Guernsey is currently enjoying a renaissance in architecture.
The island has always had a wealth of beautiful buildings from traditional fishermen’s cottages and ancient granite farmhouses to Victorian terraces and splendid Georgian mansions but it is now also seeing a surge in ground-breaking contemporary designs. In addition to sympathetic renovations and conversions, the construction industry is pushing the boundaries in terms of energy efficient and sustainable developments and public projects that combine accessibility and aesthetics.
The Guernsey Design Awards 2012 recently recognised the exemplary work taking place on the island by awarding Earlswood Café with the People’s Choice Award and Etoile Du Nord and Les Prevosts Farm with the joint Overall Design Award.
The awards were a joint venture between The States of Guernsey Environment Department (Guernsey’s planning authority), The Guernsey Society of Architects, and Norman Piette – Guernsey’s leading builders’ merchant. Norman Piette was also the main sponsor of the event.
Norman Piette Managing Director Clive Fenner, said:
“The Guernsey Design Awards are a great way to celebrate both the architectural and construction industries in Guernsey and recognising excellence in these fields fits perfectly with what Norman Piette stands for.
“We work closely with architects and offer seminars on the latest construction techniques that we hope will help them to find ever more imaginative ways to push materials to their limits.”
Recognising hard work: BAS Mooarc
As an award-wining design practice, BAS Mooarc is committed to making the Channel Islands an interesting and diverse place to live. The practice’s extensive portfolio clearly demonstrates a commitment to architectural excellence through innovative and imaginative design, and it seems that all of this hard work has paid off.
BAS Moorac has been named as joint winner of the biennial Guernsey Design Awards 2012 for its work on Etoile Du Nord. The prize was shared with Les Prevost Farm, designed by CCD Architects. With over 50 local projects entered for the awards it was a tough decision for judges to award an overall winner and so it was decided that two residential properties should receive the accolade.
BAS Mooarc Design Director, Jamie Falla, said:
“We are very honoured to accept this award. Etoile du Nord was a challenging project from concept to completion, but the generous clients and the co-operation and hard work of the planning department meant the project was a great success.”
Jamie Falla added:
“This marks a new era for contemporary architecture in Guernsey. We’ve worked very hard over the last ten years, so it was a privilege to be named joint winner.
“There is a huge amount of respect for what we are doing and for us this is the culmination of where we are going in the future. It is also a reflection of the good quality clients and builders that we work with and that’s something that is very important to us.”
BAS Mooarc Project Architect, Caroline Shortt, added:
“It is a real honour to be recognised for the quality of our designs. We fight hard for our buildings and we are always trying to push the boundaries of design and sustainability.
“We’re very happy that the residents of Guernsey appreciate what we’re doing.”
The brief for Etoile du Nord was to remodel an existing bungalow that overlooks Vazon Bay in order to take advantage of the stunning views.
Etoile du Nord was built to comply with the latest building regulations and all of the new elements of the building were designed to reduce energy consumption. Upgrades were made to the existing structure and then an additional glass rooftop pavilion was built above with double-height glass sculpted around the former structure.
Locally sourced reconstituted stone was used to anchor the building and help it blend into the hillside.
Additional features include roof lighting, control systems for heating, ventilation and an external terrace.
Main contractor for the Etoile du Nord project was Joe Moriarty & Sons Ltd, whilst the mechanical and electrical consultant was Guernsey Electricity. Nicky Burridge of NB Lighting Design was the lighting designer and Guernsey Gardens conducted the landscaping work.
Avolution installed audio-visual equipment throughout the whole of the site, which included a state-of-the-art home cinema system with a one-touch operating system.
Avolution Managing Director, Dan Collen, said:
“It was great to be involved with this project as it allowed us to demonstrate what Avolution is capable of achieving with the current range of products. We managed to get the correct balance between the budget and technology and it was a great to be involved with an award-winning project.”
Caroline Shortt said:
“The concept of Etoile du Nord was to create a building that could really take advantage of the truly spectacular view that overlooks Vazon Bay.
“In the original bungalow the best view that the building could offer came from the utility room so the brief was to make better use of the structure.
“In order to do this we incorporated a lot of glass. The glazing was specifically designed so that no matter where you are in the building, you’re always drawn back to the view. That’s what makes this project so special.”
In addition to Etoile Du Nord, two other projects from BAS Mooarc – Les Bardeaux and Le Portelet – were also shortlisted at the Guernsey Design Awards 2012.
Les Bardeaux is a four-bedroom open-plan family home that is set within a small woodland area on the south coast of Guernsey. The design of the building draws upon the local architecture and out of all three of BAS Mooarc’s projects that were shortlisted it was the most traditional in terms of design and construction.
Le Portelet is a comfortable and modern family home, which replaces a bungalow that previously existed on the site. Le Portelet’s design and use of natural materials allows it to nestle into the landscape and surrounding wooded area, in the process reducing the building’s visual impact on the landscape.