Bloom’s extension to an farmhouse constructed in the 1800’s in Ramsbottom has reached Practical Completion. Transforming old structures requires craftsmanship and a skilled main contractor. A&S Schofield Ltd worked closely with Bloom Architects to construct this project.
We’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to participate in a competition to re-design one of Cheshire’s busiest Accident and Emergency department’s entrance and waiting area.
The circle is integral to the design philosophy and emblematizes the NHS as a 24 hour organisation for 365 days a year. We believe it will promote and reinforce a feeling of togetherness, care and community. Light diffuses softly across curved surfaces instead of sharp contrast created by perpendicular surfaces. The well-being of both the staff and the patient are at the heart of the proposal, and the space should incubate a symbiotic relationship between both. Colour and light play an integral role in the articulation of a calming, safe and secure environment for patients and staff. An accompanied waiting area is provided separately to the main space. It is intended for use when challenging patient behaviour may warrant segregation. The proposed building is a space where intimidation and abuse have no place – it is a place where clinicians and nurses can provide the very best care to their patients. A circular rooflight, positioned above the reception area shall create a glowing ring of light, diffusing throughout the space.
The images below are of the proposed interior space, the existing exterior and proposed exterior. If you have a moment, please share your thoughts with us. One of our core beliefs is that Architecture should be a vehicle for conversation and discourse.
We’re really pleased to announce our latest scheme in Bolton received planning permission this week. The existing property is located within a conservation area in a particularly beautiful and culturally significant part of Bromley Cross.
Working with older properties brings a unique set of challenges, which require a careful and considered approach to design and construction. We are guided by our client’s brief to achieve an outcome which reflects their aspirations. Every engagement is an opportunity for us to share our experience with our clients to shape their home – a very special place indeed!
It’s great to see our projects progress into construction. One of the first major activities is to excavate suitable trenches for the foundations. An inspector, usually from the Local Authority building control department will assess the depth and composition of the trench prior to the concrete pour.
It is quite often the case that services, located underneath the ground are exposed during excavation. Sometimes, special foundations, such as cantilever footings or piles may be required to overcome/ avoid obstacles or to protect infrastructure from excessive loads.
You may also spot the two sewer access points in the photographs. Sometimes it is possible to apply for ‘build-over’ permission from the statutory undertaker. In this case however, the sewer is combined, i.e. it serves more than one property and 24 hour access is therefore required and re-location will be necessary. It is really important to consider elements such as these early in a project. There may be a better place to locate your extension where such elements do not exist, however, sometimes it is not possible to avoid them.
The foundation design also includes pads for the structural steel frame, which will allow the majority of the existing cavity wall to be removed at ground floor level. This will create the open-plan, flexible space which was the driving ambition behind the project.
We often get asked to investigate converting loft spaces for our clients. If you are considering carrying out a loft conversion here is a list of issues to consider.
- Have a good look in the loft space if it is safe to do so, ask for assistance if you are using a ladder for access. Assess the height of the current space.
- Measure the floor to ceiling level at first floor, this will help you establish if there is enough room to drop ceilings to create head room above the new floor.
- Ascertain whether the roof is constructed with trusses or rafters and purlins.
- Assess how much height is available above the current staircase position, stacking the new staircase above existing is usually the most efficient way to gain access and maximise floor space.
- If you share party walls with your neighbours, you will need to follow the steps outlined in the party wall act. This is usually because new steel work is required at ridge level and various upgrades to the walls are required (fire & acoustic).
- Fire escape – assess whether a protected escape can be created around the staircase.
- Think about access, the works can include movement of large joists and steel work, can this be achieved through the property, or will larger equipment be required?
- Familiarize yourself with the Construction, Design and Management Regulations 2015, understand your responsibilities and those of the project team – including your contractor.
- and finally . . . disruption – can you move out during the most intensive stage of the works?
We have included some photographs of a recent project undertaken by our clients Charlotte and Darren, to give you a flavour of what to expect.
We’re pleased to announce our proposal to extend a beautiful, characterful farmhouse in Holcombe has been granted planning permission. The existing property is registered as a non-designated heritage asset, which can have complex implications for planning applications.
We developed a strong, collaborative relationship with the planning officers in Bury, which ultimately led to a successful outcome for our client.
A glazed margin acts as the primary interface between the proposal and the existing stonework. Aspects of the existing property will be re-worked to reveal its unique character and improve the practicality of the internal spaces.
The windows frame breath-taking views over Scout Moor and the rolling hills of a typical Northern landscape – it really is a beautiful place!
The BBC have published a fascinating article on building density and coverage of Britain’s land mass.
At Bloom we encounter many different views on exactly what an Architect does and the services provided. Historically, the title Architect is derived from the Latin ‘architectus’, which derives from the Greek ‘arkitekton‘ meaning ‘chief builder‘. This might come as a surprise to many, even professionals in the Construction industry who may hold a belief that an Architect’s role is to design rather than oversee construction. However, a robust understanding of the process of construction is key to delivering a consistent project from concept to completion. Sound technical knowledge is the only way ambitious conceptual designs can be constructed accurately, safely and beautifully.
In Great Britain, construction procurement has evolved rapidly and extensively throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. For example, some Contractors will not only construct the building but also take on responsibility for ‘completing’ or ‘finishing off’ the preliminary design prepared by an Architect (this method of procurement is commonly referred to as ‘Design and Build’). Traditionally however, an Architect would take full design responsibility and provide a complete package of information to a Contractor to construct (commonly referred to as ‘Traditional’ procurement). In this arrangement the Architect’s role on site is primarily concerned with Contract Administration, inspection and certification. In essence it is the Architect’s job to administer the building contract impartially and check the project is being delivered/ constructed in accordance with the Contract Documentation, to the agreed timescale, within the agreed budget and crucially, that both parties are carrying out their duties.
Our advice is straight forward and simple, if you are undertaking construction works do so under a building contract. This is a contract that exists between the customer (you) and the Contractor and establishes duties and responsibilities for each party. There are many forms of Building Contract which are designed for a multitude of project types from small minor projects to large commercial projects. It can be confusing and very complicated but we can help you establish the most appropriate form for your project. If you have been asked to provide capital funds up front by a Contractor and without a Building Contract in place, our advice is not to do so (and we really can’t stress this enough). You should only pay for works that have been completed, valued and certified on site. This process occurs at regular intervals, for example on a monthly basis. We can prepare a schedule of work for your project, which acts as a checklist for works completed.
Construction projects are one of the biggest investments individuals and developers are likely to make throughout the course of owning property. This is where an Architect can add real value, reduce risk and ensure the project is delivered to the client’s brief and within budget. Architect’s are regulated by the Architects Registration Board and are bound by a code of conduct which regulates the standard of behaviour and professional conduct to which an Architect must adhere. The ARB maintain a register of qualified Architects and it is always good practice for customers to use this as a reference for either finding an Architect or checking their current status. As an additional quality benchmark Bloom is an RIBA chartered practice, to learn more about what this means please visit the RIBA’s website.
If you are thinking about a construction project for your home or business property and are seeking some preliminary advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are a friendly organisation and take every opportunity to provide assistance where we can!
More movement on house-building, lifting financial restrictions on Local Authorities may help deliver more housing to meet demand. We need to start building better homes!
Kurt Schwitters and his lakeland project, the ‘Merz Barn’ – the continuation of a life long work.
Read more about the German artist on Wikipedia. His Merz Bau project is particularly interesting.