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Tyrrell Dowinton’s triumphant two

Tyrrell Dowinton

Held every two years, the Guernsey Design Awards seek to recognise the exemplary work that enhances our built environment. The awards invite entries from a vast range of work which is shortlisted and judged by a panel comprising professionals from architecture, planning, construction and arts.

Shortlisted for this year’s Guernsey Design Awards is commended company, Tyrrell Dowinton Associates, for the triumphant completion of two individual projects, known as The Rockmount and Les Residences.

The Rockmount is a stunning restaurant and bar, encompassing a traditional pub alongside a lounge bar, tap room, and public bar, as well as a front terrace and beer garden. With a large number of covers, the spacious restaurant also features a separate restaurant named ‘La Reunion’ on the first floor, offering a relaxed environment along with delicious food, and a stunning view to top it all off.

Doug Langlois, Architect at Tyrrell Dowinton Associates, spoke to Premier Construction to reveal some key information on the restaurant:

“The main restaurant space presents a family restaurant atmosphere, whereas the separate bars act as the perfect settings for drinking and socialising – all of these areas are set on the ground floor. La Reunion offers a different dining experience with stunning sunset and coastal views from the first floor over Cobo Bay.

“The project commenced in January 2014, and the public bar was open in July 2015, with the lounge and sports bars opening in August. Subsequently La Reunion was open to diners in November. The existing building was stripped more or less right back to the main granite building – which was retained – almost everything else was removed.

“We retained the public bar, all the back of house was removed and we integrated a new concrete ground floor and new concrete first floor, with block work walls at Ground floor to support the overall structure. Insulated linings were also added to the existing building. The concrete first floor provides a structural deck and acts as a separating floor for sound and fire. The supporting walls at first floor were removed and new structural steelwork installed to provide a single open space for the restaurant with views from all tables.

“Since its opening, the feedback has been great; The Rockmount has been very popular and people have rarely been so lucky to just turn up and find a table without booking.

“Time was our biggest challenge – a project that might normally take 18 months was compressed into an 11 month period, with sections of the project complete and open to the public after only six months, which complicated some operations on site. The scope of works changed dramatically just before we got on site: at first we were aiming to carry out just a redecoration of the Lounge and Sports Bars, however through further investigation we found it was necessary to change our brief and carry out a full refurbishment, this decision being made just 3 months before we started on site. We worked closely with the contractor from then on to ensure they had the information they needed, often on a day-to-day basis.”

Les Residences – another project that has Tyrrell Dowinton Associates shortlisted for the awards – consists of 13 luxury apartments, with breathtaking sea views. A collection of two and three bedroom apartments with private balconies and underground parking provides a high quality development on the west coat of the Island.

Tyrrell Dowinton

Premier Construction caught up with Paul Dowinton, Director of Tyrrell Dowinton Associates, to find out more. Paul commented:

“The building has been designed and built to a very high specification. We spent a great deal of time with both our client and the Planning department to ensure that the design of the building was sensitive to its surroundings. The attention to detail, both externally, and internally from the curved elements, to profiled stone copings and anodised glazing, ensures that this building will stand the test of time within this exposed location.

“Internally, all of the units offer stunning sea views to the west and north, with private balconies and terraces. We have also provided underground car parking with private lock-up garages for many of the units. This ensures that each resident has their own garaging and storage.

“It is a prominent West coast site, so producing 13 apartments within this sensitive part of the island was probably the biggest challenge. We worked very closely with the planning department throughout the process to ensure we met our client’s requirements whilst being sensitive to its location and aspect.

“Being shortlisted for the awards is extremely exciting, and working within an Island community like Guernsey, it is very important to produce high quality well-designed buildings whilst being sensitive to the environment – so it is very satisfying for us to be recognised and shortlisted for this building.”

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