Summer Update from Ward Robinson
A note from us
There have been more than a few changes around the world since our last newsletter! We hope all of you are coping well, whatever your new normal is.
Our work very much rolls on. We have already handed over two projects for key workers during lockdown, we continue at a pace with design and delivery of the HMRC Regional Centre for 4,000 staff at the iconic India Buildings in Liverpool and are we are especially delighted to have completed the latest phase of the 365 redevelopment of South Shields town centre in the form of the new transport interchange.
We highlight some more of our recent projects in this newsletter.
Exceptional design, exceptional delivery.
Cheers to the completed renovations of Alnwick Playhouse
Built in 1925 as a cinema and music hall, a new lease of life has been given to popular Alnwick Playhouse. We were specifically commissioned to redesign the bar which serves the auditorium on the first floor, cherishing the original features of the interior.
The impressive vaulted ceiling with large dentil cornice was enhanced with concealed LED strip lighting and feature pendant lights. Art deco inspired ceramic tiles with a modern twist adorn the bar front and brass details are used throughout on bespoke joinery, columns and reeded glass wall lights. Sumptuous velvets are used on bespoke banquette seating, tub chairs and bar stools. Marble features on the bar top, table tops and perch bars providing a glamorous feel in keeping with this theatrical art deco gem.
After the renovations were completed earlier this year, the playhouse enjoyed only a brief reopening before lockdown restrictions were put in place. Along with local residents, we look forward to the eventual reopening of this much loved facility.
Major refurbishments for
Beddell House is a Grade II listed building providing a 60-bed residential care home for older people, operated by Sherburn House Charity. The house is an early Victorian building originally built as a hospital.
Sherburn House Charity was founded by the Bishop of Durham, Hugh Pudsey as ‘Christ’s Hospital in Sherburn’ around 1181. Its original purpose was as a leper hospital for 'up to 65 leprous monks and nuns'.
We were tasked with designing accommodation that was comparable to a 5* hotel whilst still providing a safe environment for residents with differing needs. These major refurbishment works have seen the completion of the orangery, bistro style dining room, lounge, bar, salon and cinema room as well as circulation spaces. Items of nostalgia have been used throughout to aid wayfinding and provide an interesting and stimulating environment for residents, visitors and staff.
Chief Executive Pauline Bishop says ‘From the beginning of the design process Ward Robinson worked with us in developing a unique classic look for our care home. We were hoping for a 5* country hotel feel rather than a typical care home setting and that is exactly what we got. Beddell House has been transformed from a tired, dated Victorian building that was past its best, into a contemporary and stylish 5* boutique hotel. We are so proud to show people round the home now, it certainly has the wow factor’.
Updates for Yarm School
Over the past 18 years, our project managers have worked closely with Yarm School on the redevelopment of their dining facilities, a new teaching block, an 800 seat auditorium and bar, a new build music school as well as enhanced sports facilities across the School’s estate.
Currently the PM team are overseeing the redevelopment of the preparatory school site and the construction of a footbridge over the River Tees which will lead to new sports playing fields.
The School also commissioned Ward Robinson’s interior designers to refresh the Grade 2 listed Friarage building with a brief to preserve and protect the buildings original features whilst at the same time bringing the finishes up to the standard of the rest of the estate….not easy, but so successfully achieved that a further appointment to extend and refurbish the School’s nursery has followed. Design work on this is now complete and construction is due to commence shortly.
BCO Finalists 2020
We are delighted to share that we are finalists with two projects in the BCO Awards 2020.
Our recent work on the Estate Transformation for HMRC at Benton Park View, Newcastle upon Tyne has been shortlisted in the Refurbished/Recycled Workplace category. This phase of works incorporates a light, modern, agile working environment spanning across two floorplates and a central atrium. Offering a diverse mix of agile work settings, the 30,000 sq.ft. workspace includes a variety of meeting facilities, gender neutral washrooms and supports both collaborative and private working.
Tombola House, our collaborative project with Ryder Architecture, has been shortlisted in the Corporate Workspace category. Tombola's newest riverside campus at Sunderland's Wylam Wharf accommodates 160 staff over 25,000 sq.ft. of office space. The building has modern and technologically advanced open-plan offices wrapped around a three-storey-high atrium. The carefully planned furniture layouts help to fulfil Tombola’s aspirations to create opportunities for idea sharing, communication and more organic interaction within a stimulating environment.
The BCO judges visited both schemes back in February with the regional awards ceremony now due to take place in October.