Set down in a stretching landscape the new studio, its materiality subtle – muted, its form rooted in simplicity – emblematic of modern design, is a controlled gesture, gently resting in the countryside, forming an expression of our ideology.
The studio’s building strategy is based on an elegant rectangle (a form harmonious with the existing linear adjacent barn) of predominantly glazed elevations capped and enclosed at each end by larch timber clad ‘book ends’. Cor-ten detailing further enhances the sense of place, reflecting the old, discarded agricultural machinery and steelwork of the barn.;
Accommodation comprises of a reception and seating area for clients, a kitchen, storage, studio space, WC’s, meeting rooms and a library and services pod – a continuous expanse of space defined by volumes of Wenge pods containing the ancillary elements of the programme.
Frameless, 3.2m high glazed panels, embellished with a slight green tint to reflect the seasons of the landscape, afford panoramic views of the peaceful landscape and provide a comfortable and inspiring environment for the practices’ 7 members of staff. These glazed facades are punctured by timber clad pods – within which dedicated functions subsist – whose floating appearance evinces a gentle tension through the contrasting properties of solidity and levity. The timber clad boxes are utilised more on the southern elevation to protect the building from overheating; whilst high levels of insulation ensure the building far exceeds building regulation requirements on heat loss. Employing a wind turbine, rainwater harvesting, eco paint, low energy central controlled lighting and underfloor heating, a central vacuum and air control systems, the studio, central to our aims, consciously approaches contemporary issues of sustainability.
The studio building has recently been awarded eight prestigious awards in recognition of its innovative design:
RIBA National Award 2009
CPRE (Campaign for the Rural protection of England) Regional- Best Commercial Project 2009
Design Week Awards – Best Commercial Project 2009
Creative East Awards – Best Workspace Environment 2009
LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Regional- Best Commercial Project under £1million 2009
RIBA East- Spirit of Ingenuity- Best Commercial Project 2008
Bedfordshire Association of Architects- Best Commercial Project 2008
International Property Awards 2011 – Office Architecture