thorp modelmakers workshop sunningdale
The client was a firm of architectural modelmakers who wanted the elevation of their new building to express the ‘act of making’ and how different materials are put together.
The new build model making workshop and ancillary office and conference facilities is in the heart of the Sunningdale Conservation Area. It was a tight site opposite the church, and surrounded by two storey red brick and render houses – the nature and scale of the brief was alien to this environment.The site was previously used as a garage.
The key issue was framed in terms of how to clearly articulate an aesthetic of light-industrial architecture, but to do so appropriately with regard to a sleepy village in the heart of a Conservation Area.
The open expression of structure and its integration with environmental services helped develop an appropriate aesthetic for the ‘working’ part of the building. In this main body of the building, a large open workshop area sits above a set of smaller rooms with more controlled environments for specialist processes. Both levels required a high level of servicing, which is openly articulated on the main façade. The deep eaves and external blinds avoided the need for air conditioning, and this whole elevation can be opened up to the balcony and forecourt in the summer months
The treatment of the scheme also reflects an ongoing practice interest in the critical expression of the act of construction.
Winner of a RIBA Civic Trust Award (1999)
Winner of a RIBA South Regional Award (1999)
Winner of a RBWM Architectural and Environmental Award (1999)
Published in the joint publication produced by CABE and English Heritage “Buildings in Context” This was issued to all local authorities as planning guidance in relation to ‘best practice’ when building in Conservation Areas.
Published in RIBA Journal, Sept. ‘98