July 22, 2018

Bennett Architectural shortlisted for Manufacturer of the Year Award


Bennett Architectural has been shortlisted for the prestigious Manufacturer of the Year award at the Staffordshire Chambers Business Awards 2018.

This award recognises Staffordshire businesses who have shown innovation in manufacturing through design, testing and development relating to an existing or new product.

Bennetts has shown innovation in the construction industry using practices such as DfMA (Design for Manufacture and Assembly) and BIM as well as offering award winning design and fabrication for projects at Maggie’s Centre in Manchester, Victoria Gate in Leeds and more recently the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Lionel Grant, managing director at Bennett Architectural commented: “It’s a great honour to be shortlisted for this award which recognises the very best manufacturers in Staffordshire.

“We feel that Bennett Architectural are at the forefront of commercial glazing within the construction industry and our ability to take on technically challenging projects and create unique and award winning projects is a testament to our multi-skilled workforce.

“We’re really looking forward to the awards ceremony and hopefully bringing home this award.”

The Staffordshire Chambers Business Awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 5 July at Staffordshire County Ground.

Landscape architecture students design new artificial reef at Redondo dive site


A landscape architecture student’s illustration of part of an artificial reef to be built at Washington’s Redondo Beach dive area. Students are working with the state, the dive community and others to design a new reef to provide a healthy habitat for marine life.

What makes a good artificial reef, for divers, and for marine life? The landscape architecture students have done designs for a state-funded project to replace the artificial reef at the Redondo Beach dive site. They will present and discuss their work in a public meeting May 30, in Des Moines.

The landscape architecture studio class is taught by associate professor Iain Robertson, with lecturer and landscape designer Brooke Sullivan, who is working on her doctorate at the University of Melbourne. Both are with the UW’s College of Built Environments.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources and dive community will be removing debris from the underwater location, one of the most popular dive sites in the Puget Sound area. This will include removal of toxic material, as well as small boats and even a long-sunken Volkswagen “Beetle” that have over the years become a habitat for much marine life. The work also will include removing abandoned tires from established geoduck beds to compensate for any habitat loss due to reef construction.

An artificial reef is a human-made structure generally built to promote marine life and to which organisms like algae, barnacles, corals and oysters attach, and which become habitat, and a food source, for fish.

Previous smaller, volunteer cleanups of the dive site have produced such items as knives, syringes, election yard signs and even an old road scooter, as well as, of course, a lot of fishing rigs.

The latest state capital budget includes $500,000 budgeted for the reef project.

“What makes a good artificial reef boils down to structure and complexity,” said Robertson. “A variety of different-sized spaces for marine life to live in, and suitable surfaces for marine life to attach to. Stability and longevity are also desirable.”

The presentation will be from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, at the Highline College Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center, 28203 Redondo Beach Drive South, in Des Moines.

The seven graduates and undergraduates in the studio class have already presented some aspects of their designs and are now gathering those into a single group proposal to present for May 30.

The main client for the class, Robertson and Sullivan said, is the Washington State Scuba Alliance, but they consider the City of Des Moines and the MaST Center, from whom they have had involvement and interest, also as clients.

“And as landscape architects,” Robertson added, “we also consider the developing marine ecosystem itself as a ‘client.’”

The student designs, Robertson said, “combine the wisdom of science with the insights of art to create ideal reef conditions for the development of complex marine ecosystems and engaging diver experiences.”

The Department of Landscape Architecture has a long history of developing plans and designs for community groups throughout the region. Studios, Robertson and Sullivan said, are ideal educational environments for combining disciplinary research into real-world projects.


Riverlight and South Gardens awarded RIBA London Awards 2018


Two projects that Gillespies have delivered landscape design for have scooped prestigious 2018 RIBA London Awards – Riverlight, a pioneering residential-led development in the heart of the emerging Nine Elms regeneration area, and South Gardens, the first phase of the Elephant Park development by Lend Lease.

Designed by world-renowned architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Riverlight consists of six modern and elegant residential pavilions, carefully arranged within a high-quality riverside landscape setting by Gillespies. The strategic placement of these pavilions – which share the same architectural language but vary in height and colour – generated opportunities to create a permeable open space, with the riverfront visible and accessible between each of the six buildings. Around 60% of the scheme is designated as public open space. Gillespies’ designs create a seamless, free-flowing landscape that establishes a strong identity and a sense of place that is truly unique to Riverlight. Each of the key spaces have their own distinct character and function.

South Gardens – designed by architects Macreanor Lavington – is the first 360 new homes delivered as part of Lend Lease’s Elephant Park Masterplan, a masterplan that will replace the former Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle with around 2,500 new homes. Gillespies has delivered a new pocket park and a sequence of green, pedestrian-friendly streets that have opened new connections to the north and across the site, lined with trees, plants and elements of natural play.

Gillespies is the public realm masterplanner for the regeneration of the entire Elephant Park site, and is also delivering a new public realm and two landscaped courtyards for West Grove, the second phase of Elephant Park, together with a brand new park that will sit at the heart of the development.

Image: Gillespies


Berkeley Group host Woodhurst Park’s first community picnic


The residents of Woodhurst Park have come together to mark the start of spring and enjoy their first community picnic within Bracknell’s newest Country Park.

The “Wildlife in the Community” celebration was hosted by Berkeley Homes, with support from, the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust.

Local families, including some who have just moved into their new Woodhurst Park home, were treated to guided nature walks, arts and crafts sessions, a raffle and lawn games.

The Wildlife Trust explained how everyone can support biodiversity though cultivating nature-friendly plants in gardens, balconies or window boxes. There were also pop-up gardens on display including lavender and perennial wallflower, both of which are very good for bees and butterflies.

Local youngsters, were taught to build their own bee hotels and were taken on intrepid ‘mini-beast hunts’ to find the hidden creepy-crawlies making their home in the new Country Park landscape.

Jo, a Woodhurst Park residents, said: “What a wonderful day. It was so informative and interesting and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves.”

Andrew, another resident of Woodhurst Park, said: “We certainly really enjoyed it and learned a lot. We keep seeing Skylarks over the development now! We also met a whole bunch of people we hadn’t seen before. It was a great turnout.”

Andrew Saunders Davies, chairman of Berkeley Homes Oxford and Chilterns, said:

“This event was all about giving local people the chance to mix, meet and enjoy this beautiful park. I want to thank everyone who made it such a lovely occasion, especially the intrepid young bug-hunters. I also would like to thank the local Oaktree Garden Centre and Nursery who donated one of the prizes for the raffle which helped raise money for the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust.”

Richard Woods, from Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, said: “It was really great to meet the new residents of Woodhurst Park and show them some of the nature on their doorstep. They seem genuinely interested in how they can bring nature into their gardens and appreciate the green spaces that have been included in the development.”

Berkeley Homes Oxford and Chilterns is starting to work with residents to develop a bespoke Community Plan for Woodhurst Park. The aims are to create new and lasting connections between people living within this new development, and across the wider community.

The plan will include a range of social events and clubs where residents can meet up, as-well-as encouraging residents to take control of a budget, form a committee and shape the next wave of community activities for themselves.

Find out more about Berkeley’s approach to community building at www.berkeleygroup.co.uk/successfulplaces and to get involved with the Woodhurst Park community plan email woodhurstpark@berkeleygroup.co.uk


Gillespies designed Elephant Park hosts the Chelsea Fringe Festival

elephant park

The Gillespies-designed Elephant Park is currently hosting the 2018 Chelsea Fringe, a festival running from 19 to 27 May. The park will provide a befitting setting for an array of community-focused activities that will bring to life the joy and excitement surrounding green spaces and gardening.

The park, which opened in August 2017, is the centrepiece of Lend Lease’s wider Elephant Park development that will regenerate the former Heygate Estate into a new residential quarter.

The park will host a range of workshops, music and performances and art and crafts activities by community organisations, big and small…don’t miss out.

Check out what activities are taking place by visiting the Park Place website.

The Chelsea Fringe is a community interest company (CIC) and was founded by Festival Director Tim Richardson. All progress to date has been achieved by a team of dedicated volunteers donating their time and money.

Image: Gillespies