project: Clapton Girls’ Academy Cost: £15 million Architect: Jestico + Whiles Client: Hackney Building Schools for the Future Limited Date: June 2010



lapton Girls’ Academy was redeveloped as part of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, which was needed to modernise its existing facilities and cater for the increase in students resulting from the establishment of a sixth form. The buildings on site are aged between 35 and 100 years old; two of these are listed, one locally and one statutorily. The transformation project consisted of 40 per cent new build and 60 per cent refurbishment. Two new buildings were provided – a dining pavilion and the Nightingale Building. The existing Pankhurst, Marie Curie and Rosa Parks buildings were extensively refurbished, which included a mechanical and electrical overhaul, new roofs and replacement windows. Internal layouts were rearranged to provide flexible teaching and learning spaces, with particular




Project: Bristol Cathedral Choir School Cost: £9.1 million Architect: Nicholas Hare Architects LLP Client: Bristol City Council Date: May 2011

Project: Colindale Primary School Cost: Not supplied Architect: The Communication Group Client: London Borough of Barnet Date: March 2011

The key outcome was to provide defined curriculum bases for the school’s five faculties. This allowed more efficient movement across a sprawling campus, and moved most of the teaching accommodation from the original cathedral buildings to the new College Square side. The masterplan was a success – the new centre provides both the school and local community with much-needed accommodation.

The retrofit of this north-London school aimed to increase the size of the school by a third, incorporate provisions for up to 20 pupils with special educational needs and redesign the outdoor areas to be stimulating and accessible. Pupils returned from their summer holidays to a building with an array of unique and creative learning spaces, specialist facilities, cuttingedge technology and exceptional green credentials.




Project: Stoke Newington School and Sixth Form Cost: £18 million Architect: Jestico + Whiles Client: Hackney Building Schools for the Future Limited Date: June 2010 As this inner-city London school has specialisms in media arts and science, the new building was to reflect those, and show the school’s commitment to being available for local use. A ‘street’ at ground-floor level with a new courtyard beyond aids access and circulation, while building design serves to inspire.

Higher Education Buildings

Universities and colleges must not only rationalise their estates, but improve their performance in response to the changing agenda on carbon, teaching, research and finance. They have to think differently about how they organise space, retrofit building stock and deliver services. Reducing carbon emissions while using more energy demands a strategic, long-term approach to estates management. Without it, there is a risk of spiralling energy costs and reputational damage. It’s inspiring to see the innovative ways in which these projects are dealing with these issues. Martin Mayfield, UK Middle East and Africa Education Leader, Arup



Project: Muirhead Tower Cost: £25 million Architect: Associated Architects LLP Client: University of Birmingham Date: September 2009

Project: Gisbert Kapp Cost: £6 million Architect: Associated Architects LLP Client: University of Birmingham Date: May 2011

This retrofit design retains Sir Philip Dowson’s original concrete structure, but completely transforms the interior and exterior to create a space that is functional as well as beautiful.

Through increased insulation, high-performance glazing and careful detailing to achieve a low airtightness value, the building’s energy performance rating improved from F to B - satisfying a key aim.





ormerly a car showroom and garage, the Riverside Centre had been empty for more than a year when the university acquired it, wanting a new specialised space for sport, performance and dance. The large central area now provides a study environment where students can move freely between learning and social activities. As well as adapting the building to its new use, the driving principles behind the design were to enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and reduce energy use. The refurbished building received a C energy-performance rating. The new design retains as much of the building’s basic envelope as possible, adding elements to increase its scale, impact and dignity. A combination of mechanical and electrical systems’ design and integration passively and actively lowers energy consumption and carbon emissions.



Project: The Riverside Centre Cost: £2.3 million Architect: KKE Architects Client: University of Worcester Date: June 2011

Project: Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, Oxford University Cost: £10 million Architect: Hawkins\Brown Client: Oxford University Estates Directorate Date: October 2011

Project: Waltham Forest College Cost: £3.2 million Architect: Richard Hopkinson Architects and Platform 5 Architects LLP Client: Waltham Forest College Date: January 2012

This 1970s building was stripped back to its concrete structure and new services, a new roof, curtain walling and thermal linings installed. The internal staircase and core was retained, as was the original precast concrete finishes. The lab floor contains specialised facilities with bespoke stainless-steel sliding racking systems and temperature, humidity and lighting controls. In contrast, the write-up area on the second floor is a more social space.

Austere and run-down spaces in this 1930s building now form a welcoming, inclusive and contemporary environment. Full-height glazing offers glimpses of new interventions inside the main space – a transparency that has been incorporated to reflect the open, inclusive nature the college wants to project. The most striking feature is a suspended seminar pod and mezzanine, which houses IT stations and spaces for smaller learning groups. SCHOOLS / HIGHER EDUCATION BUILDINGS


Transport Buildings


pass through the station each year. The redevelopment’s centrepiece is the new vaulted, semi-circular western concourse; this rises some 20 metres and spans the full 150m-length of the existing western range, creating new station entrances at the southern end of the structure and at mezzanine level to the northern end of the concourse. The 7,500m 2 concourse has become one of Europe’s largest singlespan station structures – 16 steel tree-form columns support loads to its perimeter, radiating from an expressive, tapered central funnel. Its graceful circularity echoes the form of the neighbouring Great Northern Hotel and, adjacent to the facade of the western range, it reveals the restored brickwork and masonry of the original station.

From this dramatic interior, passengers access platforms through ground-level gate lines or those at mezzanine level that lead to a new cross-platform footbridge. Above the new London Underground northern ticketing hall, and with retail elements at mezzanine level, the concourse transforms passenger facilities. It is now also the architectural gateway to King’s Cross Central development, a key approach to St Pancras International and an extension to King’s Cross Square – a new plaza that will be formed between the station’s southern facade and Euston Road. This transformation creates a remarkable dialogue between Cubitt’s original station and 21st-century architecture – a modern transport superhub that revitalises and unveils one of the great railway monuments of Britain.


he transformation of King’s Cross Station involves three very different styles of architecture: re-use, restoration and new build. The train shed and range buildings have been adapted and re-used, the station’s previously obscured Grade I-listed facade restored, and a new western concourse has been designed as the project’s beating heart. The design re-orientates the station to the west, creating significant operational improvements and reveals the main south facade of Lewis Cubitt’s original 1852 station. The architectural ambition of the scheme has been to create an iconic landmark that will not only function as a key catalyst for the ongoing regeneration of this London quarter, but also provide striking new facilities to accommodate the 50 million passengers that


Project: King’s Cross Station Cost: £547 million Architect: John McAslan + Partners Client: Network Rail Date: March 2012





Product Innovation

Buildings can be retrofitted to lower CO2 emissions but users, their behaviour and the products they use are still a challenge. Owners and occupiers are seeking highperformance materials and recyclable products to help them meet best-practice and regulatory demands. Products that work in synergy with a building can improve energy efficiency and, equally, energy-efficient products will be more effective with the right building design. Good products require innovative design as well as technical and commercial insight. Florence Lam, Global Lighting Design Leader, Arup



Project: North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust Cost: £10,000 Company: MHA Lighting Client: North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust Date project completed: April 2011


ew sealed lighting units can help in the fight against hospital-acquired infection rates. Patented LED technology has been designed as a fully sealed retrofit unit to stop dust, bacteria and dead insects from gathering around warm light fittings and spreading superbugs. The LED’s 60,000-hour (seven-year) life span also

eradicates the need for routine maintenance and bulb replacement. Money can be saved on routine light maintenance and, as these LEDs burn only 20 per cent of the energy of the fluorescent lights they replace, CO2 emissions and energy bills can be cut by almost 80 per cent. Savings can be ploughed back into patient services.

At the North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple, 72-watt fluorescents were replaced with MHA Lighting’s unique 4000 Kelvin TiLite 20- and 30-watt LED units in wards, corridors and reception areas. These have saved 94,866 kWh and, by integrating dimmers, energy savings have exceeded 75 per cent. MHA Lighting also uses acrylic rods and waveguide technology to focus and control the light output, thereby reducing the number of LEDs that are required. Moses Warburton, head of strategic development at North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said: ‘This is part of our continuing commitment to reduce our carbon footprint. With the new lighting system we have made significant savings to our energy bills; those will be ploughed back into clinical care’.

Project: Sandtoft’s PV48 Solar Roofing System Cost: not supplied Company: Sandtoft Client: Sandtoft Date: Not supplied This is the first roof-tile manufacturer to offer an integrated solar roofing system that can be retrofitted into a roof covering made of any manufacturer’s tile profile or slate, and an integrated solar photovoltaic system incorporating the large solar modules now available. Per year, its 20-panel system should give 3,000kWh of electricity, (around 91 per cent of a typical home’s requirements) and offset 1,700kg of carbon emissions.

Project: Supercity Apart-Hotel Cost: Not supplied Company: Caledonian Modular Client: Supercity Ltd Date: July 2012





Project: WHISCERS (Whole House In-Situ Carbon and Energy Reduction System) Cost: £1 million Company: united house limited Client: Mole Valley Housing Association Date: June 2012

Caledonian Modular Bathroom Pods offer significant cost- and time-saving advantages over in-situ traditional build, as well as being beneficial in terms of energy use. Houses built with the company’s modules typically have a carbon footprint that is 40kgCO2/m2 lower than houses built using traditional methods. Transporting materials inside each module also reduces the necessary site-delivery transportation by 82 per cent, lowering pollution levels and significantly reducing any disruption to the community.

This system for installing internal wall insulation with minimal mess allows residents to stay in their properties while work is being undertaken. As insulation panels are cut offsite, the system is suitable for metropolitan areas or sites where compound space is at a premium. Walls are measured with a laser and data sent electronically to a computer-controlled off-site cutting machine, which is rapid, precise and mess free.



The Jury

Russ Hamilton is a design director with Farrells. He has been with the firm since 2000 and is involved in its principle design activities; buildingconcept development from theory through to detailed interior design is a specialism. He is leading on the development of masterplans for the British Library and Alexandra Palace.

William Kemp joined Scott Wilson in 1965 and spent his 40-year career with the firm. His area of expertise is transport infrastructure and as well as representing the Institution of Civil Engineers on the Board of the Engineering Council where he is vice chairman, he is an active trustee of the Institution’s Benevolent Fund.

Ruth Reed, immediate past president of the RIBA (2009– 2011) and former president of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales (2003–2005), is a professor and director at Birmingham School of Architecture. She is also a partner in Green Planning Solutions, an architectural and planning consultancy specialising in unusual rural casework.

Simon Sturgis leads retrofit specialists Sturgis Associates Architects and launched Sturgis Carbon Profiling, which advises on low-carbon construction. He is a member of the RIBA Sustainable Futures Group, the British Council for Offices Environmental Sustainability Group and an advisor to the UK Green Building Council.

Paul Toyne is group head of sustainability for the global FTSE design, engineering and environmental consultancy WSP Group Plc. Previously he was head of sustainability for Bovis Lend Lease UK and the architect of an award-winning strategy on carbon reductions, waste, responsible sourcing, sustainable design and local employment.

Jane Wernick is a structural engineer who worked for Arup (1976–1998) and ran their Los Angeles office (1986–1988) before founding Jane Wernick Associates in 1998. She taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, the Mackintosh and the Architectural Association, and chairs the Construction Industry Council’s Diversity Panel.



Alan Shingler, partner and head of sustainability at Sheppard Robson, leads the research and development of its sustainability programme in the UK and overseas. He also sits on the British Property Federation Sustainability Committee, is a RIBA national councillor and chairs the RIBA Sustainable Futures Group.

Editors James Pallister, Emily Booth Designers Steve Fenn, Tom Pollard – Design by St Sub editor Cecilia Thom AJ Editor Christine Murray Production editor Mary Douglas Acting production editor Abigail Gliddon Editorial director Paul Finch Commercial director James MacLeod Managing director of architecture and media Conor Dignam Chief executive officer Natasha Christie-Miller Issued with The Architects’ Journal. For reprints, call James MacLeod on 020 7728 4582. Published September 2012 by EMAP, powered by Top Right Group. Typeset in Adobe Caslon Pro and Akzidenz-Grotesk BQ