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In the second and final part of AJ's review of projects on the drawing board or on site, we focus on leisure, educational and transport schemes. The chosen projects illustrate the rich depth and diversity of contemporary architecture in the UK today


After an invited competition, Tower House School, London, appointed glas architects and designers for its new multi-purpose hall.Situated on the existing school site in Sheen Lane, the new building will provide flexible spaces for a variety of activities including theatre, general assembly, lunch and music practice rooms. The hall is organized on one floor with a mezzanine housing the control room. Three solid blocks - containing kitchen, music rooms and storage - embrace the predominantly transparent main hall. Each block is boldly coloured, giving clear functional identities and orientation. Construction is due to begin this summer and be completed in autumn 2002.


The bridge approach for the Earth Centre, Doncaster, completes the linear pathway entry to the various structures. It enters the centre through a canopy of trees, separating visitors from the residential unit and giving an immediate message of our connection with nature. The juxtaposition of formal and natural planting patterns creates contrasting forms and reveals different management strategies.

RPA and JLG are carrying out various other projects for the Earth Centre including a masterplan and landscaping and a £50,000 pavilion housing an interactive display and 'flight simulator'.


Michael Squire and Partners has gained planning permission for a bar and restaurant building on the south bank of the River Thames, adjacent to Tower Bridge. The client is the Corporation of London. A simple palette of materials is used with heavy masonry at the base - establishing a relationship with Tower Bridge - and a light, glazed enclosure at the upper floors taking full advantage of the river views. 'Floating' roof and floor plates, which extend over the river wall, form a seamless relationship with interior and exterior and eliminate the expression of threshold. The M&E consultant is Whitby Bird and Partners and the planning consultant is Chesterton.


The University of Hull proposes to meet the demands of future research in Britain on transatlantic slavery abolition and the black diaspora by creating a purpose-built research institute, to be called the Wilberforce Institute, after social reformer William Wilberforce. The institute will be located in Hull's historic centre, close to the museum district, and will have 'state-of-the-art' IT and archive facilities, as well as facilities for private research, seminars and conferences. It will be linked electronically to other similar research facilities around the Atlantic. The value is approximately £3 million.


Piling is nearly complete at Rick Mather's £5 million new building for Keble College, Oxford, an addition to the practice's award-winning ARCO building completed in 1995. It will complete the enclosure to the Fellows Garden and form a new 'quad' to William Butterfield's Grade I*-listed building. The building will house a 250-seat multi-purpose theatre, recital room, dining hall, seminar rooms and 20 study bedrooms in the upper levels. It uses similar materials to the ARCO building. The building incorporates innovative low-energy strategies including an 'energy pile' system where pipes are cast into the foundations to achieve cooling by adjacent ground conditions. Completion is due in summer 2002.

The QS is Stockings & Clarke; structural engineer Dewhurst Macfarlane & Partners; services engineer Atelier Ten; and contractor Benfield & Loxley.


This project will provide East Renfrewshire council with a major boost to its building stock. First, a new-build Mearns Primary School, for Newton Mearns, capable of housing about 1,000 pupils, with nursery accommodation, specialist classrooms , games hall, a central assembly/theatre auditorium and an all-weather sports pitch; second, an extension to St Ninians High School to include 29 new classrooms, lecture theatre, music practice rooms, auditorium and oratory; and third, a new-build, stand-alone sports hall for St Ninians to supplement existing PE facilities.The client is Jarvis (Scotland) and the cost is £15 million.

Completion is due in August.


The practice is currently finalising proposals for the refurbishment and rejuvenation of the 1964 Students'Union Building, designed by Sir Basil Spence, at Southampton University.Work will include the construction of a new glazed circulation link with student bars on two levels and the reconfiguration of an existing debating chamber to form a cinema and nightclub.

Work is due to start this summer and to complete in September 2002.Anthony Ward Partnership is the structural engineer, and Northcroft the QS.Construction value is £3 million.


The competition design for the new visitor centre at Caerphilly Castle, South Wales, sits inside the outer walls of the 12th century castle. The design responds to the massive stone structure by creating an oak-framed 'pentice-like'structure, (the medieval term for a covered timber walkway) up against the north curtain wall. The roof structure rises and 'attacks' the inner gatehouse culminating in a timber prow beam, reminiscent of the siege engines on display at the castle. Large areas of south-facing frameless glass let in sun to warm up the slate during the day, and a heat pump draws free energy from the adjacent moat. The client is Cadw - Welsh Historic Monuments; Buro Happold is the structural and environmental engineer; and the QS is Press & Starkey.

Construction is due to start this autumn.

FAULKNER BROWNS The scheme for the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield, provides elite training facilities for judo, table tennis, netball and indoor athletics. The building will also house BOX 100, a facility that contains conditioning, sports medicine, sports science and recuperation facilities. The design is based on a modular flexible plan so that other sports may be added in future. Sports needing height are grouped on one side of a central mall with a multipurpose judo and table tennis hall on the other side.

The structural engineer is Anthony Hunt Associates; M&E engineers are Max Fordham & Sheffield Design & Property; and the QS is Sheffield Design and Property. The value is £26.5 million.


RMJM was appointed to produce a masterplan for the multimillionpound redevelopment of Doncaster Racecourse.The phased development will include the upgrading of the racecourse, new racecourse stables, a new bloodstock sales facility, a completely refurbished grandstand, two three- and four-star hotels and new multifunctional 10,000m 2conference and exhibition space. Tillyards is the QS; all other consultancies will be carried out by RMJM.


The Jubilee Waterside Centre, on London's Regent's Canal was established in 1977 in a Victorian pumping station. The brief is to furnish and extend the existing buildings and create a new climbing and canoeing centre including teaching rooms, a climbing room, a boatyard, changing rooms, a fitness room and a large meeting hall which will be used by local residents groups. The design unites the three separate buildings with one horizontal gesture on the canal frontage in the form of timber cladding with a strong vertical element in the form of the external climbing and abseiling walls encasing the lift and main staircase. The QS is Davis Langdon & Everest; the structural engineer FJ Samuely and Partners; and the services engineer is the Kut Partnership. The contract value is £2 million and the project is due to start on site in August.


This proposed project for urban and rural places of shelter is based on the water droplet. A series of pavilions represent water utilized as a medium of tranquillity and freshness. At the centre a suspended reservoir of reinforced membrane is designed to sweep water drops to a lower pool constructed from perforated concrete allowing jets of water to create ripples forming a waterscape. Occupants are cradled within a naturally balanced environment with the membrane being allowed to breathe and change between night and day, therefore becoming a living tissue. The structural engineer is Matthew Wells of Techniker.


Kensington Taylor is designing a £13.5 million terminal at Guernsey Airport. The new terminal will replace the existing building and reflects an anticipated increase in passengers from about 800,000 to more than one million. It takes the form of a rectangular pavilion parallel to the runway, with departures to the west end and arrivals at the east. The cross section incorporates clerestory glazing giving dramatic height to the public concourses, and top lighting to the check-in and arrivals areas. The Babtie Group is the engineer and Davis Langdon & Everest is the QS. Work is set to commence early in 2002.


This project, in Beeston, Leeds, comprises a church, community hall, parenting centre and healthy living centre.The proposed design explores the idea of identity as it relates to various events and shared occupancy which are reflected in the form of the buildings, their spatial characteristics and embodied iconic references.The estimated construction budget is £1.6 million. The engineer is Sharpe and Scarfe and the QS is MHB.


A new public library and library services divisional headquarters at Lymington, for Hampshire County Council, is under construction.The site is in the grounds of a former Victorian school, on sloping land. To limit the impact on neighbouring residences, the new building is dug into the site and approximately one third of the structure is underground. It emerges across the site to reveal a fully glazed elevation which fronts the street and contains the public entrance.

Grant Associates is the QS; Hampshire County Council is the engineer; and TSL Construction is the contractor. The project is due for completion in November. The construction value is £1.1 million.


The Blackfriars Multiplex Cinema, Gloucester, for Arrowcroft, with car park and restaurant, is the first phase of the Blackfriars comprehensive development plan, which comprises one quarter of the historic core of the city , linking the centre and historic docks.

The design addresses the challenges of PPG 6 and 12, sensitively integrating the cinema and car park on a sensitive key site surrounded by listed buildings. The structural engineering provides a framework for preserving Scheduled Ancient Monuments under the site, in situ.The car park is on two levels to minimize its impact.The main consultant is BDP and structural engineering is by Adams Kara Taylor. The project value is £14 million.


Due for completion this spring, the new Burnley bus station forms an internal street at the edge of the town. The strong curving form, visible at both ends, acts as an extension of the adjacent street yet maintains a clarity of use. Ancillary accommodation blocks form a transitional wall which follows the contours of the site while puncturing the concourse structure, creating an urban bowl linking the bus station to the town. A full-height suspended glazed wall to the bus side and an exposed structural frame complement a contemporary use of natural materials on the more solid accommodation blocks.

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