Summer is supposed to be a quiet time, when contractors have their shut down and clients go on holiday…. Not this year however as we seem to be busier than ever with a raft of new projects on the drawing board, and others nearing completion.
We have four projects nearing completion, Park Road, Harrismith Road, Kelston Road and Westville Walk so we’ve been kept very busy with the contractors on site ensuring that they have all the information they need to enable that to happen. The next blog will hopefully show some completed pictures of these houses
The two houses on the Isle of Sky, ever delayed by the vagaries of the highland weather, are finally nearing completion and look fantastic on a clear day.
Not that we use drawing boards any more, but we have some exciting new projects which we are currently working on. The first is a large sustainable house in Gloucestershire/ Warwickshire. This is currently going through the pre-planning stages, but will be what is called a ‘paragraph 55’ house ie a ‘one off’ sustainable house with exemplary design standards and which adds to the setting. More information to follow once the project gets into the formal planning system…..
We are also looking at two student flats developments and a master-plan for an industrial area in South Wales. In the meantime we have been shortlisted for the Constructing Excellence Wales award for rejuvenation and preservation for our Penally Project in West Wales (see below).
We have seven projects on site at the moment. Park Road which started in October now has the roof largely complete and the windows go in next week, the zinc cladding is complete on the main building and the first fix has started. This project is on programme to finish late summer 2017. The weather has been great this winter for construction with few days lost for rain. This is particularly important for Park Road since it has on an exposed site overlooking the Bristol Channel with little shelter. Also under construction at the moment is Lon Ysgabor and Harrismith Road both of which should be complete by September.
The new house on Westville Walk, is being constructed using a timber frame by Advanced Housing Systems which has been built off-site. The slab (poured last month) is an unusual construction in that the insulated formwork was also made in a factory and clipped together on site. The underfloor heating was then fixed to the base of the formwork and the concrete slab uses fibres rather than steel reinforcement to strengthen it. This is much more environmentally friendly than the normal method of building a slab and foundations and much more thermally efficient. The house was delivered on the back of a lorry last week, and in 2 days the entire ground floor walls and first floor deck was constructed. They are back next week to complete the upper floors and the roof.
An exciting refurbishment project in Hay on Wye is currently going through the planning process with the Brecon Beacons National Park. Our clients purchased a 1940s garage earlier in the year, with the view to converting it to a Bed and Breakfast business for themselves. They currently run the Bear in Hay and will make this building their new home once construction is complete.
Our design is sympathetic to the original style of the building and re-uses its steel truss frame and the sliding garage doors which stretch across the entire front of the building. The interior will be contemporary with exposed structure, and natural finishes such as birch ply and polished concrete linking the building back to its heritage. The key feature will be the bathroom pods on the first floor which each project up to a roof-light with pyramid roofs enabling the original steel trusses to be exposed in their entirety
View of front entrance
Exploded axonometric of building
First floor bathroom pods
We’ve been looking at altering and extending a modern villa in Menorca for a client. The existing villa has some under-utilised internal spaces and problems with overheating. Our amendments include filling in a void to provide a link to a new master bedroom and some covered external spaces. We have undertaken a solar study for for the client, to determine where external brise-soleil is required to provide much needed shading from the summer sun.
Planning permission has just been received in record time for a house extension in Rhiwbina Garden Village in North Cardiff. Just 6 weeks after it was submitted, approval was given in the New Year. This extension is due to start on site in the Spring
We have just secured planning permission for this ultra contemporary 4 bed detached house in Roath, Cardiff. Careful consultation with the planners resulted in their strong support for this modern design as a 21st century addition to the Roath Mill Gardens conservation area. Set next to Roath Brook this house has a L-shaped plan with stone fin walls reflecting the locality contrasting with modern slate grey cladding panels. The house is highly sustainable using Modern Methods of Construction. Super-insulated and airtight, with a passive solar design it should require minimal heating.
Work starts on site in January.
Our Reserved Matters Planning application for the BBC site in Llandaff has got full approval. The 6.85 hectare site across both sides Llantrisant Road was approved under delegated powers in November, paving the way for the BBC to move out sometime in 2018. The BBC will be relocating to central Cardiff allowing their existing site to be redeveloped for residential use by Taylor Wimpey. Downs Merrifield architects, provided the masterplanning and architectural design for Llandaff Park comprising some 364 units. It will create an exciting new contemporary development of town houses, detached houses and apartments on the edge of the Llandaff Conservation Area
Two of the four projects we have been working on in Cathedral Road Cardiff have now been completed and handed over to the client. These have transformed some very tired but beautiful Georgian houses which were being used as bedsits into contemporary individual residences. We have restored the front of the house back to its former glory and completely transformed the rear with a modern open plan extension
We have a new member of staff – Pablo Fuster who joined us in September, having completed his year out in New York and his first degree at the Welsh School of Architecture. He will be with us for five months before heading to Bath in February to complete his second degree
St Tewdric Wedding Venue is progressing well with the new roof now on and all windows fitted.
We also received listed building consent for creating a bijou two storey suite in the tower of the main house. The space is tiny, but the views of the original Severn crossing from the top are spectacular so our client feels it will be popular with guests.