The new headquarters of legal and fiduciary service provider Ogier, at 44 Espanlade, won first prize. It is a leading building in several ways, not only in its success at the design awards. At 100,000 square feet, this development is the largest office development in Jersey. It is also the greenest: the office building has the best eco-friendly credentials on the island, rated BREEAM ‘Very Good’.
Michael Waddington spoke to Premier Construction about the award-winning projects, and told us that one aspect of the project that the architects had particularly focussed on was the perfection of the exterior finish. “We really pushed the facade quality on this project,” he said, and explained that pre-cast facade panels had been used, allowing greater quality control. He also explained how a mock-up of the building had been used in the design process, “as a tool for finessing the final design.”
The one-to-one timber mock-up allowed the architects to explore the detailing in the facade, and was used as a working mock-up that could be altered as the project progressed. Whilst they couldn’t change the pre-cast panels, they could look at the connectivity and detail between facade elements. Mr Waddington said that this is a technique which they have used before, but will be looking to make greater use of in the future. The architects also worked with a specialist facade consultant.
The facade, which can now be seen, highlights the traditional narrow plot widths of the Espanlade, but does so without hiding the modern framework on which it is built. At the front of the building, the framework appears to be three separate structures side-by-side. It is also designed to be visually lighter at the upper levels, with the middle framework rising above the other two.
Camerons is the main contractor who has delivered the project.
Coming in 2nd place to Ogier House was a new office block at 50 La Colomberie. At 33,000 square feet, this three-storey structure is significantly smaller than Ogier House, however the impact that it has on the town is arguably greater.
“One thing that we’re most pleased with is that this is a big step in the regeneration of this area,” explained Mr Waddington.
Several listed but dilapidated buildings had stood on the site, and having these demolished to make way for the construction work was somewhat controversial. However, the site is on a major route into St Helier and the new building has kick-started a reinvigoration of the area, including improvements to street lighting and furniture, and bicycle rack provision.
As with Ogier House, the detail of the facade was especially well thought-through.The use of silver anodized aluminium, insulated lightweight render and frameless and curved glass creates a modern and streamlined landmark, which incorporates less imposing, pavilion-like structures in order to create harmony with the surrounding buildings and pedestrianised road.
Within this design Naish Waddington responded to the Jersey Percent for Art initiative, which includes the aim of improving the standard of architecture and public artwork in the island. Two alu-bronze sculptural reliefs entitled “Night and Day” were designed by Michael Sandle RA and were incorporated into the corner of the curving façade. Michael Sandle gave a public talk in the Town Hall to accompany the unveiling of the works.
Premier Contracting completed the building work in 2010.
Chateau Valeuse Apartments
This modern apartment block took 3rd place in the ‘Best Large-Scale Development’ Category and comprises fifteen luxury apartments in St Brelades Bay.
Described as ‘calm and modernist’, the white stucco render and curved balconies of the building pay homage to the 1930s style of Grayson, whose designs are prominent in the island’s architectural heritage. It cuts a striking pose against a leafy, green backdrop on the hillside, visible from the beach below.
“We are really pleased with getting consent for bold, contemporary architecture in a rural setting,” Mr. Waddington told Premier Construction.
He did make it clear however, that the triumph came from being accepted and celebrated, rather than being controversial. He pointed out that architects whose designs appear far from their offices don’t necessarily have to deal with a moaning local population if the structure is not well-received. For Naish Waddington, who designs Jersey buildings close to home, it is “real and close” if local residents vocalise negative responses.
Speaking to Michael Waddington, it was clear that the company’s care for the views of Jersey residents was high on their list of priorities, and that the warm reception to all three projects is at least as much of a pleasure as the success at the Jersey Design Awards.