Forts for the 21st century

Tuesday 08 Feb 2011

Piercy Conner balance efficiency and elegance in their range of sustainable housing projects

Piercy Conner has established a reputation for bold ideas that unite conceptual rigour with commercial viability. We balance efficiency with elegance; delivering practical, simple solutions with an intrinsic beauty and a strong individual identity. Identifying the nature and character of a site through comprehensive contextual analysis allows us to develop deeply rooted design principles for each project.

Sustainability is not an add-on but embedded within all our buildings as is a drive to embrace innovation in construction.

BUILDING ON HISTORY: Martello Tower Y, Suffolk (Client - Duncan and Kristin Jackson; completed January 2010). Converting a Napoleonic defence tower built in 1808 into a 21st-century private residence was a demanding brief. As a Scheduled Monument on the At Risk register and located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the planning negotiations were matched in complexity by the on-site logistics. The Tower, located on the Suffolk coast, won the support of English Heritage who heralds it as an exemplar of how to convert significant historical buildings. The scheme was designed in collaboration with Billings Jackson Design.

PREFABRICATED LUXURY: Nessel (Client - Carlyle Holdings;
due to be built 2012; image by INK). In an effort to refresh and rebrand the caravan holiday and the static caravan itself, Piercy Conner were asked to re-design the caravan from the ground up, incorporating modern living standards and expectations with particular attention to design and environmental issues, inspiring individuals back to caravan holidays and bringing caravanning to a new audience. The concept reinterprets the primitive Anglo-Saxon huts of the British countryside utilising a form that is both functional and recognisable as a rural dwelling and retreat. The form creates both a grand living space using the full height of the ‘hut'
and more intimate spaces for sitting and sleeping at the eaves.

FLEXIBILITY EQUALS SUSTAINABILITY: Restello, Kolkata (Client - Tata Steel and Bengal Shrachi; on site). A delicate veil of steel unites cutting edge environmental systems and modular technology with a uniquely Indian identity in this residential scheme in Kolkata, India. The design draws equally on the local tradition of open, expressive architecture and global advances in building technology. Pioneering the use of steel in India, each home is wrapped by deep private terraces sheathed in an outer skin of perforated steel shutters. The resulting buffer zone creates a natural air-conditioning system, mitigating the use of conventional mechanical servicing. Sustainability is seen as a fundamental generator
proving modular, modern buildings can be beautiful.

CONTEMPORARY CONSERVATION: Tree House, Kew (Client - Private; planning stage). Inserting a crisp weathering steel volume into a 19th-century brick shell balances a contemporary family home with the needs of a conservation area in the shadow of Kew Gardens. This four-bedroom family home in the Kew Green Conservation Area of Richmond-Upon-Thames draws on the adjacent Royal Kew Gardens and original vernacular buildings for guidance. The weathering steel is perforated, mimicking the leaf pattern of a mature tree creating softly dappled shadows in the spaces below. Externally the stippled steel forms are both contemporary and fitting with the conservation area, softened by the retained brick walls. The house is one of very few modern buildings in the area and is designed to be zero maintenance and carbon neutral.

Key Facts:

United Kingdom
Residential Civic Buildings

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