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A welcoming courtyard garden for the elderly

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Concept design reduce

Early concept: An easily navigable yet rich space

‘The outside is as important as the inside’ was the brief for a development of new apartments for elderly people with extra care needs. Easy access to a safe, navigable and stimulating outdoor space is well recognised as an important tool in maintaining mental and physical wellbeing. Subsequently each of the 60 flats has a private balcony or ground floor terrace for residents to enjoy as well as a central courtyard garden.

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MILFORD DOCK

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We are delighted that our public realm scheme for the regeneration of Milford Dock in Pembrokeshire has received planning consent. It is part of a £70 million transformation of the historic fishing town by the Port of Milford Haven which will combine traditional maritime industry with tourism, retail, leisure and housing. With our colleagues Turley, we have incorporated public spaces, new cycle and pedestrian routes, shared space and a seaside garden as well as a special ecological area where the freshwater stream meets the harbour.

Here are some of our sketches and visualisations of what is to come.

View from sea 1

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KEYNSHAM

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It was very exciting to visit site today and see the progress being made on the Keynsham Regeneration project. The buildings are clad, in metal, glass and stone and thus weather proofed while the internal fit-out continues apace. The landscape, as always to reduce the chance of damage, is a step behind. Market Street has been paved in the beautiful large York stone slabs set within a granite sett trim, but covered up straight away for protection.

The process of installing the permeable paving is underway, while the over-sized nibs can make getting a tight, straight-coursed finish difficult and in this case there is an additional level of difficulty because it being laid on a roof-terrace with a corrugated profile, but the contractors seem to be dealing with it extremely well.

The fall across the site to Bath Road never fails to strike me even after all this time, design work and site visits. But our solution to this issue; the series of interlocking steps, ramps and timber planters is under construction. The timber planters are near completion although without planting or paving they appear enormous and stark. However, once the fantastic green oak has weathered, the plants have bedded in and the final finish of paving goes in the whole area will look completely different. At present this takes a bit of imagination – just like the initial design work.

It is always gratifying to follow a large, long-term project through to its completion, all that metaphorical blood, sweat and tears during the design and planning stages, the wrangling over options and the endless debates about costs finally paying off with a scheme to be proud of.

Simon Lindsley

Public realm  – Novell Tullett
Architecture – AHR formerly known as Aedas
Engineering – Hydrock

 

 

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RUSTY STEEL! What’s that got to do with landscape?

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Orange/red/blue super rusty metal structures look fantastic in the open air.  That rough, light absorbing, textural finish means that the object mass reads brilliantly in a landscape setting and the complimentary colours of the rust provide the perfect foil to verdant green.

Weathering steel or Cor-Ten – the trade name of steel with a superior corrosion resistance which develops a protective oxide film of rust on the metal’s surface was originally developed in the 1930s by the United States Steel Company and widely used for shipping containers.  The steel’s primary value was in saving painting costs, especially where extreme environmental and atmospheric conditions prevailed.   Today the steel is licenced and produced by steel fabricators around the world and comes in a variety of sheet and coil sizes and grades up to 50mm thick. Once established the rust surface is stable, it can be scratched off, but does not readily brush off on other surfaces.  Scratched surfaces will gradually regain their rusty patina which makes the metal vandal-proof and robust in public areas.  The action of rainwater will however wash off rust particles which can cause staining on any adjoining paved surfaces.   A surround of gravel helps to reduce the impact of staining from the run off, whereas a clean, paved surface will soon suffer from rust marks.  

We have designed Cor-Ten steel rolled strips running through grooves in paving, a track which echoes the route of tramlines in Portsmouth city centre and as tough pieces of street furniture, benches and bins which need little maintenance and seem part of a naval city’s shipping tradition.  This scheme is to be match funded by the adjoining Northern Quarter development.  Just recently we have used the steel in a private garden to frame timber storage next to a smart sunken seating area surrounding a Cor-Ten fire bowl.  The colour and textures of the steel work perfectly with the natural colours and finishes of the seating area.

Other Cor-Ten structures we love:

http://www.eastbeachcafe.co.uk/

http://www.ce-architects.co.uk/vinings-dining/

 

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