Following a considerable amount of hard work over the last few years, Justin Metcalfe passed his RIBA part 3 examinations just before Christmas. Having worked on a series of complex new build and refurbishment projects since joining the practice he had gained the experience required to receive this well earned reward. He completed his full time studies at Manchester University with sponsorship from Robothams having first joined us in 2006 as a year out student.
Summer 2012 has been a busy period for everyone working at the practice.
Since the refurbishment of our offices in the Old Library we have been getting used to the new layout and enjoying the new meeting spaces on the mezzanine. The investment in the workspace was specifically focused on improving the environment, the new opening lights in the original windows made a big difference on the warmer summer days. The next phase of investment will see the focus on upgrading IT equipment and expansion of our BIM programme.
On site we have been working hard to deliver a variety of education projects for the beginning of the new academic year. Refurbishment of the Jaguar, Maurice Foss and Ellen Terry buildings for Coventry University have continued our relationship with their estates team. The opening of the new Midland Studio College, a studio school in Hinckley has breathed new life into the old technical college building on Spa Lane. Handover of the Sherbourne Residences at the University of Warwick creates an additional 527 rooms for the undergraduate cohort beginning in October. A scheme which also represents our first BREEAM Excellent rated student accommodation project, an important milestone which gives us valuable experience in sustainable design.
Above, elements of the external facades, University of Warwick.
Completed projects have also been handed over at Myton School in Leamington and at Bromsgrove School, where new boarding houses have been added to their campus. The first phase of the practice’s masterplan for Abingdon & Witney College’s Abingdon campus was occupied by the Hair and Beauty Faculty, who now have professional quality salons at the heart of their campus.
Within the practice, Andrea Obremski and Matt Pitts have returned to University to finish their studies having made a massive contribution to the practice over the last 12 months. Joining us is Petra Schwarczova, a placement student from Sheffield Hallam University who we expect to work on a range of projects across the practice during the next year, and become an integral member of our team.
All in all a pretty busy three months, and with plenty of exciting commissions to occupy us during the Autumn and Winter a very exciting time for the practice.
The Old Library, our base for the last 25 years is getting a face lift, to create a fresher, more pleasant working environment for the staff based here. In addition to new carpet and a lick of paint, the new furniture and more opening windows will improve first impressions for visitors and improve natural ventilation in this dramatic double height space. Strip out works began last week and over the next fortnight the space will be prepared for the installation of new desks. We hope to have the work complete by end of June ready for everyone to move back into early in July.
Robothams Architects have taken delivery of their first copies of Autodesk’s Revit Architecture following a commitment by the practice to invest heavily in BIM (Building Intelligent Modelling) over the next five years. The partners expect the use of BIM software to become common place on both refurbishment and new building projects, particularly given the government’s Chief Construction Advisor, Paul Morrell stating that he expects BIM to be mandatory on all publicly funded projects by 2016. The new software will allow a more collaborative approach amongst all members of the project team, and a more coordinated approach to the integration of structure, services and building fabric.
For more information visit http://www.autodesk.co.uk/adsk/servlet/pc/index?siteID=452932&id=15811669
The practice is delighted to announce that David Sercombe and Jon Moore have been promoted to Associate Directors. In their new roles they will be focused on developing the practice’s commercial image and continuing to create a diverse client base.
“The move illustrates the practice’s positive outlook and willingness to evolve and improve our services. Senior Partner, Nick James says David and Jon have proved they have the determination and commitment to grow the practice during this difficult economic climate, we are confident this long term strategic decision will make us even more competitive.
A group of our staff visited the buildings forming the first phase of the new school prior to handover later in June 2011.
The Enterprise and Innovation Centre designed by Robothams endeavours to provide an adult environment to encourage progression to the world of work and vocational training for 14-16 year olds. The light, contemporary teaching spaces, and external references to the local ‘topshop’ vernacular have made this project a successful response to Coventry City Council’s brief. The project has been delivered with Sheppard Robson architects and Kier Moss.
The practice has recently completed a feasibility study to extend Bliss Charity School near Northampton, adding classrooms and seminar room, extending the staff room and refurbishing the dining room.
Work has recently begun on site on the School’s new sports centre and boarding houses.
The construction works are being undertaken by Speller Metcalfe with completions due in 2011 and 2012. In addition to a project blog the school has posted time lapse camera footage on their website which depicts the progress of the works. This project develops the practice’s relationship with the school and builds on the successful science department project completed last year.
Following a considerable amount of hard work by Ravi Sambhi and Sam Karr, this summer saw Coventry University award qualifications to both members of staff.
Ravi gained a degree in Architectural Design Technology at 2:1 level whilst Sam was awarded an HNC in Building. Their determination to undertake their studies part time has paid dividends, and the partners are very proud and optimistic that they along with all our staff will make a valuable contribution to the company’s ongoing success.
FORCE Awards – the practice saw success in a number of categories at the Coventry and Warwickshire FORCE Awards ceremony.