Project

Ipswich Coroner’s Court

Brief

Concertus were appointed to carry out the necessary re-modelling work to facilitate bringing the services together within one building.

Following the transfer of responsibility for the Coroner’s Court from the police to Suffolk County Council, a review of the facility was undertaken by the council. The review aimed to investigate whether the Court’s services could be geographically rationalised within one location. Following this, Concertus were appointed to carry out the necessary re-modelling work to facilitate bringing the services together within one building. We were appointed due to the breadth of our experience, and the fact that we could provide a multi-disciplinary service for the required disciplines to enable successful delivery.

Key Info

Type:
Feasibility, Masterplanning

Location:
Ipswich, Suffolk

Duration:
6 months

Client:
Suffolk County Council

Contractor:
SEH French

End User:
Ipswich Coroner’s Court

Disciplines:
Architecture, Building Services Design, Interior Architecture, Project Management, Quantity Surveying + Cost Consultancy, Structural + Civil Engineering

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Scope

We worked with a number of stakeholders on this project, including commercial tenants who occupied the building throughout construction.

Our experience and skill set meant we were able to advise and consult on how to deliver the most effective programme for the end-user, whilst minimising the impact on existing tenants. We were instrumental in establishing the client and end user’s requirements for the new facility. This led to the development of a thorough brief, aimed at meeting both present and future requirements for the Court. This meant the Concertus team was able to propose and implement a design that was fit for current requirements and had an element of future-proofing to enable the Court to take advantage of modern technology.

In addition, we had to obtain planning permission for change of use so that the area of Beacon House which housed the Coroner’s Court could be used by the public. We also worked closely with the IT team at Suffolk County Council to ensure their requirements were incorporated within the building infrastructure. For instance, additional cabling and screens were installed to enable live interviews and tele-conferencing, allowing the possibility of witnesses giving evidence remotely.

Alongside the remodelling of the Coroner’s Court, the project incorporated several refurbishment elements. These elements included replacing air conditioning units, installing a new ventilation system for the first floor, upgrading the lift, and providing energy efficient sensor lighting on the first floor.

Testimonial

“This is the first time a purpose made provision has been created in the county for the exclusive use of inquest hearings. This new facility will enable the team to work in a more streamlined way, making full use of modern digital technology and provide the best service possible for bereaved families in the county.”

Jane Parker, Head of Registrars Service & Lead Manager for Coroners Service, Suffolk County Council

Result

Delivered on time and to budget, the new Coroner’s Court is now a centralised hub for the multiple services provided.

The court now operates from modern facilities that provide a conducive, appropriate, and sympathetic environment for the Coroner’s team, professionals, volunteers, and visiting families.

 

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Project

Guildhall Feoffment

Primary School

Brief

The new building had to be carefully considered and designed to sit comfortably within the site.

There was a need for the client to increase capacity at Guildhall Feoffment to meet the demand for school spaces generated by population growth. This was a difficult site in terms of access and because the school sits in the heart of Bury St Edmunds, a medieval town, the new building had to be carefully considered and designed to sit comfortably within the site. Attention needed to be paid to the school’s existing listed building status and strong architectural style.

Key Info

Type:
New Build, Expansion

Location:
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

End User:
Guildhall Feoffment Primary School

Client:
Suffolk County Council

Disciplines:
Architecture, Interior Design, Building Service Design, Building Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Quantity Surveying + Cost Consultancy, Structural + Civil Engineering

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Scope

The fully coordinated design was developed in-house using several innovative technologies.

The scheme commissioned was for the design and construction of a new two-storey building providing four additional class bases and a studio hall. With functionality in mind, the design ensured that administration and infrastructure areas supported ease of movement and created an easy flow through the primary school. Consultation with the planners and the desire to be sympathetic to the site and local buildings led to the use of red brickwork and slate roof for the main teaching element.

The fully coordinated design was developed in-house using several innovative technologies. ArchiCAD 17 was used to design the project as a whole, with all design disciplines making use of ArchiCAD and hotlinked models. This approach allowed the project to be successfully coordinated. Point cloud surveys were used to provide detailed elevations to provide the information required for the planners. High-quality visuals and a fly-through using CGI technology were produced.

The design of the circulation space and studio hall with a lower flat roof makes it less dominant and the use of curtain glazing provides visual separation between the two main parts of the development.

Testimonial

“The design of the new building is superb. It is a ‘grown up’ space which suits its purpose of providing first-class teaching and learning areas for the oldest year groups in the school, offering them a tangible sense of educational progression.”

Joy Stodart, Schools Commissioning Manager, Suffolk County Council.

Result

The internal spaces work well and provide first-class teaching and learning spaces for the children.

The new accommodation is filled with light, with the façade providing an intriguing modern contrast to the original adjacent Victorian school. The use of a two-storey red brick gable end recognises the existing building forms, whilst the design for the glazing demonstrates a modern interpretation that will enable the site to age without the different extensions conflicting with each other.

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Project

The Pines Primary School

Brief

A new 210 place primary school and a standalone preschool with 30 places were required.

The primary school was masterplanned for expansion to 420 places to cope with future demand. Our team of Landscape Architects were asked to landscape the whole site, including shared parking provision, a parent drop off and bus pick up location.

Key Info

Type:
Feasibility, New Build, Disposal and Acquisition

Value:
£5 million

Location:
Red Lodge, Suffolk

Duration:
12 months

Client:
Suffolk County Council Children and Young People (CYP)

End User:
CHET Academy

Contractor:
Morgan Sindall

Disciplines:
Architecture, Building Services Design, Estates + Development Management, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Project Management, Quantity Surveying + Cost Consultancy, Structural + Civil Engineering

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Scope

Our team organised a joint planning consultation event with Upton Estate, the Housing Developer for the site, to give us a more holistic view of the wider development.

To ensure the rigorous planning requirements for the site were fully met, we worked closely with arboricultural and ecological consultants. Careful consideration was given to the location of the building on site to make sure all classrooms looked out onto the playing fields, minimising disruption from road traffic noise. Due to the school site being opposite an industrial site, we had to acquire a piece of land to build an off-site drop off area. Our Estates team negotiated with the Highways Authority to provide the access road. The road also provided a footpath and cycle route to the school entrance which encourages exercise.

The Pines Primary School, Red Lodge Stairs
The Pines Primary School, Red Lodge

Design

The outstanding double height library space was designed to be the hub of the school. Two wings spread out from this hub to minimise pupil traffic and travel distances. The compact design also considered flexible spaces for learning and performances.

Externally, the render and timber cladding were used to reflect the local palette of colours and materials. The green tiles were chosen to create a vibrant finish which refers to the surrounding green spaces and connects the internal and external spaces.

The landscape design brief was developed with the client and CHET to reflect the Forest School ethos of the academy. This ethos involves encouraging children to be creative and participate in activities in the woodland. Spaces were designed along the existing tree lined boundary using structure planting and subtle level changes to provide dedicated zones for Forest School activities. The timber from trees in the surrounding area was used to create seating, tables and wildlife habitats to further enhance the biodiversity in the pine belt.

A key feature of the successful design is excellent natural lighting. This included rooflights along each corridor to the Main Hall and central Library space. To ensure the light reached all of the levels, a glass balustrade with timber details was constructed to enhance visibility between the floors.

Testimonial

“I just wanted to pass on a huge thanks to you all for your hard work in delivering the new school. It has been a pleasure to work with all of you. The whole team has worked really well together, overcoming all of the challenges that have arisen with efficiency and professionalism. The design, specification and finish of the project is fantastic. I’m sure the pupils and staff will enjoy using the space (especially the library – WOW!)… I think the planting at this school is some of the best I’ve seen!”

Jo Fellowes, Health Wellbeing and Children’s Services, Suffolk County Council

Result

The landscape and first-class facilities within the building surpassed the expectations of the client and end user.

We worked closely with Suffolk County Council and the academy to ensure their requirements for the building and external environment were met whilst managing change within the challenging budget. Our attention to detail and quality control throughout the project led to a zero defects handover.

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Project

The Hold

Brief

Our client has asked for a flagship heritage facility to hold Suffolk’s archives securely and provide a welcome facility for the public.

This project aims to contribute in a positive manner to the regeneration of the Ipswich waterfront area. As Employer’s Agent we worked closely with the client and end users to understand fully their requirements and key project risks from an early stage. This working relationship has continued throughout all stages of the project.

Key Info

Type:
Business Case, New Build, Demolition

Value:
£16 million

Location:
Ipswich, Suffolk

Duration:
85 weeks

Client:
Suffolk County Council – Adult and Community Services

Contractor:
R G Carter

Completion:
July 2020

Disciplines:
Building Surveying, Client Design Advisor, Interior Architecture

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Scope

The Client Advisor’s roles and responsibilities were delivered via a multi-disciplinary team, ensuring all aspects of the project were supported.

Due to the funding arrangements we undertook a careful review of the project finances and assisted with applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund. We established rigorous cost control procedures and ensured the design was strictly monitored against the agreed cost plan. Any difficulties have been rectified and the approved cost limit has been maintained. We also attended the Heritage Lottery Fund monitoring meetings every three months to provide updates on the project and its progress.

The location of the project (on a live university site) resulted in making recommendations to the client on the need for site investigations and holding engagement sessions with all parties that would be affected by the project. We carried on these regular meetings with the Design and Construction team, the client and stakeholders (Suffolk County Council and the university) throughout the works over the three years to keep everyone updated and informed of progress.

Through our role as Employer’s Agent we have steered the project and supported the client through challenges associated with funding and a tight urban site within the centre of Ipswich. We have ensured the project execution plan has been followed and the project was in line with the employer’s requirements, as well as meeting the client’s expectations of a new flagship public building. As Client Design Advisor we were appointed to review independently the proposals put forward by the design team. We needed to make sure the Design and Build Contractor met the client’s employer requirements and complied with necessary legislation.

During the Stage 3 submission we identified some areas of the design which had insufficient detail to enable the client to sign off the work stage and progress the design. We presented a report to the client which proved the design team needed to provide revised information. This removed client risk and potential claims for an additional cost at a later date.

The Hold Ipswich Yellow Staircase
The Hold, Ipswich Space

Testimonial

“The support from Concertus for The Hold has been outstanding; from initial feasibility through to construction and fit-out, they have helped us every step of the way, fulfilling multiple roles and ensuring the project’s success. The end result is a stunning addition to both the Ipswich waterfront and Suffolk’s heritage assets.”

Amy Rushton, Programme Manager, The Hold

Result

The Hold will be the headquarters for the county’s records office and will allow the public to explore 900 years of national and international archive material.

Despite delays to the project as a result of COVID-19, construction progressed well to ensure the university facilities were ready for the return of students in September 2020. The new seminar rooms and 200-seat lecture theatre have provided the University of Suffolk with extra teaching spaces for the increasing number of students. In addition to housing state-of-the-art university facilities, The Hold will be the headquarters for the county’s records office and will allow the public to explore 900 years of national and international archive material. From 28th September the public were able to access the exhibition gallery, archive-inspired displays, shop, café, toilets and changing facilities. This unique purpose-built facility has helped to regenerate the waterfront area and will benefit the local community and future generations.

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