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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.99

Repurposing project features in clutch of brickmaker’s RIBA winners

3udWz72The bringing back into use of a heritage site is one of five winners of this year’s RIBA Regional Awards that have featured products from traditional brickmaker Michelmersh.

For more than 180 years the RIBA Awards have been commemorating exceptional accomplishments. Its esteemed awards and prizes are seen as a symbol of excellence worldwide, honouring first-class architecture, architects, research and students. This year, Michelmersh was proud to see a wide range of its products used by five Regional RIBA Award winners.

Houlton School

The carefully considered design of Houlton School in Warwickshire (pictured), by Van Heyningen & Haward (VHH), is the successful retrofit of a collection of historic Grade Two-listed radio station buildings. Its costeffective evolution into a thriving, sustainable secondary school comes from the careful integration of the previous buildings and by choosing to use products that fitted soundly within the pre-existing vernacular.

Throughout the project various elements of the building’s industrial past have been retained, with arched windows and high ceilings to ensure that the history of the nearly century-old building is revered but not overpowering compared to its newly-instated modern sensibilities. Michelmersh company Charnwood’s range of Cathedral Grey, Multi Brindle and Steel Grey bricks juxtapose with the original elements of the radio station to create a pleasing mix of old and new.

The other four award-winners include bricks from the Michelmersh ranges to create new buildings that are set to become the heritage of the future.

Chobham Manor

The current phase of Chobham Manor in east London is the first of five new neighbourhoods that are part of a vision to transform the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. London Legacy Development Corporation chose to create family-oriented designs outside of the apartments of the athlete’s village, with homes being child-friendly, sustainable and inclusive.

Blockleys Black Smooth, Freshfield Lanes Selected Darks and First Quality Multis are prevalent throughout phase one, with Blockleys Black Smooth providing strong visual contrasts and Freshfield Lane’s traditional clamp-fired stock bricks working harmoniously with the vibrant colours of the local surroundings to create a modern, bright aesthetic.

Eton Sports and Aquatics Centre

Built on the site of a former outdoor pool, Eton’s new sports and aquatics centre is a modern update that maximises natural light, open spaces and simple comfort. Internally, the open spaces work to give a traditionally hectic environment a sense of grace. Charnwood handmade bricks complement light-coloured timber finishes and floorto-ceiling glazing to create a warm, welcoming space.

RIBA praised the centre for its accessibility and community considerations, with creative layouts employed throughout the site to ensure comfortable multi-use opportunities.

Pears Building

The Pears Building by Hopkins Architects is a world-class immunology research and treatment centre built for University College London. One of only five similar specialist immunology centres in the world – and the only one outside of the US – the Pears Building offers world-class expertise to patients.

The building provides offices and research wings to house over 200 researchers and a 35-bed hospital for patients or visiting academics. The Pears Building uses Freshfield Lanes First Quality Multi bricks which provide subtle gradients and soft tones, perfectly contrasting the building with the lush greenery surrounding it.

Agar Grove

Agar Grove is a large-scale, regenerative residential development in the London Borough of Camden that was designed with peak energy performance and reducing fuel poverty in mind. One of the largest Passivhaus developments in the UK, Agar Grove is intentionally designed to allow residents to move through and ultimately contribute positively to the surrounding area.

Floren Meteor Rustic bricks were used in the construction of the newly-built apartments, which helped to create an exemplar of sustainable development. The unmistakable tones provided by Floren bricks help seat it with a strong urban identity that will thrive for many years to come.

Frank Hanna, joint chief executive officer of Michelmersh Brick Holdings Plc, commented: “As a business we are proud to be at the forefront of producing and supplying quality bricks for awardwinning projects. The group firmly believes that, by combining our commitment to sustainability with the production of highquality materials, we can make a positive contribution to the local built environment. These outstanding schemes not only showcase excellence in design and construction, but also emphasise the importance of creating environmentally conscious and sustainable spaces which will last for generations to come.”

For further information visit www.mbhplc.co.uk/inspiration/swatchbook