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

Skyliner Sports

Centre

Brief

The project comprised the construction of the new Skyliner Sports Centre adjacent to the Sybil Andrews Academy.

The new building provides sports facilities for both the Academy and for use by the general public. The scheme also included the provision of new external MUGA pitch facilities.

The accommodation provided includes a new sports hall, dance studios, gym, changing areas, equipment storage facilities, reception areas and plant space. The building incorporates a Biomass facility serving both the Sports Centre and the adjacent School.

Key Info

Type:
New Build

Value:
£6.5 million

Location:
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Client:
Suffolk County Council

End User:
Abbeycroft Leisure, Sybil Andrews Academy

Contractor:
Barnes Construction

Completion:
December 2016

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

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Scope

The building was constructed using a two storey steel framed structure with an insulated structural roof deck finished with a single ply roofing membrane.

The external envelope of the building was formed using a Metsec lightweight steel structural framing system set between the steel frame and clad externally with a decorative Rockpanel rainscreen cladding system. Internally, a specialist non-slip vinyl type floor was installed within the Sports Hall with timber sprung floors being provided in the Dance Studio and Gym areas.

Externally, hard pavings and a MUGA pitch with floodlighting formed part of the project in addition to drainage and new mains services.

Testimonial

“It’s been great to watch the development of a new first class sports facility here to support the new growing community at Moreton Hall alongside the recently opened Sybil Andrews Academy building. Pupils will really benefit from access to the full range of sports equipment and facilities as well as local people who can sign up for membership.”

Cllr Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member (Children’s Services, Education and Skills)

Result

The sports centre will be managed by Abbeycroft Leisure, who also manage 18 other leisure facilities across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Located on the site of the Sybil Andrews Academy, on Rougham Tower Avenue in Bury St Edmunds, the centre is a partnership project with a 45 station, state of the art gym, two fitness studios, a four badminton court sports hall and an outdoor 3G all weather pitch. From the start of the project the aim has always been to have a school which has wider links with the community through shared use of leisure facilities.

The sports centre will be open to the public every day, with some shared daytime use of the sports hall by the Academy. There will be an extensive group exercise class programme every day including the popular Les Mills classes and various children’s activities during term time plus a ‘Schools Out’ programme.

Designed by Concertus and built by Barnes Construction, the project to develop the Academy and the adjoining sports facility has been a joint venture between West Suffolk Council, Suffolk County Council, Abbeycroft Leisure and Samuel Ward Trust.

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Project

Sybil Andrews Academy

Brief

The new school had to have the ability to expand to accommodate 1,400 pupils, plus a sixth form by 2031.

Due to significant residential development in Bury St Edmunds we were asked to masterplan a new high school. After completing the Master Plan, we were asked to project manage on behalf of the client the construction of the new school. Our brief was to follow through on implementing our design proposal and deliver the completed Sybil Andrews Academy in the Autumn Term of 2016. Construction would incorporate core facilities capable of initially supporting 900 students, with teaching accommodation for 600. Being a major project for Suffolk the new high school attracted a high political profile and performance to budget and programme was paramount.  With a prominent location on the approach into Bury, the new building was also required to be a landmark building.

 

Key Info

Location:
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Client:
Suffolk County Council

End User:
Samuel Ward Academy Trust
/ Sybil Andrews Academy

Contractor:
Barnes Construction

Project Completion:
December 2016

Project Value
£16 million

Project Duration:
18 months

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

Scope + Delivery

The building contains large and flexible teaching spaces, which are predominately based around the learning resource and dining areas.

Sybil Andrews Academy was designed and constructed so that the building provides flexibility and can be adapted as the Academy grows, and in response to changes in the school curriculum. Designed around the ethos of a central heart space, the building looks to minimise the use of corridors by maximizing social and group spaces that can be used flexibly. The building contains large and flexible teaching spaces, which are predominately based around the learning resource and dining areas. The approach is continued within Teaching Block 1 where classrooms break out into a central group teaching and social space. The use of the auditorium staircase provides further smaller presentation and tutoring opportunities. The first phase of works also included a four court sports hall with a studio, gym and changing facilities to Sports England standards.

The location of the Heart building has been carefully considered to provide a strong visual feature to the Academy and its wider environment. It has been positioned along the western boundary to act as an acoustic break and light shield between the school site and the neighbouring residential development. The positioning also provides a strong visual presence to people entering Moreton Hall via the new Eastern Relief Road. The entrance is strongly emphasised through the continuation of structural framing beyond the building line and this draws people into the building whilst blurring the distinction between internal and external space.

The western elevation creates intrigue through the use of slender windows, which provide glimpses into the school, whilst minimising the issues of overlooking neighbouring properties. Larger elements of curtain glazing are then used to provide views through the building and into the school site. The eastern elevation comprises large areas of glazing to reflect how the heart building opens out into the site and provides a connection with the separate teaching blocks. The core admin and other infrastructure areas support ease of movement and access as well as management of the school and site. There is a strong relationship with the outdoor environment through the views from stairwells, curtain glazing and doorways. Externally across the whole site, paved areas follow a form and pattern to delineate the spaces and guide the users. The external environment is inspiring and provides formal and informal spaces along with sports pitches.

The opportunities have been maximised for community use outside the academic day through consideration of access, service zoning and security needs. This includes a Biomass boiler, photovoltaic panels, mechanical heat recovery and fully considered building orientation, resulting in an ‘A’ rating for energy performance. The building also incorporates good practice in relation to environmental sustainability.

Aware, from the start of construction, that the team would be working to a very challenging and tight schedule, the aim was to ensure that an extremely close working relationship was established between all stakeholders and the construction team. During the construction period, there were times when design amendments and alterations were being made alongside the construction works. This meant there was a need for total transparency and collaboration between the Barnes and Concertus teams both off and on-site.

The foul drainage solution included discharging to the new infrastructure yet to be constructed.  Due to delays in the development of the inner relief road and the adjacent business park the main sewer remained incomplete at the end of the project. To support the client, the project manager negotiated with the ground works contractor for the road and main sewer, to bring forward the holding tank associated with the new pumping station. This was achieved and the foul drainage from the new school was able to discharge to the holding tank. The project manager liaised with the main contractor to arrange for regular monitoring and pumping out of the holding tank.  This solution allowed the Academy to occupy and use the buildings immediately after handover, mitigating a significant delay.

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Testimonial

“It is a real credit to all those involved and to the collaborative ‘will-do’ approach taken by the designers and contractors alike. The students at Sybil Andrews Academy are in awe of their surroundings which act as a real inspiration in and out of the classroom. Sybil Andrews Academy is an incredible achievement in designing and building a new 21st century educational and sports facility from a standing start – and all within two years.”

Tim Coulson, Chief Executive of the Samuel Ward Academy Trust

Result

The finished project was shortlisted for the RICS Awards 2018 in the Community Benefit and Design Through Innovation categories.

Construction was completed mid-November and the children moved into the new school on Monday 5 December 2016. Divided into three key buildings; Heart Building, Teaching Block 1 and the Sports Building, the academy provides a stimulating educational environment.

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Project

King Edward VI School

Brief

The successful implementation of the final phase of the Schools Organisational Review (SOR) in Bury St Edmunds was a key strategic priority for Suffolk County Council.

There was a requirement that from September 2016, when all the Middle Schools in the area closed, that King Edward VI School would need to accommodate two extra year groups converting from a 13-18 Upper to a 11-18 High School. The aim was to ensure it was ‘business as usual’ for the school, whilst carrying out the work to refurbish and extend the existing accommodation, at the heart of a live campus across the crucial GCSE exam period.

Key Info

Location:
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Client:
Suffolk County Council

End User:
King Edward VI School

Contractor:
Morgan Sindall

Project Completion:
August 2016

Project Value
£1.7 million

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

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Scope

Concertus were initially asked to explore the potential opportunities for accommodating the additional specialist and non-specialist teaching accommodation required by King Edward VI School.

A couple of options were presented to the client within a feasibility study. The preferred option was then selected and the scope refined to make the scheme fit to the client’s budget. To minimise the impact on the school and the students our project team worked closely with the teaching staff and school facilities manager and business manager to ensure construction schedules worked around the exam calendar. This included complete stand down times during every exam so that pupils could undertake their work in silence.

As part of its multi-disciplinary approach, Concertus firstly provided several design options to establish an effective way of providing additional short-term accommodation whilst supporting delivery of a revised curriculum. Then the additional teaching spaces and refurbished existing space were designed to provide a comfortable and stimulating environment.

Construction work included new class base extensions to the maths and media centre. In addition, the school’s administration building and conference centre – located within the main campus – were upgraded, installing steelwork and removing an internal wall to maximise floor space. The conference centre also underwent major internal refurbishment including the addition of a kitchen. The mechanical and electrical components of all three buildings were upgraded to create a more energy efficient space.

Testimonial

“From our point of view, it was flawless, hassle free, and everything was taken care of. The team were just so on it – they thought of things before we thought of them, and planning ahead was fantastic – we were kept involved with a phasing schedule so we could work around it, and it was just all so slick.”

Maggie Shaw, Facilities Manager, King Edward VI School

Result

The school’s media centre has doubled in size, with extensions at either end of the building.

The changes to the single-storey structure, which features a curved profile roof, accommodate the increased demand for information and communication technology at the school.

Through lean planning and collaborative working, the team ensured the project was delivered on time, within budget and scored a 10 out of 10 for customer satisfaction on handover.

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Project

Poplars Primary School

Brief

Under Suffolk County Council’s new Primary Capital Programme, Poplars Primary School was earmarked as a priority school requiring redevelopment.

The school was required to increase the pupil admission numbers to accommodate up to 420 pupils plus 26 full-time or 52 part-time nursery pupils.

The school occupies the same grounds as Northfield St Nicholas Primary School also earmarked as a priority school. Both schools share the same site and main entrance. Due to similar requirements under the capital programme, the two projects were designed, constructed, and completed together.

Key Info

Location:
Ipswich, Suffolk

Client:
Suffolk County Council

End User:
Suffolk County Council – Children and
Young People’s Services
Project Value:
£4.2 million

Project Completion:
November 2011

Contractor:
Wates Construction

Disciplines:
Architecture, Building Services Design, Project Management

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Scope

Concertus were engaged to provide a service and design solution, which could deliver the client’s brief, unify all parts of the school, and link the internal and external learning environments.

We provided the lead consultancy service, which included architectural and landscape design, mechanical and electrical services, project management, and contract administration consultancy. The design solution improved on the existing school facilities for the school population. This included a new nursery complex, relocated and remodelled reception classrooms, new teaching spaces, new external play areas, and a full refurbishment of the existing facilities.

The design helps improve the general school environment and raise educational standards in this part of Lowestoft.

Result

Through collaboratively working with the client and stakeholders we delivered an educational facility with the flexibility to meet the needs of the local community and school curriculum, fully adhering to the client’s brief.

The works included:

  • The creation of a communal area and focal point in the centre of the school.
  • Purpose built internal courtyard for formal and social activities, secure from the outside areas.
  • Links between all spaces around the school buildings offering direct sight lines to external areas via the new courtyard.
  • Improved circulation throughout the building, which incorporates a novel courtyard/pyramid and fully glazed coloured natural light windows to northern classrooms.
  • Quality finishes providing durability and incorporating sustainability considerations.
  • Fully refurbished design with new windows, improved solar shading, improved insulation and efficient lighting.
  • Improvements to the school’s security with re-arranged external spaces and secure design consideration.
  • Fully landscaped and planted external areas which encourage learning and social scenarios for outdoor teaching and play.

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Project

Lavenham Road

Brief

The requirements of the brief were to provide a new respite and supported living care home to replace the existing building which was outdated and no longer suitable for the intended use.

The project was planned to improve efficiencies within the service provision by enabling on-site management and save on revenue costs. Concertus, along with the client, worked to a brief incorporating strict guidelines from NHS England who funded the project. The budget was time critical and subject to achieving milestones, including obtaining planning consent by the end of 2018 and making a start on site by the end of financial year 18/19.

Key Info

Location:
Ipswich, Suffolk

Type:
Demolition, New Build

Location:
Suffolk County Council – Adult and Community Services

End User:
Home Group

Project Value:
£1.8 million

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

Scope

Initially we were instructed to complete a feasibility study, support the funding bid, prepare information and submit a planning application.

The site posed several complexities such as being steeply sloping and experiencing a possible contamination which had to be investigated by a series of site investigations. It was also of interest to archaeologists due to being in the vicinity of a Bronze Age cremation site, as well as Roman and Iron Age finds. Following receipt of planning consent, we carried out the full design and project management through to completion. Our collaborative approach to project delivery included continued client and stakeholder engagement during design and construction phases of the project.

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Testimonial

“Concertus have supported us through clear project management and ensured we met our deadlines and signed off each stage of the project when required. The design team have been engaged and responsive, listening and responding to our requirements and incorporating them into the design and bringing forward learning from other projects that we have been able to incorporate and use.”

Amanda Dunn, Adult and Community Services, Suffolk County Council

Result

We worked closely with a number of statutory bodies and advisors including NHS England, occupational therapists, the local planning authority, building control, the fire service and acoustic engineers.

By meeting all of the client’s requirements and ensuring the building worked efficiently for everyone involved, completion successfully took place on time and within budget.

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Project

The Stevenson

Centre

Brief

The client wanted us to create a vibrant community hub that the local residents could be proud of.

The Stevenson Centre was in desperate need of refurbishment to bring it up to modern standards. The principal aims of building this fit for purpose amenity were to strengthen community cohesion, encourage the development of community services and support the health and wellbeing of the local community.

Along with our support, the Parish Council submitted a planning application and received planning permission to extend and improve the centre. However, there was insufficient funding to proceed with the scheme. In 2017 we were asked to pick up the project again to investigate funding sources, progress the design and proceed to tender to enable firm costings to be established.

Key Info

Type:
Extension, Feasibility, Remodelling

Value:
£430k

Location:
Great Cornard, Suffolk

Client:
Great Cornard Parish Council

End User:
Great Cornard Parish Council, the public

Contractor:
SEH French

Duration:
28 weeks

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

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Scope

Close collaboration with the Parish Council Steering Group enabled the centre to remain open throughout the duration of the construction works.

Our team were asked to project manage the delivery of this project. This included the management of the consultancy team and all stages of the project (from inception to completion). We carried out significant research, including user surveys and investigation into funding streams, with the Centre Manager. We also assisted with the funding bids and successfully secured grant funding which resulted in the client being able to expand the extent of the works. Funding for the project was provided by the earmarked funds put aside by the Parish Council, a Public Works Loan Board loan and grant contributions from the Great Cornard Town Land Charity, The National Lottery – Big Lottery Fund, Babergh District Council Grant Aid – Community Projects and Lord Belstead Trust. These generous grants allowed this key community hub to become a great facility for the growing Great Cornard population.

Throughout the project, we worked with the Parish Council Steering Group to tailor the design to their needs and to meet the budget available. The completed design package was sent to tender via the Suffolk Construction Framework and five tenders were received. Having evaluated the tenders, we provided a Tender Analysis Report. This report identified potential value engineering to the works to match the funding available. Working with the steering group, a list of priorities was identified which allowed works to be added back into the contract if further funding became available. The contract was awarded to SEH French and work commenced in April 2018.

The client was given accurate monthly progress and cost updates during the works which allowed them to make informed decisions and be fully involved in every step of the project. Essential to the success of the project was the close working relationship with the Centre Manager, the Project Manager and the Construction Manager on site.

Testimonial

“This project has been an excellent example of teamwork and collaborative working. It has been very well managed by the client, the contractor and the consultant.”

Tony Bavington, Chair of Policy and Resources Committee, Great Cornard Parish Council

Result

The project was delivered on time and to the budget.

The extension and refurbishment of The Stevenson Centre has created a fit for purpose community amenity which serves a population of over 10,000. The extension to the main building houses a large community room, kitchenette, two further meeting rooms, additional storage space and toilet facilities.

A wide variety of classes and community group sessions are held at the centre on a regular basis. These include stroke support, weight management, arts and crafts and table tennis. In the first six months after completion of works, there has been a substantial increase in the number and variety of organisations using the centre. This was the fundamental aim of the Parish Council at the start of the project.

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Project

Felixstowe

Seafront Gardens

Brief

The project involved a major one kilometre long park enhancement, which included surrounding streetscape improvement works.

The Suffolk seaside town of Felixstowe has a fantastic tourist trade. Attracting people from the local area and further afield, one of its greatest assets, publicly-owned Felixstowe Seafront Gardens, had fallen into disrepair. However, in 2011, Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) started a £4.8 million rejuvenation project as part of a town-wide regeneration programme with match funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Parks for People programme, in awarding the funding, placed strict criteria on the scheme, for example on measures to increase the range of audiences, the number of volunteers involved and their knowledge and skills. These measures were aimed at improving management and maintenance and the overall heritage value.

Key Info

Type:
Regeneration

Value:
£4.8 million

Location:
Felixstowe, Suffolk

Client:
Suffolk Coastal District Council

End User:
The public

Contractor:
Breheny Civil Engineering Ltd

Completion:
November 2015

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

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Scope

Works included encouraging ecological biodiversity and replanting the historic Edwardian planting scheme.

The regeneration project included the following works:

  • Restoration of two historic pavilions and water features.
  • Resurfacing the path network and improving access.
  • Installation of a heritage trail with community-generated artwork.
  • Interpretation panels and wayfinding to improve the legibility of the gardens.
  • Restoration of the historic rockwork walls.
  • Improving security by installing light fittings and CCTV cameras.
  • Rationalising street furniture and recreating historic seating.
  • Installing a new timber-framed shelter.

 

The project has also enhanced the setting of a redundant theatre, the Spa Pavilion, which sits adjacent to the gardens and reopened in November 2015. The design of the circulation space and studio hall with a lower flat roof ensures the scale is appropriate and not overbearing. The use of curtain glazing helps provide visual separation between the two main parts of the development.

Testimonial

“We are so pleased to see the completion of this unique project in Felixstowe. Since the gardens reopened, we’ve had a great response from local people and tourists visiting the area. We’ve already seen more people using them and the addition of lighting in the gardens means visitors are able to enjoy the gardens on winter evenings.”

TJ Haworth-Culf, Suffolk Coastal Cabinet Member for Customers (Community and Leisure)

Result

The gardens are once again an attractive and much needed community area.

Occupying a prime site along the cliffs and complementary to the beach and sea, the gardens are enjoyed by visitors and residents of all ages – from young families playing and picnicking on the grass areas and professionals taking a lunchtime stroll, to health-conscious enthusiasts who use the network of paths and steps to improve fitness.

Also, the gardens are accessible, enabling local people with impaired mobility and elderly residents to enjoy the restored space. Tourists are also enjoying the gardens once again, with a wide range of organised holiday tours, associations and groups making frequent visits.

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Project

The Limes Primary Academy

Brief

The brief for the project was to construct a new primary school to serve the Woods Meadow development in Lowestoft.

The school was to be master planned to accommodate a total of 420 primary pupils with further additional space for 30 pre-school children.

The client required well-designed and functional school buildings which would seek to make a significant contribution to raising pupil achievement and educational standards. The environment needed to inspire and stimulate pupils’ learning, as well as reflect advances in ICT technology, including all the new opportunities this presents. It was necessary for the project to deliver high quality and flexible surroundings, both internally and externally, to enable the new school to meet educational demands today and to cope with changes in the future. A shared parking area for the primary school and Waveney District Council was included within the brief.

Key Info

Type:
Feasibility, Masterplanning, New Build

Value:
£6 million

Location:
Lowestoft, Suffolk

Duration:
52 weeks

Client:
Suffolk County Council – Health Wellbeing and Children’s Services

Contractor:
Barnes Construction

End User:
REAch2 Academy Trust

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

The design meets the increasing and complex demands of pupils and an evolving curriculum.

The traditional steel frame permits flexibility which suits longer-term changes in the size or number of rooms. The flexibility of the design also allows short-term changes in teaching methods and the integration of advanced ICT to help stimulate the pupils’ learning ability. The learning environment has been designed to be inclusive for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN). The light, spacious classrooms maximise opportunities for community use outside of school hours. Curtain glazing enables natural light to enter the internal spaces and views out to the surrounding landscape. An injection of colour between the windows is striking and refers to the beautiful finishing touches internally. The stained glass reception canopy allows all year round use of the amazing outside learning and play zone.

Sustainability was considered early in the design so best practice could be embraced before, during and beyond the construction phases to reduce the immediate and long-term environmental impact of the new school. The parameters of the brief changed throughout the project. This was in response to additional stakeholder involvement part way through the project. The design team was flexible and accommodating, meeting the needs of the changing brief and minimising the impact to the build programme on site. We took on the role of advisor to the client and made certain requirements were met.

The Limes Primary Academy Hall
The Limes Primary Academy Entrance

Testimonial

“It’s an impressive building with beautiful finishing touches such as the stained glass in the hall and on the reception canopy. The Early Years children and staff have settled very well into their space. The children are enjoying the outside area and the flexibility of moving between the classrooms. As a new school, we are constantly showing new parents around. All of the parents have been impressed by the building, often commenting on the light, airy and spacious classrooms. The staff have been very impressed with their workroom space, staff room and their own courtyard.”

Kate Cracknell, Headteacher, The Limes Primary Academy

Result

The new school incorporates the best elements from a number of new school projects within Suffolk with creative design solutions implemented.

The external works meet ESFA standards and comply with BB103 recommendations.

Despite delays with the utilities companies, we managed the situation professionally to make sure the school could open on time. The completed project came in on budget and surpassed the expectations of both the end user and the client.

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Project

The Mix Stowmarket

Brief

We were asked by our client to design the building and external environment for a multi-purpose facility for 13-19 year olds.

The aim of the project was to enhance the Children & Young People’s Services for Suffolk County Council by creating an environment that provided diverse, flexible, and social spaces to support educational outputs.

Key Info

Location:
Stowmarket, Suffolk

Client:
Suffolk County Council – Children and
Young People’s Services (CYP)

End User:
Youth of Stowmarket and surrounding areas

Project Value:
£5 million

Project Completion:
December 2013

Contractor:
Barnes Construction

Disciplines:
Architecture, Building Services Design, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Project and Programme Management

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Scope

Concertus oversaw an evolving multi-disciplinary team, heavily focused on collaboration and the needs of young people.

The Council wanted the new design to preserve and enhance the character of the area, whilst creating an innovative space. Therefore, the overriding design philosophy was that the building conveyed an “Alice in Wonderland” feeling, where the front facade is in direct contrast to the interior design.

The first floor accommodation benefits from a direct connection with a line of trees on the southern boundary. This not only ties the building to the external environment but also allows the tree canopy to screen the building from neighbouring properties.

By utilising the fall across the site and forming the three-storey elements, the proportion of developed site is less than 60%. This enables the formation of an undercroft, together with the courtyard gardens, providing vital space for young people to gather in a safe and enjoyable environment.

Testimonial

“Through our design an outdoor area has been created that has provided vital space for young people to gather in a controlled environment.”

Annett Thompson, Senior Project Manager, Concertus

Result

There is now a fit for purpose and modern facility to provide community and youth services in the area.

As a result of collaborative and innovative work between Concertus and the stakeholders involved with this project, The Mix was successfully completed and exceeded the client’s brief. The building provides world class, multi-purpose youth facilities for young people and the community; featuring a performance hall, sound and art studios, advice centre, housing unit, garden, and a café. This has meant that there is now a fit for purpose and modern facility to provide community and youth services in the area, fulfilling the council’s aim to enhance the services they provide for the children and young people in Stowmarket.

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