Martello Tower_A New Beginning

At Forge Design Studio we are very familiar with working with Listed Buildings and the planning constraints that are attached to them, however, Martello Tower F is a Scheduled Ancient Monument which carries with it a new level of Heritage involvement.

Martello Towers are small coastal artillery forts constructed after the renewal of war with France in 1803 to defend England against the threat of invasion. Their design and name were taken from a tower at Martello Bay, Corsica. 103 towers were constructed along the coast in two phases, those in Essex and Suffolk being built between 1809 and 1812. 

Martello Tower F is the only remaining moated example on the Essex coast. The tower is an important local landmark which has been through a variety of uses over its lifetime. 

Creating a viable long-term, sustainable use is a constant issue, appointed by our clients in the summer of 2020, the brief was to bring forward a series of design ideas to bring the redundant monument back to life and provide a sustainable multi-functional events space, specifically aimed at Weddings and Hospitality functions.

We propose a ring of lightweight masted structures located in the moat which will take a flexible tensile tented roof which can be tailored to suit the size of the event being catered for. Historic England stipulated that no fixings should be made into the fabric of either the tower or the moat walls – we worked closely with the engineers to arrive at a suitable solution.

A lightweight ‘saucer like’ structure is added to the roof to create an exclusive, unique vantage point which can be used to host a variety of gatherings – from weddings to corporate events. Services and functions will take place within the restored first floor space. 

Our design team have put together a comprehensive a Pre-Application design submission which sets out the proposal for a complete self-contained venue which can accommodate all aspects of a wedding celebration. The key factor in this design is flexibility, the venue needs to accommodate small parties as well as larger events.

We look forward to continuing work on this truly unique project and are very excited to fill this important old building with life and celebration!

Odyssey Health Club – Permission Granted!

Forge Design Studio are proud to have been involved with the redevelopment of the site at Odyssey Heath Club in Stevenage since 2015.

Initially we worked on the overall masterplan and redevelopment of the redundant part of the site for residential use. This was initially granted consent in May 2017. Since then the residential scheme has been subject to further change and design development and is now due to start on site imminently.

In the intervening period we have been commissioned to design and develop proposals for the internal re-modelling of key areas of the club including the changing areas, former squash courts, yoga studio and spa area. 

Most recently Stephen Aucott, the Managing Director asked us to develop proposal for the external areas to include –

  • New Entrance and improved circulation
  • New tennis courts and floodlighting
  • Sun terraces
  • Open air outside pool
  • External exercise areas 

A comprehensive masterplan was required to fully explore the relationships and inter-connectivity with the existing facilities, car parking and new residential uses. A planning application was prepared and submitted to North Herts in Dec 2021 and after a period of negotiation and discussion, consent was granted at the end of April

These exciting proposals represents the continued investment and commitment by the Management team to the long term future of the club. We are looking forward to maintaining our involvement as the project moves forward to construction.

Residential Project, Richmond upon Thames – Visual Communication

Forge Design Studio have worked with our client Rockhold alongside Iceni Planning Consultants, over the last 18 months on the detailed planning application for a 5-unit,  high-value residential scheme within the Kew Green Conservation Area, Richmond.

The scheme is situated on a redundant site, currently occupied by lock-up garages at the end of a residential cul-de-sac. It is a tight, narrow, urban site which has presented numerous constraints and challenges through-out the process. Extensive consultation has taken place in the neighbourhood and a series of one-to-one meetings with adjacent owners was particularly informative. 

A flavour of the project is included which shows our visualisations taken from the same point over the life of the scheme.

The five properties have been designed in response to the existing grain, scale and mass of the adjacent Edwardian terraces. Sited to reflect the adjacent housing they have a generous amount of south-facing private garden space.

Detailed elevational studies have been undertaken looking at proportion and arrangement of the main elements. A more contemporary approach is suggested which reflect the principles of the surrounding buildings without reverting to pastiche. This has been generally supported by the Planning Authority and has been welcomed by the client.

As ever, the means of communicating the design intention has been critical. We have drawn on our full range of graphic skills from initial hand drawn and coloured sketches, rudimentary sketch CAD modelling, through to completed CGI visuals developed in-conjunction with our good friends @MakeStudio in Bournemouth.

We have also modelled the scheme in the wider urban context to demonstrate how well it sits in the context.

Watch this space for the final conclusion to the Planning Application.

Rose & Crown, Aston – Permission Granted!!

It’s a Marathon not a Sprint!!

Forge Design Studio are delighted to confirm that May 2021 sees the conclusion of one of our longest running planning sagas.

Located in the rural village of Aston to the east of Stevenage, The Rose and Crown, and associated Barn, is a Listed Building which had been left vacant for over 12 months until our clients, purchased the site in 2016. Prior to this the pub had a chequered history having struggled in a really difficult trading environment with 11 different landlords in the previous 10 years.

We were appointed towards the end of 2016 to develop a design and planning strategy to utilise the site for housing whilst maintaining a fully functioning micro-pub. After a lengthy gestation period we submitted an application in July 2017 and proceeded to engage with the Local Authority Planning Officers culminating in an Officer Recommendation for Approval.

The project was taken to Planning Committee at East Herts District Council in March 2018 and was refused based on the strength of objections from local lobbyists.

It should be noted that the scheme is entirely Policy compliant and there is no argument about the principle of the re-use of the site. The chief protagonists set out an alternative vision which appeared to ignore the trading history and viability of the business bearing in mind there is another pub in the village. 

There then followed a series of applications, refusals, withdrawals and appeals culminating in the final, mid-pandemic, application in July 2020. It was decided to omit the pub from the application on the basis that the market would find its true value and that the Local Community would sustain its re-birth!

So, after 5 years of effort we have permission for a modest new build scheme consisting of 4 residential units on a highly sustainable location on a vacant site in the centre of a village and a still vacant pub.

Given the uncertainties we all face in the aftermath of the Pandemic, if this timescale through the Planning process is the best that can be done,  it’s going to be a long road to recovery. 

Student Mentoring & Site Visit to 227 Winchester Road!

For the second year in a row we are hosting students from Bath University and UWE as part of the innovative RIBA Student Mentoring scheme organised by the team at RIBA South West Forge Design Studio. Following two office based sessions we visited site this week at 227 Winchester Road.

IMG_0644

Having recently received planning permission for the comprehensive re-design and re-building of the original house, our client has made a meaningful start on site. The demolition of a substantial part of the original house has been completed and the reduced dig is underway in preparation for the piling rig.

201907_PL007_A

Proposed Ground Floor Plan

201907_PL008_A

Proposed First Floor Plan

The new design will create approx. 5,000sqft of accommodation, providing 6 bedrooms, 2 reception rooms and a large multi-function kitchen/dining/lounge area in a split level arrangement which takes advantage of the subtle change in level on the site.

The house follows an inter-locking, cranked plan which wraps around the generous garden with excellent orientation to capture the evening sun. The house will be served by an air source heat pump, underfloor heating and solar pv arrays on the roof.

IMG_0624

IMG_0640

We are excited to see the proposals for this innovative, contemporary design emerge from the excavations, stand by for a major transformation in 2020!!

South Street, Bishops Stortford, Permission Granted!!

Planning Approval has been granted by East Herts Council for our mixed-use regeneration project on South Street, Bishops Stortford. The proposals involve the comprehensive re-modelling and upgrading of the existing building (a former Co-op Headquarters building) which occupies a prominent corner plot in the Town Centre.

 

SOUTH STREET_SCENE4_V3

 

We look forward to working with our client on the next phase of implementation.

 

SOUTH STREET DECISION


 

Essoldo House, Kings Road, Chelsea

Forge Design Studio have been commissioned by Volker Fitzpatrick to assist them with the detailed design and development of 11 luxury apartments on the upper levels of Essoldo House. This mixed-use scheme is being constructed on an extremely tight site, fronting onto the Kings Road in Chelsea. A complex, layered development it has basement car parking, ground floor retail and commercial space, a multi-screen arts cinema complex at first floor with three floors of apartments above.

IMG_4481

FDS are pleased to be joining the established team on the procurement and design of the apartment interiors. Co-ordinating and liaising with the information flow and picking up the existing BIM models have been challenging but has been successfully undertaken with positive results.

Progress is proceeding with the superstructure and work is due to start on the apartment fit-out in the next few weeks. The technical challenges are many and varied including very demanding acoustic criteria both to protect against outside noise but also structure and air-borne sound from the cinema below. 

 

The original client architects have set out the detailed design for 3 typical units which have formed the design template for the complete package. FDS have developed the detailed information and co-ordinated with the specialist building services sub-contractors through-out the process.

Work will start on the fit-out of the apartments in October with completion due for Spring 2020.


 

Project Handover, Cambridge

Forge Design Studio have been working with Volker Fitzpatrick on a major re-modelling and refurbishment project for a higher education client in Cambridge.

IMG_0348

DSC_0070

The project required an extensive de-cant programme to vacate the occupied spaces. This  involved working closely with the Estates Team and the Contractor’s Site Team to gain an appreciation and understanding of the whole campus. The main campus has been an operational live environment through-out the process which has entailed out-of-hours working and a great deal of flexibility on the part of the Contractor.

Screenshot 2019-07-02 at 13.57.11

It has been a highly technical project involving retro-fitting steelwork and FDS have been involved in all aspects of the project – from strategic accommodation studies to detailed surveys of existing furniture, fittings and equipment within existing spaces. We have produced sketch options, g.a’s, specifications, detailed schedules and working drawings. We also carried out monthly site visits and spot checks to review progress and assist with quality control.

DSC_0085

Volker Fitzpatrick made great progress on the major re-modelling and refurbishment and kept ahead of schedule. We carried out our final site visits as the end of June, and the project is due for handover shortly.

IMG_0456

DSC_0113


 

North Brook End House – Full Planning and Listed Building Consent!

Forge Design Studio is delighted to confirm that our project for our client, the Ware Family, at North Brook End House has been granted consent. The building is Grade II Listed and is a very fine south-facing Victorian House set in an extensive garden. We have worked closely with the family to develop a series of additions and modifications to create an improved balance of accommodation which is commensurate with its location and setting.

Sketch Proposals_Scan

We have liaised with our fellow consultants Cambridge Architectural Research, who produced the Heritage Statement and Gawn Associates on the Structural Engineering Strategy.

South West Elevation_Coloured_V2

Even though we say so ourselves it had a very smooth route through the planning process at South Cambs District Council thanks to a thorough and comprehensive approach which was complimented by the Case Officer.

North West Elevation_Colour

The project will now be worked up in detail with the input from the team to get ready for a start on site later this year.

We look forward to the opportunity to see the project through to completion!!


 

North Brook End Stud Open Day_6th April 2019

Forge Design Studio were delighted to be invited to the official opening of the new specialist Mare and Foal Stable Wing at North Brook End Stud. Overton Contractors Ltd have a couple of weeks work to finish including the link between the two yards. This is the latest phase of work to be completed at the Stud and completes the realisation of the original masterplan.

IMG_3819

We worked closely with Sarah, Douglas and the team at North Brook End Stud to realise their dream of creating a state of the facility which compliments the quality of service that they deliver.

After a great deal of hard work by all parties, (and numerous iterations!), the final result was revealed to friends, clients and visitors on Saturday. Its an absolutely fantastic facility which will allow the Team to continue to develop the level of care and service required to produce the excellent standard of horses that NBES is known for !!

d14263bb-cdae-4249-9f7f-b908208fcee5

**Stop Press** – New Arrival

d2f0e68c-dfc8-4807-bc05-d176cefed3f0

Nellie, was born at 5.00am on Wednesday 10thApril, this little one is the first foal born in the maternity wing! Mum and baby are doing well!!

Check out the NBES Facebook Page for regular updates.


Photo Credit: dgmphotos2019