Vodafone Stoke in New vibrant colours

2 04 2010

Vodafone recently added some great new wall panels and graphics into the new call ventre at Stoke which really complement the design and and add yet more vibrancy to the spaces – As an architect the intention was always to give them some way ot making the space their own and that is exactly what they are doing – good stuff!

The building was also recently visited by judges for this years British Council for Offices Awards (best corporate office Midlands)- we wont know till May if they were impressed!


Bog Standard Bar -Salisbury Racecourse 2009

8 03 2010

This was a small pavilion that I designed for salisbury racecourse – who required a purpose built bar and new toilets with betting totes to service the corporate weekend racing that they do.
This one went on hold when the hospitality market started to slow down negating the need for it in the immediate future.
This was using sketch up and rendered using Irender and photoshop.
Simple and affordable scheme.

Hagley Road West – RETAIL UNITS FOR SALE 2010

8 03 2010

I designed these roadside retail units back in 2008 – proposed for a site on Hagley Road West Birmingham UK after considerable debate with the planners – Unfortunately another site that has difficulty finding tenants or buyers in this deep recession – Was great fun deisgning it though its not one of my best – A good exercise this time using Irender as an experiment in night lighting – could be a nice little scheme if its detailed properly in future.

Offices Eastern Europe -Tirana -2010

2 02 2010

I carried out some design options for a headquarters in Eastern Europe that are likely to go ahead now . A full workspace analysis and site appraisal resulted in these sketches – using sketchup and IDX as a renderer.
The sketch and render time was less than a day and was extremely useful in deciding what design approach the client prefererred . I will leave you to guess which concept is to be built. Oh  – and incidentally the big glass wall faces North – first sustainable design rule ! It also slopes in the way at the bottom to remove glass cloud effect.
The site is on outskirts of  Tirana- Albania and the design is intended to have strong colours to reflect recent policy by the local mayor to have colourful buildings in the city.

Its not about pretty pictures all the time !!

23 01 2010

Getting a building design project off the ground is not just all about pretty pictures (although the pictures really help!) . Its also important to traditionally understand and present the detail construction proposals along with specifications and a myriad of supplementary documentation and communications. See here two details sheets explaining the  Vodafone roofing and one of the rear entrance doorways.

Leisure in WIDNES Cheshire – but when ?

23 01 2010

I designed this leisure scheme back in 2007 and got full planning permission for it – however the scheme never got off the ground as the credit crunch took hold and signed up tenants unsigned up and the scheme was left high and dry. Would have been and interesting scheme with cinema , ice rink , bowling alley restaurants and retail.
The design was worked up in sketch-up and e-mailed to my contact in Shanghai – Li Qichang – he arranged for the full rendered visulisations using 3D studio max – this was before I started strapping render tools onto sketch-up.  Whilst the design itself is not that innovative and developer driven -the original design incorporated waste heat recycling from the ice rink to service the bowling alley and rainwater recycling for the roofs – unfortunately a rather unsustainable 600 cars were required in the front car parks.

Will it ever get of the ground in future – who knows??

Sketching for the local NHS

23 01 2010

Many of the main hospitals around the UK constantly need new extensions and add-ons – back in the 1990s I did a lot of small works and extensions for the NHS – and again I wish I had a progamme like sketch up to assist in visualising not just for the healthcare staff but for the consultant teams – see a recent extension proposal again using sketch -up and photoshop.
Time taken to draw , visualise and present – just 5 hours including rendering – good days work.

So why is Vodafone Stoke Green – not Red and White ? 10 facts

5 01 2010

1. Its on a brownfield site that was once a steelworks.

2. The building elevations are all different designed to suit the position of the sun to reduce solar gain – the 4 elevations are orientated facing exactly NSEW.- this involved careful positioning of windows and roof overhangs.

3. It maximises natural daylight over the workspaces by toplighting hence reducing artificial lighting energy use by up to 30% compared with a traditional office.

4. The building has a displacement air underfloor ventilation system which is more energy efficient and flexible than an equivalent 4 pipe fan coil ceiling vent system and ideal in a large hall environment.

5. The building is insulated using mineral wool and fibreglass –which tied in with what was a recyclable shell policy – for example a conscious decision was made not to use foam insulants.

6. Rainwater is recycled so that all toilets flush using it.

7. There are 8 sets of showers provided inside for cyclists or walkers – twice the norm – as is the number of covered cycle shelters in the car parks. The building even caters for bus users who have a closely adjacent rear entrance point to access.

8. NO wind turbines , ground source heat pumps , PVcells or the prerequisite ‘on site renewable energy’ gadgetry because the building is designed to use less energy not generate more energy. A passive – ‘no moving parts’ energy design approach was taken. These technologies may be more applicable on other types and designs of buildings.

9. Over 7000 plants and trees were planted as part of the landscape round the building – providing both amenity for the workforce in picnic areas or general aesthetics for the public view.

10. Great exit strategy in future – If company decides to close down then the office could become a warehouse , an indoor football arena or a television studio ??

Shanghai Leisure Centre Competition 1995

31 12 2009

A previous blog page included pictures of this project that were lost in the mcbeth archive- however the amount of detail that went into the design is worth showing.

The television tower was under construction when I did this and was all hand sketched and then airbrushed by a guy called Tim > – right on the pudong side of the bund in Shanghai – it comprised cafes ,restaurants , cinemas and a curious bag store for walkers on the bund to leave their valuables in for security.

The roof was cooled by a massive water fountain which slid off the edge into a large pool by the entrance inhabited by lucky fish…… The restaurant was in fact a massive lift that could submerge under the river.

Very good fun – very  thunderbirds !

Abu Dhabi – Exhibition Hall 2 – Detail 1994

31 12 2009

The previous entry posting on this has proved one of the most visited pages and ironically it was never built but I have some great images of some of the detail sheet  that was handdrawn by me in felt tip pen and then airbrushed as it was quicker than using a computer to get the light and 3D effects – these days we would photoshop this in less than a couple of hours …….. see these pics and no Sketch-Up in sight!!!

The design concept was developed by Steve Brown working with myself.

I seem to remember that this was the beginning of looking at things from the Thunderbirds point of view.. will enlarge on this in future posts.