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Great architecture is, of course, high-quality design, innovation, style and aesthetic but its true value is the way in which all of that enhances the user experience be that home, work or leisure.
Corporate Architecture Limited has had the privilege of working across a range of sectors, including extensively in housing, helping clients to visualise and realise a way of living which accommodates existing lifestyles and choices, and anticipates future needs and wishes. Clients include families looking to make changes for the future, developers working to create a stylish and marketable product, caregivers looking to provide safe and secure accommodation for the vulnerable in comfortable and carefully considered homes and finally, those without a fixed home who are hoping to be able to re-form their lives from the advantage of a proper home at last.
Construction is a fast moving industry and, as a practice, we embrace changes and look forward to the opportunity to use new techniques, materials and ideas – many of them from our clients themselves – to create homes that look good and work well. It is not our role to dictate, but to listen and to transform and many of our most successful projects have been as a result of strong collaboration between client and the team at CAL.
In terms of care accommodation, we were delighted to be the winners of the ProCon Award for Large Residential Scheme of the Year in 2022 for the Wyggeston Hospital Hub and Cottages in Leicester. Founded as an Almshouse charity in 1513, Wyggeston Hospital has been providing sheltered housing, support and care for vulnerable older people in Leicester for more than 500 years. A new administrative and entertainment hub and additional housing were added to the existing extra-care accommodation whilst a newly landscaped scheme was provided for residents to enjoy.
The project was an excellent example of collaborative practice with the client, through their Looking Ahead group, providing regular feedback and support to the design team and contractors throughout the life of the project. This ensured that the needs of residents were kept firmly at the forefront at all times. Residents were kept up to date throughout the construction process through weekly notice boards and drone images and videos were also taken for residents to track progress.
We were also delighted to be the winners of the Medium Residential scheme of the Year in 2022, for the Old Mill at Great Glen.
The purpose of the scheme was to provide 6 high quality detached houses as a low-density development on the edge of the village of Great Glen. Employing vernacular design features, this created a small collection of bespoke dwellings in a location made desirable by its location to Leicester Grammar School and local amenities in the countryside. A tired building that had once been a mill had endured multiple extensions and alterations over time which had destroyed its intrinsic historic value. The new development has given an attractive and desirable aspect to this site and a new lease of life to this rather neglected area within the village.
ProCon also honoured us with two further nominations for Small Residential Scheme of the Year 2022 with two projects that we really enjoyed, both for clients with a very clear vision and who worked in tandem with us to work towards their goal. The Old Barn in Laughton (below) was for a client who has lived in the village of Laughton for over 40 years. Her wish was to move from her home in the large Manor House to somewhere smaller and more manageable within the village where she has many friends and connections. The purpose of the scheme was to convert a former agricultural building into her retirement home to which Class Q legislation applied.
The brief for Grange Farm (below) in Walton was to create a family ‘forever’ home with a contemporary appearance from old and disused barns whilst respecting the restrictions of Class Q legislation in the Leicestershire village of Walton. The client was already living close by in a neighbouring village and wanted to stay in the area. The site enjoys stunning all-round views across open countryside and the client understandably wanted to make the most of this idyllic setting and their clear ideas of how this might be achieved were hugely helpful in the planning and design processes.
Most of those reading this article will have the good fortune to have their own home, bought or rented, which provides safety, warmth and comfort for themselves and their families. For many in our society, this is not the case, and too many find themselves taking shelter wherever they can, often in dangerous and unhealthy places. To have an address, however, modest, is one of the most important ways in which an individual can start to re-build their life. We had the enormous privilege of working on a project in Cambridge which created six self-contained modular homes providing temporary accommodation for people experiencing homelessness. We are now delighted to be supporting a similar project in Leicester to offer temporary accommodation for people in the city.
These projects, in their variety and breadth are excellent opportunities for our team, particularly our younger members and Apprentices, to gain wide experience in creating the right design for a huge range of needs and aspirations. Our design capability is also strongly supported by sound technical expertise and the team have worked hard over the last year to attain very high standards, recognised by the awarding of CHAS Elite accreditation as well as ISO14001 – ISO14001:2105 and ISO45001 – ISO45001 status. We were also pleased to become members of the Association for Project Safety and two of our team being awarded NEBOSH Health and Safety in Construction Management.
2023 looks like being no less busy or varied for our team with projects spanning a range of sectors including retail for a global luxury goods brand, a large mixed-use public sector undertaking, commercial and industrial projects and hospitality. In terms of our housing remit, we are currently expanding the client profile to include plans for a large mixed-use development in Brightlingsea, Essex, that includes a series of second homes in a lakeside setting and have been commissioned to investigate and report on a number of relatively new buildings across the UK that have failed fire tests. People will always need homes and over the years we have gained huge insight into what people need and want in different contexts. It is lovely to win awards, such as ProCon, where the real joy comes from knowing that the votes came from your contemporaries, but having a bacon sandwich for breakfast in the home of an elderly lady, enjoying her new home and new life is pretty hard to beat!
To find out more about how Corporate Architecture can help you or your client, please contact us.
Established in 1983 Corporate Architecture Ltd is an award winning Chartered Architects practice. With over 25 years’ experience, we thrive on working on a variety of projects from small domestic extensions to multi-million pound developments throughout the UK and abroad.
With offices in Leicester and London, Corporate Architecture offers a wide range of services from initial concept design, through to planning, building and completion. We have the in-house skills and expertise to undertake complete project management or to work with our client’s in any specific area they need.
Our motivation is reaching, satisfying and, ideally, exceeding our client’s expectations. We do this by delivering a service that is second to none. Our work is thorough and thoughtful with design described by high quality drawings that practically and stylishly meet our client’s needs. We pride ourselves on our ability to solve design problems in a creative and innovative way. From design through to completion we work in partnership with our clients – taking their ideals and aspirations and turning them into reality.
ProCon Leicestershire Limited
47 Westview Avenue, Glen Parva, Leicester. LE2 9JU. Company number: 5420643