In a time of such economic hardship and political unrest, it is sometimes difficult to see the progress that is being made around us. This month our magazine focuses on buildings that are making a difference in our world today: buildings which through innovative design and purpose are taking steps towards ensuring our future.
Foundations are being built for the education of our young generation. The Grange School in Manchester will cater for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), providing much needed support for children and their families. The new £20m Essa Academy in Bolton, potentially one of the most technologically advanced schools in the country, will utilise technology in order to provide students with a first class, state-of-the-art education.
Our transport links are being constantly updated, allowing businesses to flourish and communities to expand. Under the Manchester Metrolink project, the tram network will be almost tripled in size – creating links between Rochdale, Oldham and Manchester. The Chiltern Evergreen3 project will construct a new railway between Bicester and Oxford, together with the construction and reconstruction of stations at Bicester Town, Islip, Water Eaton and Oxford.
Communities are being brought back together by innovative new buildings: the renovation of Leopold Estate in London is making the area a safer and more attractive place to live, whilst the regeneration of Grantham Market Place will invigorate the town centre.
Advances in technology are made clear by the new Sky Studios headquarters – dubbed “the most sustainable broadcasting facility in Europe” – and the new £3.5 global headquarters for LGC Standards in Bury. Ultimately our healthcare will benefit from such advances, as can be seen by the new Barbara Castle Way Health Centre in Blackburn and a new birthing centre in Maidstone, Kent.
Sustainability is a key theme of our magazine; many of the projects we explore are committed to the utilisation of natural resources in order to create truly innovative buildings. The Sky Studios project has encompassed features such as naturally ventilated TV studios and responsibly sourced materials in order to reduce the impact on the environment, whilst the new Giant’s Causeway visitor centre project has maximised the use of natural light and Irish basalt.
We now invite you, readers, to join us as we build the foundations for our future.