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SMALL PROJECTS 2002

The non-residential schemes featured in part two of the AJ Small Projects competition show a wide range of different building types carried out on limited budgets. All the schemes were completed for less than £250,000. Selected schemes from this week's crop and last week's selection of domestic projects will be exhibited at the RIBA in April

LOATES-TAYLOR SHANNON Undulating timber screens provide visual and textural contrast, forming individual styling alcoves at the John Carne Hair Salon in Wimbledon, London. Adjustable lighting to each bay allows daylight simulation while the stylist is working, toning it down to ambient levels controlled by the customer.

Lighting is generally from concealed sources and backlit panes of light which create a layered light designed to flatter the customer and give the illusion of space extending beyond the salon. Ancillary spaces are concealed behind diaphanous backlit screens creating a sense of depth and intrigue while retaining the clean lines of the main spaces.

Contract value: £230,000

AARON EVANS ASSOCIATES The project required the refurbishment, reorganisation and extension of existing facilities housed within a Grade II-listed building for the Black Swan Guild in Frome. The expanded facilities include a glazed cafeteria extension and link which connect the galleries of the main building to the previously detached gallery in the Grade II-listed Round Tower.

These provide a backdrop to the terrace and sculpture courtyard and give the centre a much improved presence to the street. The link also offers opportunities for visitors to view the residential artisans at work. A new lift serves disabled visitors.

Contract value: £132,000

SOFTROOM Designworks is a flagship menswear store in London's Soho which has a stage-like window display incorporating an accessories vitrine and raised typography - a contemporary take on the traditional shopfronts of Bond Street and Savile Row. Reflex was the contractor, Stockdale was the QS and E+M Tecnica was the services engineer.

Project cost: £150,000

SOFTROOM In this shop for John Smedley on London's King's Road, the ceiling and right hand wall are made from a charcoal grey stretched plastic material, used in tension to create a perfectly flat surface which gives a subtle diffuse reflection of the space. Two lines of glass shelves frame and illuminate the womenswear collection.On the left-hand side, mirror polished stainless steel shelves cantilever out from a white lacquered wall. Displays are illuminated by slots of light reflected off the underside of the shelf above.Glowing polycarbonate light boxes provide the focus on the shop floor. They support glass shelves and stainless steel display rails, all of which are reflected in the mirror-polished base of the units. Deane & Amos was the contractor, Stockdale was the QS and E + M Tecnica was the services engineer.

Project cost: £120,000

MCKEOWN ALEXANDER The conversion of an existing interior of a sheltered housing project at Drakemire Drive in Castlemilk, Glasgow, involved the rationalisation of a plan to create a larger kitchen, internet booth and TV zone and lounge. A slatted wall and moving door separate the kitchen from the lounge. The light source behind the wall of the internet booth makes a virtue of an internalised space in the plan. A hearth gives form and focus to the lounge and custom-made furniture by McKeown Alexander and Andy Harrold completes this small, but rejuvenated, space.

Project cost: £22,000

ADAMS & SUTHERLAND The architect has designed play structures within the new landscape of the redeveloped Holly Street Estate Evergreen Adventure Playground in Hackney, east London. They include a 'Pole Forest'- 17 telegraph poles make a high space, hooks and cables support flags and canopies; 'Sky Dens'- two 9m high steel towers clad in plywood or green oak create elevated dens and magical spaces; a 'Tree Walk'- steep walkways within the tree canopy; and a bridge connecting the highest ground to the south Sky Den. The towers cost £18,000 each.The three-phase improvement of the playground cost £180,000, much of which was funded by sponsorship.Steelwork was by Singer & James; timber cladding by Colin Trevelion Boatbuilder.

STUDIO 4 The architect has refurbished the outpatients' department at the Western Eye Hospital, part of St Mary's Hospital in north London. By reorganising the services and running them all in a lowered ceiling along the length of the department, the waiting area could be stripped out to create a full-height space that is bright, airy and clearly organised.The single volume is ordered and articulated by a series of coloured walls which emphasise and define the different activities of reception, waiting and testing and also help guide users around the department.The QS was Love Jenkins Associates.

Project cost: £71,000

ALEXANDER: SEDGLEY Utilitarian, unloved and abused, Acton Health Centre needed a new image for the provision of community healthcare. A new high-profile entrance, better signage and security immediately improve the first impression of the centre.The open reception was designed to reduce potential confrontation between user groups and staff. The waiting area was fitted out to include new seating and a children's play area; new feature lighting complements a bold colour scheme. Externally, a landscape of decking and planters now fills the windswept wasteland courtyard of former days.The main contractor was Frencon.

Contract value: £200,000

FELCE & GUY PARTNERSHIP The March Church of England Primary School commissioned the architect to design a singlestorey extension to the existing school to provide a new library and group room with some internal refurbishment of the existing space. The building is a traditional brick cavity construction with a simple steel frame to support the spanning timber rafters.

The roof comprises a Kalzip aluminium standingseam roof with bespoke Kalzip aluminium guttering.The exposed rafters cantilever out across the decking to provide a degree of sun shading to the rooms during summer and shelter in winter.

Full-height glazing encourages natural light and ventilation of rooms while allowing even small children a view out across the playing fields.

Contract value: £197,502.98

PAUL ARCHER DESIGN A fit-out for Utilis Consulting at Shad Thames, London, provides living and working space. The design strategy echoes that of the client's activity as a management consultancy. Each daily activity has a flexible relationship with its neighbours, allowing for numerous reconfigurations of the space.The main living and working spaces are divided by a 4m diameter metal wheel which can be rolled aside or used as a projecting screen and magnetic white board.The raised platform in the living area has two floor flaps that can be opened to become walls, revealing beds below.The kitchen wall pivots at door head height to separate the kitchen from the living room.The master bedroom and bathroom float on glass, framed by light; they are separated from the work area by glass and fabric.Fluid was the structural engineer; the contractor was LIC Construction.

Cost: £160,000

BPTW The brief from client B & HS Management required a redesign of the office reception in a five-storey mixed-use building on London's Savile Row that would alter circulation and produce a more attractive environment.The removal of a partition wall increased available space to accommodate the circulation changes, and a new entrance screen and bespoke reception desk defines the reception area as modern and user friendly.The floor and wall finishes to the lobby, stairwell and lift interior, combined with the curved ceiling, provide a feeling of light and energy, while maintaining a sense of formality. A new entrance canopy provides psychological, as well as climatic, protection.Building works were carried out by Durkan Pudelek.

Project cost: £100,000

QUEEN MARY UNIVERSITY OF LONDON PROJECTS OFFICE This project at the Engineering Building of Queen Mary College, University of London, brings together two disparate buildings on a modest budget.The main concept was to create a definite entrance to the Faculty of Engineering, and at the same time to improve access for less-able-bodied people.Lighting, positioned within a cruciform suspended ceiling, indicates the various routes through the busy entrance.At night, blue LED floor lamps along the glazed elevation illuminate and transform the space.A fully glazed screen with double doors gives clear views into the faculty and subtle graphics announce its function.

Project cost: £167,000

CURL LA TOURELLE ARCHITECTS The Primary Learning Support Unit at Argyle Primary School in central London is located on the roof of a Victorian building. It is an oasis for children with behavioural problems.

The street elevation reflects the style of the old parapet, with clerestory windows framing the roofscape. Roof playground elevations, in contrast, are a jigsaw of rich chestnut-stained marine ply and glazing. The existing structure below defined the plan of the unit and the use of lightweight materials. Exposed structural beams give additional internal height.Entrance is via a canopied deck into a sky-lit kitchen/cloak room. A sinuous furniture unit demarcates the adjacent classroom.There is also a 'calm room'. Colours are cool greys, blues, lilac. The structural engineer was Michael Barclay Partnership, the QS V B Johnson & Partnership and the contractor Greyline Builders.

Project cost: £130,000

BUCKLEY GRAY The project involved the refurbishment of the 1970s Solar House in east London for the Crown Prosecution Service. The key design move was to reclaim the dark and unusable external spaces around the reception by extending the building out to the edge of the first floor envelope. A new frameless glass facade wraps a light and airy space internally, while creating visual impact to the streetscape outside.Relocating the reception desk gave the necessary focal point within the space, as well as allowing unrestricted views out for security.The strong, simple line of the new projecting canopy defines the new insertion from the old building above.New planting and lighting enhances the exterior.The structural engineer was David Berle Consulting Engineers and the main contractor was JJ Builders & Contractors.

Contract value: £150,000

HAZLE MCCORMACK YOUNG The project involved the extension of the art department at the Mayfield School Art Studio, St Leonards, to provide a sixth form studio and sculpture gallery.A simple enclosure was roofed with a PVC fabric tensile structure which allowed light to diffuse gently within the studio.The fabric structure is supported by a central inclined mast, which adds drama to the space, and a series of steel sectors running around the perimeter of the terrace.

Sections and columns provide drainage.The new studio is accessed directly from the existing studio space and the tented roof covers a small external terrace.The roof also acts as a landmark for the department, particularly at night.The space can be used as a small hall for end-of-term parties and is available to the local community out of term time.The structural engineer was Colin Toms & Partners and the main contractor was Philcox Brothers.

Contract value: £65,000

USHIDA FINDLAY (UK) Graveney, a progressive state school in south London, received funding from the government to create an interactive multimedia lab.The school invited the practice to design an innovative and flexible teaching environment incorporating state-of-the-art technology.

During the day the room is used by different school groups. It is fully adaptable with mobile desks powered by flexi cables from above which plug into the sides.The desks contain individual computers accessed through flip-up lids fitted with screens.A multimedia wall at one end of the room contains a smart board with supporting equipment concealed behind lockable panels. A raised teacher's podium, with a mobile demonstration desk, is fixed in front of the smart board.

Project cost: £70,000

ARKHEION ARCHITECTS The Urban Splash Loft Shop in Manchester started with the idea of using portakabins but developed rapidly into its final form.An aluminium outer skin consists of external planks fixed to a secondary steel structure supported by a primary steel piloti structure on pad foundations.The interior is framed in timber battens with 476 plywood upholstered panels fixed to the framing.The panels are covered in upholstery in five colours to form a rotational pattern.Two service pods were constructed in MDF which were then lacquered and inserted into the building.The QS was Simon Fenton Partnership and Martin Stockleys was the structural engineer.

Project cost: £200,000

ASSOCIATED ARCHITECTS The new main entrance and reception area to Queen Alexandra College, Harborne, Birmingham, reflects the client's desire to create 'a new modern identity for the college'. The design solution creates an elegantly detailed glass and steel entrance which is highly transparent and reveals the internal function of the reception to those entering the campus or passing by along Court Oak Road. There is now full accessibility for all with visual and physical disabilities.The main contractor was Thomas Vale Construction.

Contract value: £197,000

STEPHEN DONALD ARCHITECTS An existing masonry wall was removed from a former tea room and chandlery, creating a new 6.6m wide space, and new sliding/folding glazed doors installed which open onto an external raised deck adjacent to the Thames at Bray Marina, Windsor.The new Riverside Bar and Grill is run by Heston Blumenthal, who also runs the Fat Duck in Bray. The external deck provides room for 120 covers depending on the weather. The interior space has a series of back- and edge-lit black walnut panels; the bar servery incorporates references to traditional boat building forms and is clad in alternating boards of black walnut and iroko.Flooring is recycled bamboo planks; the seating is black walnut.The main contractor was H Parfitt and Bruce Tipper.

Construction cost: £85,000

NUGENT VALLIS BRIERLEY The architect identified a split-level site within mature planting by the main sports field of Blundell's School in Tiverton, Devon, to house this hospitality centre. The building is orientated to give the lower and upper ground floors separate aspects, resulting in a contemporary solution to a traditional pavilion aesthetic. The plan form reflects the hierarchy of internal spaces, with the upper floor function area expressed externally as a complete oval clad in vertical cedar boards with a rendered plinth, and the external lower ground spaces as a traditional rough-cast building forming a base to the main pavilion.The intention is to add a fabric covered viewing balcony at second floor level.The engineer was Hastings Clements & Leach; the contractor was John Smith Construction.

Project cost: £220,000

BARRY GRACE ASSOCIATES The Moist cafebar in Blackburn is the client's first and flagship outlet.The brief was to convert 200m 2ofdilapidated offices into a slick modern space with the flexibility to serve quality food in the daytime to local businesses and to open as a sophisticated bar hosting the best local DJ talent by night. The bar, although only 120m 2in area, is split into three spaces: the lounge with padded effect walls and sofas; the dance floor with blue neon backlit polycarbonate wall panels; and the bar with white cuboid MDF panels and a stainless steel bar.

Project cost: approx £100,000

NICOLL RUSSELL STUDIOS Othoworld is the first organisation to launch sophisticated orthodontic centres throughout the UK. The architect was commissioned to convert a former architect's studio, housed in a prominent 19th century coach house and stable, to form the first Scottish outlet at Broughty Ferry. The brief was for an open-plan practice with three surgeries and potential for the addition of two more if required.Surgery layout is based on an American model but retains the character of the original structure while providing a modern hygienic interior.The two levels are organised around a double volume entrance space bridged by a thin composite floor; a lightweight, folded-plate staircase links the floors. Douglas Fir, glass and lighting establishes a brand identity and is a marked change from the majority of drab dentists'premises.

The architect is working on other outlets for the clients.

Construction cost: £115,000

ADAM & FRANCES VOELCKER The scheme at St Maelog's Church in Llanfaelog, Anglesey, comprises new accommodation within the church at the west end reordering of the remainder, improved access and new services.

WCs, a kitchen and a hallway are provided at ground floor level, with a gallery meeting room above. This can open out to the nave when large services or events take place, or can be closed off for meetings. Pews were removed and replaced with loose chairs, giving an opportunity to provide underfloor heating throughout.

The high table is retained, but a new nave altar is added, along with matching rails, lectern, font base and aumbry, all made by a local furniture maker. The glass above the gallery was etched by a local glass artist; both this and the new furniture use the 'Tree of Life'as a source of inspiration. A proliferation of steps at the entrance area was replaced by a ramp, and new lighting and sound systems were installed.

Contract value: approx £203,000

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