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CCD Architects – Five projects shortlisted for leading practice

With no less than five outstanding projects making the shortlist of this year’s Guernsey Design Awards, Guernsey-based CCD Architects is an industry leading, award winning, architectural design practice.

Clearly demonstrating the practice’s ethos which is summed up as being ‘the best of old and new’, CCD Architects’ five shortlisted projects are: La Cherterie, Maison D’Aval, The Catherine Best Mill, Brockhurst and St Peter Port Constables’ Office.

Showcasing ‘the best of old and new’ the practice’s large and varied portfolio of work, encompasses everything from cutting edge contemporary design through to pure conservation projects, from individual pieces of bespoke furniture through to some of the larger buildings on the island.

CCD Chartered Architects have won many design awards over the years both for their work on contemporary architecture, as well as historic and conservation projects, in the domestic, ecclesiastical, commercial and medical sectors.

In parallel with their contemporary design work, the practice has also gained a reputation for being the principal historic building and conservation practice on the Island.

The design philosophy which allows CCD Chartered Architects to utilise the best of the old and the new from contemporary to conservation, is principally an outstanding attention to detail and an in-depth understanding of the context of any given scheme.

La Cherterie

CCD Architects

Shortlisted in the Residential Renovation/Extension (over 250k) category of the awards is an exceptional project to create a sensitively designed extension which beautifully compliments La Cherterie – a rural home in the Forest.

A traditional long barn extension to the property, constructed some years ago, was also designed by CCD Architects, with design director Oliver Westgarth being responsible for the design of the new extension, which was constructed by Best Builders.

Oliver Westgarth said: “Constructed to one side of the building, the original extension left a quarter of a floorplan which was empty, with this space being occupied only by some old lean-to sheds. The brief was to provide a new extension in this space to accommodate a new kitchen and enlarge the master bedroom.

“It was important that the new building did not visually overpower the original extension, which they liked very much – so the new extension has been designed to be subservient to the original one.”

Designed with a skewed pitched roof, the extension incorporates a double height kitchen space with a fully glazed gable to one end, as well as a fully opening glazed corner window providing views across the garden to the open countryside beyond.

Set back from the gable of the existing extension at first floor level, the extension provides additional space for the master bedroom, adding an ensuite dressing room/yoga room which leads onto a beautiful terrace with uninterrupted rural views. A walk-on glass roof light set within the terrace floods the kitchen below with natural light.

Where the building is extended, glazing is contained behind a new granite wall which disguises the structure from the road, forming an enclave for the glazed structure on the garden side. Designed to look as though it has grown organically over many years, the road facing facade of the new extension incorporates randomly placed windows which refer to the historic barn and the historic cottage to the north, perfectly blending with the original property.

On the garden side the glazing is set back, designed to be a ‘shadow’ of the existing gable.

“The owners are very happy with the new extension and have posted favourable comments on social media about how the extension has improved their use of the building,” said Oliver Westgarth.

“Best Builders were very pro-active in the way they came on board. The owner of the company Tom Dallos is actually from a design background himself so it all worked very well,” he added.

Maison D’Aval

CCD Architects

Also by Design Director Oliver, Maison D’Aval is an exceptional project comprising the superbly executed restoration and extension of an important listed 14th Century farm house in St Saviours, perfectly symbolising the old and new philosophy of CCD as a practice.

Together with La Cherterie, the project is also shortlisted in the Residential Renovation/Extension (over 250k) category of the design awards.

Main Contractors for the scheme were F. Watson and Son.

Oliver Westgarth said: “This building is a very important example of a 15th Century farmhouse. It is listed and features in books on historic Guernsey housing.

“When the current owner purchased it, nothing had been done to the property for many years and the farm house was in need of full renovation and restoration. Historic houses often provide very cosy, warm winter spaces but do not provide the contemporary, light space that we would like to have in our dream home, so in addition to restoration, the brief also required the creation of a more modern family living space.

“The property is located within a conservation area, next to additional historic buildings including outhouses and barns on an adjacent site, creating a whole composition of period historic buildings.

“To the rear of the building was a damp and rather unattractive crenellated two storey extension constructed in the last century in a Gothic style. It had a small floor plan and few windows.

“The combined effect, of the traditional building and gothic extension, was a dwelling isolated from its own garden. The building in effect turns its back to the landscape.

“The brief was to reconcile these issues and to provide a more contemporary connection between house and garden. We developed a scheme which required the demolition of the gothic element to be replaced with a larger contemporary, but subtle extension using natural materials including reclaimed local granite, in a design which was much more architecturally sensitive to the historic nature of the farmhouse and adjacent buildings.

“The way the rooflines were set up and the materials were composed across the extension allowed it to look as though it had been constructed and added to over many years at a glance, whilst remaining crisp and exciting on closer inspection.”

Internally, the extension incorporates a light, bright double height vaulted kitchen and living area with glazed walls on two sides which open up to give uninterrupted views of the surrounding countryside. An off centre triangular window within the double height pace adds an extra touch of character, and is one of Oliver’s trademarks.

A large new bedroom with roof lights and a large dormer window has been created on the floor above.

Oliver Westgarth said: “The design of the extension includes numerous plays on the geometry of historic barns and outbuildings, with areas of timber cladding and off-centre windows. Bespoke hidden gutters designed specifically for this project have also been used so as not to spoil the natural line of the building.

“In using carefully chosen materials and by respecting the form and massing of surrounding buildings, this contemporary structure sits within the patina of built landscape, so that despite its recent introduction, the structure takes its place within the historic fabric with an implicit sensitivity.”

The remainder of the project comprised a full and sensitive restoration and modernisation of the original farm house, which included re-planning of the internal spaces to make them ‘flow’ more successfully.

The numerous works included the addition of an en suite to the master bedroom and the restoration of a historic fireplace which had previously been hidden. A further 19th century brick fireplace was re-worked to provide a more contemporary feature within a new living/playroom. An additional striking design feature included the removal of wall coverings in various areas of the building from dado level upwards, to reveal the original lime pointed granite walls.

“The project was a success, the family is delighted with their home and the main contractors did a very good job,” said Oliver Westgarth.

The Mill

CCD Architects

An innovatively designed masterpiece of engineering won CCD Architects recognition for a unique project to provide a new bespoke dome roof for the landmark former windmill which is now the showroom of celebrated jewellery designer Catherine Best in Steam Mill Lane, St Martins.

CCD Architects were shortlisted in the Guernsey Design Awards Small Projects category for their design, which not only provided a precision engineered automated retractable roof with breathtaking views – but also gave their clients the opportunity to take a bath with a view of the sky through a glazed ceiling!

CCD had previously designed the extension to the lower floors of the mill incorporating a sliding curved glass roof. In recent years the domed roof of the mill tower, originally installed by Catherine’s father, became a significant problem due to leaks and lack of insulation, which led to the decision to replace it.

The new roof, which is approximately 5m in diameter, is fabricated in coated stainless steel and incorporates  an automated hemispherical section which retracts inside the other half, opening up  to provide quite staggering views of the island from behind an almost invisible frameless glass balustrade. The roof is used for relaxing, entertaining friends and simply enjoying the spectacular vistas.

The dome also incorporates small windows to allow in natural light when it is closed.

The roof was built in Austria and assembled on site by main contractors Metallidee GmbH, who began by taking out windows in order to erect specially designed scaffolding so the old dome could be removed and the new one installed. The new dome, weighing 7,000kg, was then installed in just 10 days.

 

CCD Architects’ managing director Andrew Dyke, who designed the dome, said: “Working at the top of a very high building had distinct challenges from a construction perspective, but the contractors had appropriate experience of this type of work. We also had to give careful consideration to the weight of the dome, which was skillfully craned into place in sections.”

The new dome is larger than the original, and is in grey as opposed to the previous green. It is believed that this is more in keeping with how the building would have looked originally.

The installation of a glass floor beneath the new dome was carried out as part of the project. The glass floor forms the ceiling of the master bathroom below, giving views of the sky from the bath, if desired, when the roof is open!

A curved glass staircase gives access from the bathroom up to the roof platform.

The structural engineers, Dorey, Lyle and Ashman, had to give careful consideration of wind loadings, as the open dome could act like a spinnaker in high winds.

However, the design includes a generous safety margin, and can withstand winds of up to 100mph when open and significantly more when closed.

“The contractors did an excellent job and the clients are very pleased with the result, which has excited quite a bit of positive public reaction,” said Andrew Dyke.

He added: “In a forthcoming project which we have designed, we are hoping to construct a very delicate and beautiful jewel-like metal and glass bridge which will connect the mill at first floor level to a raised garden at the other side of the premises’ car park. The bridge is designed as a tribute to the award winning jewellery created by Catherine Best.”

Brockhurst

CCD Architects

Shortlisted in the Heritage category of the Guernsey Design Awards, the project at Brockhurst in Grange Road, St Peter Port involved the extensive refurbishment and modernisation of a stunning 18th century stone built six bedroom historic house for private rental.

The project was headed up by CCD Architects’ Conservation Surveyor/Director Stuart Pearce.

Located on what is now one of Guernsey’s main arterial roads, the beautifully proportioned Brockhurst was created as a rural retreat for William Brock II, whose primary residence was in High Street, St. Peter Port.

The magnificent four storey house gives a clear indication of its Georgian origins which have been subsequently overlaid with Victorian modifications, giving an unusual Georgian/Victorian mix which is rare in Guernsey.

The National Trust of Guernsey purchased the building for a token one guinea in 2000 from Mrs Florian Carr and then the property was let. The lease ended in late 2013 and this provided an opportunity to fully evaluate the condition of Brockhurst and to consider the future of the house.

Based on the results of this evaluation, contractors C A Duquemin Limited completed an extensive repair, maintenance, and modernisation programme, restoring the house to its former magnificence.

Initially the property had significant defects, with dampness being a major problem. This was exacerbated by high ground levels to the west of the building causing moisture ingress – as well as inadequate roof drainage, flashings, and discharge points at roof level which were causing water to seep in to the building via the exterior walls.

Tanking to the rear walls at ground level was fairly straightforward and at roof level the works involved raising the parapet guttering to install steps in the lead. The inherent problem with the original guttering was that the gutters were lined in long and narrow lengths of lead and the expansion and contraction of the lead caused splits.

This, combined with a build-up of leaf debris from the large surrounding trees meant that water ingress occurred frequently and roof and floor structures were subject to decay. Simple, good practice modifications at roof level have improved these problematic details.

Stuart Pearce said: “As works progressed, the full extent of the decay (wet rot, dry rot and beetle damage) to the roof and floor structures became evident and careful assessment by us and the structural engineers, Dorey, Lyle & Ashman, informed our approach to carrying out these repairs.

“In line with modern conservation philosophy we kept as much historic fabric as possible and made honest repairs, some of which remain visible in the finished building. The type of repair needed often required the use of steel plate reinforcement or strengthening of joist and floor beam bearing ends; at other times we used like-for-like timber section replacement, with repair techniques recorded.

“Sometimes timbers were too severely decayed to warrant repair and in one area, the dining room, a new concrete floor replaced a part timber/part concrete floor which was beyond sensible repair.

“We were able to make a number of aesthetic improvements to Brockhurst. A particular bugbear of mine is the loss of historic windows and their replacement with uPVC – such as on the 2nd floor, front elevation at Brockhurst. I am glad to say that 12 windows have now been reinstated using double-glazed traditional timber sliding-sash windows – and what a difference this makes to the main frontage!”

A full re-wire and complete new plumbing and heating installation formed a substantial part of the works, enabling bathroom improvements to be included. Four bathrooms and a WC were given make-overs, a superb attic bathroom was created and the old boiler room in the ground floor wing was converted to a WC adjacent to the kitchen.

Where the existing building structure allowed, thermal insulation and ventilation to roofs were improved, and all of the flat roof coverings were renewed. Historic window shutters were put into working order so that these can be used to assist with energy saving.

An original door providing much better access down to the brick vaulted wine cellar was also discovered and reinstated.

Stuart Pearce said: “With a redesigned orangery on the south side of the house, oak flooring to the ground floor, tiles, carpets, a bright but understated colour scheme and an appropriately traditional hand-built kitchen, Brockhurst is now an absolute gem of a property.

“It has been repaired sympathetically and fitted out with care and attention to detail and will no doubt soon be bringing in a useful income for the National Trust for of Guernsey for decades to come, enabling them to carry on with their good work.”

St Peter Port Constables’ Office

CCD Architects

A superbly designed project involving the extension and refurbishment of one of the most significant buildings in Guernsey – St Peter Port Constables’ Office – is another project which has earned CCD Architects a place in the Heritage category of the Guernsey Design Awards shortlist.

The scheme was carried out by main contractor F. Watson and Son and led by CCD chartered architect Esther Male, who said: “We were thrilled to be involved with this project as it is one of the more significant buildings in St Peter Port and to be involved with a building of this nature is always interesting. Also the idea of keeping the parish home in the building it has used for many years feels very right.”

St. Peter Port Constables, who have been based in the Constables’ Office since the mid 1800’s, were concerned about poor disabled access to the building and the lack of a room large enough for meetings, but the parishioners had given overwhelming support for use of the existing building to continue.

Work began on the scheme’s planning process in September 2009, with works eventually starting on site in January 2014. The planning process was a lengthy one due to the historic nature of the building and the number of criteria that had to be met to satisfy the planning officers and building control. Achieving all of the statutory permissions required was therefore a difficult task for the team.

Esther Male said: “To make a very historic building function in a way to suit the constables’ current mode of operation was difficult. As well as being the parish offices, the offices also have a very public front with members of the public dropping in all the time and so trying to make a building that was originally built as a house function as public offices was challenging. The site is also surrounded on three sides by neighbouring buildings which have been built on the boundary.”

CCD developed a refurbishment scheme which also involved partial demolition of a less important wing to the building, maintaining the façade in place, and extended in this area to incorporate a new lift and ancillary accommodation including toilets and kitchenettes. By adjusting the external pavement levels, the building could be accessed without negotiating any steps and the lift used to reach each floor level. A larger room for meetings was created from two smaller rooms.

The top floor, which was previously an apartment, has been refurbished and original features carefully maintained.

Throughout the design and building work, great care was taken to treat the Constables’ Office with the respect that a listed building of this age and significance deserves.

Esther Male said: “The project became a collaborative effort from all involved – the contractor, F. Watson and Son, who treated the construction work sensitively, such as preserving wallpaper thought to date from the 1700’s; the structural engineers, Dorey Lyle and Ashman, who designed not only the permanent structure, but also complicated temporary supports and underpinning on this tight town site; the services subcontractor, Meadowcroft, who sensitively integrated contemporary provision within the historic fabric; and the Island statutory authorities who understood and enabled the vision.”

The project has allowed a much loved building in St. Peter Port to continue to be used for the running of the parish, but with facilities appropriate for current needs.

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