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!

Sunshine Garden Centre_Visioning Document

Forge Design Studio have developed a vision for the future development of the Sunshine Garden Centre which is situated nr Alexandra Palace, North London.

Located on the site of a former open-air lido the Garden Centre is a very successful business which has long out-grown its premises. Significant aspects of the retail operation have moved on line yet the stock remains on site and takes up a great deal of valuable space. 

The nature of the business means that there is also substantial footfall who still visit the site. Balancing these sometimes conflicting demands as well as dealing with deliveries presents great challenges to the management team. In addition the building fabric is in poor condition and is also in urgent need of renewal.

The site is well located on a main route and sits alongside a popular local park. Opportunity exists to engage with the local community and to make a much more positive contribution to the neighbourhood. The site is famous locally for its Christmas displays and is fantastically busy.

A comprehensive masterplan was required to fully explore the relationships and inter-connectivity with the existing facilities, the neighbouring park, car parking/deliveries and access and the proposed new residential uses which will help the viability of the whole development. 

The Practice were responsible for developing the initial designs through 3d massing models and visualisations. Inter-connections for pedestrians/community uses and customers were considered in detail and the whole site was opened up and made more accessible.

Valuable shopfront and much more kerbside appeal was created to the main road which will appeal to the many notable brands for which the Garden Centre holds the franchise.

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

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.

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.

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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.

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Proposed Ground Floor Plan

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!!


 

Keeping Busy!!

We have been particularly busy over the last few weeks, completing and submitting three significant planning applications.

Manor Farm, Andover

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Firstly, working with Adrian Barker at Lucid Planning we completed the design proposals for the redevelopment of Manor Farm, nr Andover. We have been employed directly by the site owners on the development of the former farm building site for residential use.

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Situated in open countryside between the villages of Monxton and Abbotts Ann this has been a long process which required some innovative thinking to resolve the strategic planning issues. This has also involved extensive negotiation with the Planning Authority at Test Valley and local residents pressure groups. It has been a lengthy project extending over the last 18 months and the application is now heading towards a committee date in the middle of June. Fingers crossed.

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The design has been developed in close co-operation with the landscape architect and has played particular regard to the setting and context with the open countryside. The original farmyard buildings have been retained to create a sense of continuity and the shared open space will act as a landscape buffer as well as creating opportunities for allotments and community facilities

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North Brook End House, Steeple Morden

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Secondly, by contrast, we have submitted a Full Planning and Listed Building Consent Application for North Brook End House, Steeple Morden. The site overlooks our long-standing project at the neighbouring Stud Farm and is for a private client.

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The work has involved detailed design proposals to reflect the need to respect the historic fabric. We have also involved Cambridge Architectural Research (CAR Ltd) who have prepared the accompanying Heritage Statement.

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The proposals are for a two-storey rear extension, which has been carefully integrated with the existing building, as well as internal alterations to create a new en-suite facility. These elements required a great deal of detailed work to ensure they could be satisfactorily implemented without disturbing the existing building fabric.

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South Street, Bishops Stortford 

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Finally, we have completed the design work on our town centre project in Bishops Stortford. Our client has purchased a former Co-operative Buildingon the corner of South Street and Station Road, which has, frankly, seen better days!!

 

The existing floors have been re-modelled to suit flexible future uses with an additional floor of residential apartments being added at second floor level. New external treatment to the elevations is proposed in response to the setting of the Conservation Area.

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Detailed massing models have been prepared utilising a 3D base model prepared by Joanna James Ltd. We have inserted our site sketch-up model into the wider context so that the impact can be fully considered.

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Sancerre Barn – Permission Granted – First one of the New Year!!

Forge Design Studio is delighted to confirm that one of the first e-mails received on our return to work in 2019 was confirmation that approval had been granted for the re-modelling and refurbishment of the Barn Conversion at Cold Harbour Farm.

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Located in the rural village of Ashwell the commission came from a recommendation from Sarah and Douglas at North Brook End Stud. Always nice to be introduced by an existing client!

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The owners had bought the Barn in the knowledge that a substantial amount of work might be needed to turn it into their dream home. We have worked closely with them to create a completely new plan arrangement which will create the type of free-flowing, welcoming contemporary space that they were seeking.

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The re-organisation of the existing bedrooms and removal of a long dark corridor together with the new rear extension will substantially improve the arrangement of public living and private spaces. We’ve also opened-up the relationship to the outside garden spaces, both front and back.

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We look forward to developing the working drawings and assisting our clients in the procurement and construction of the scheme.  


 

The Performance Studio Opening Night at Broadstone Golf Club

Forge Design Studio were delighted to be invited to the official opening of The Performance Studio at Broadstone Golf Club. We worked closely with the team at Broadstone Golf Club to realise their dream of creating a state of the art indoor training facility within the undercroft of the existing Clubhouse.

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The area to the rear of the Club had been undisturbed for 30 years before the guys in the pro shop hatched a plan to utilise the space. We drew up initial plans and liaised with GAP Structural Engineers to produce the fully developed proposals.

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After a great deal of hard work by all parties, (and numerous iterations!), the final result was revealed to club members and guests at the Opening Ceremony last Friday. Its an absolutely fantastic facility which will allow the Professional Team to conduct teaching and training all year round as well as giving the opportunity to play the great courses of the world without leaving the comfort of the studio!!

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Mike now has no excuse to start next year’s golf season with the same high handicap!!