A modest barn conversion contrasts with state-of-the-art laboratories, but both are underpinned by robust sustainable principles

Buildings.

Advanced Manufacturing Building, University of Nottingham, by Bond Bryan Architects (phs: Phil Grayston)

“The building is immediately recognisable as a dynamic and powerful statement at the gateway to the Jubilee Campus. However, this assured simplicity belies a complex brief and a series of well-resolved and interesting interior spaces. Such a balance of legibility and dynamic interest is often hard to achieve but the project team deserves great credit for its careful handling of context, the resolution of the complex spatial demands and the creation of an innovative working environment.”

Buildings.

Font House, Market Harborough, by Gluckman Smith (phs: Thomas Smith, Rachel Smith)

“It is hard to imagine the view in 2012 of a dilapidated bungalow and garden. Today Font House and the restored walled garden sit within the context of the grade-I-listed main hall, church and parkland and are an exemplar for conservation-led design. The result is immediately satisfying and elegant, but comes as the result of continual consideration and refinement at every turn of the design and building process. The leap of imagination and commitment of the project team is something to be commended. Font House has qualities far beyond its setting and spatial organisation and the awards jury admired the exquisite detailing, craftsmanship and commitment to using the very highest quality of materials. The house and garden are a testament to the highest quality of design and execution and create a new and unexpected chapter in the history of the Nevill Holt estate.”

Buildings.

The GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratories for Sustainable Chemistry, University of Nottingham, by Fairhursts Design Group (phs: Martine Hamilton-Knight)

“The project demonstrates an unwavering focus on sustainability and challenges every aspect of the design and construction process. The result is a building that not only achieves BREEAM outstanding and LEED platinum awards, but perhaps more importantly signals how such an approach can directly inform architectural design and greatly enhance the user experience. The distinctive volumetric form has its origin in the need for a highly-serviced laboratory space, but one which can be naturally ventilated. The resulting curved roof then combines the most advantageous angle for photovoltaic panels and incorporates a series of large openings driving natural light deep in to the plan form – both principles further reducing energy consumption. The undulating roof form is therefore a direct expression of sustainable design drivers. The already hard-working roof goes on to embrace biodiversity by incorporating a green landscape and assisting rainwater attenuation.”

Buildings.

NGS Macmillan Unit, Chesterfield Royal Hospital, by The Manser Practice (phs: Mark Hadden, Nick Hufton)

“The Chesterfield Royal Hospital Trust set a brief for a ‘calm, non-clinical environment’ and the new building delivers on this promise with rare maturity and delight. On entering the building, it becomes immediately clear that the more informal layout is able to create spaces that are relaxed, generous and constantly refer the observer back to the rich landscape. However, these informal areas are skilfully blended with a well-thought-through patient journey, taking in a series of rooms during the treatment cycle. The project team has steered this building at every turn through a process of careful reflection to ensure the best possible outcomes for patient experience and wellbeing.”

Buildings.

One Angel Square, Northampton, by BDP (phs: Nick Hufton)

“Angel Square responds to an ambitious brief to combine workforces from 12 separate properties in a single BREEAM-excellent headquarters building. The project, however, goes beyond a spatial planning exercise and capitalises on bringing together the 2000 strong workforce by creating a building that actively promotes collaborative working. This philosophy is clearly evident throughout all aspects of the design. The entire layout is both legible and functional and enhanced by further design cues, such as open staircases visually connecting levels and innovative storage solutions to further encourage movement between teams and departments. The external envelope displays a pleasing and confident rigour; situated in a conservation area amongst various historical buildings, Angel Square adopts a bold contemporary language. One Angel Square demonstrates a highly competent and elegant approach that showcases innovation in the workplace environment.”

Buildings.

Orchard Barn, Ashover, by Chiles Evans & Care Architects (phs: Tom Napier, Jen Langfield)

“A humble yet exemplar project for the adaptive reuse of historic buildings. The barn sits in a prominent location within the village of Ashover and has been sensitively restored to retain its integrity and continue the historic narrative. Perhaps more significantly, however, the client was keen that the physical restoration was a catalyst to re-ignite the special relationship the building has historically enjoyed with the village and community. The adaptation responds with a series of subtle interventions that create new possibilities for how the space might be used and experienced. Further enjoyment is to be had in the attention to detailing and thoughtful selection of materials. The reuse of original floor boarding in the new gallery or reclaiming of the original stone floor are just some of the many small stories that imbue the structure with a continuing sense of history. On the occasion that new materials and devices are employed, notably the timber roof trusses or metal balustrade, they are executed with a sensitivity that does not overwhelm the rural qualities of the original structure.”