Chesterfield property and construction

Whittam Cox Architects named in AJ100 2022

Whittam Cox Architects has once again been named one of the UK’s top architectural practices in the annual AJ100.

The annual survey, which is produced by leading industry publication Architects Journal, is designed to provide a definitive record of the UK’s largest Architectural practices and recognises achievements made by these top practices each year. This year, as the firm celebrates its 50th anniversary, Whittam Cox Architects has been ranked 96th, reinforcing its position as one of the largest Architects practices based in the East Midlands and Yorkshire region.

Nick Riley, Board Director at the practice commented, “Being listed in the AJ100 again is a credit to every individual in our practice. We consider ourselves to be an ambitious and progressive practice; always striving to advance the best service and best outcomes on projects. Being recognised in the industry for the work we do is really important to us.”

The practice is currently working on a wide range of diverse projects nationwide, including;

  • Brent Cross Town with Related Argent as Executive Architects on the first phases of a 180-acre Residential and Commercial masterplan
  • The Forum, a new digital and technology campus in Gloucester for our client Reef Group.
  • A new student village masterplan with Balfour Beatty Investments for Royal Holloway University of London
  • Extensive framework projects for our major retail clients, Asda, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer.
  • The AJ listing this year, also coincides with the practice recently winning an AJ Retrofit award for our Park Hill project in Sheffield.

Closer to home, Whittam Cox has worked alongside Chesterfield Borough Council to develop the new Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre, which is set to provide modern office space for start-up and medium sized businesses. The centre is expected to open in July.

The company also plays a pivotal role in the Chesterfield Property & Construction Group, with Board Director Andy Dabbs (pictured below) chairing the group.

Whittam Cox Architects supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Andy Dabbs

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Development, Home, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

‘Leaving the door open’ – Chesterfield’s Property & Construction forum continues to highlight sustainability

Jillian Mitchell, Vice Chair of the Chesterfield Property and Construction Group and Director of Lomas and Mitchell Architects has penned this month’s blog on how the group is coming together to highlight the importance of sustainability across the town.


I was asked recently to deliver a 15-minute talk on ‘how to make your home more sustainable’.  It’s a pretty tall order, given the magnitude of the subject.  The first question was ‘how on earth do I cover the subject in only 15 minutes?’  Definition of the word ‘sustainable’ is wide-ranging, covering anything from saving the planet to reducing energy bills, and everything in between.

It can be overwhelming and we often feel powerless to think that anything we do can make a difference, so it is tempting to do nothing.  It doesn’t help that there is a bewildering array of measures and targets out there, quoted in impenetrable units which are hard to put into any sort of context.  Take the example of your fridge.  If you regularly leave the door of the fridge open whilst trying to decide what to make for dinner, for example, you can be wasting 50 – 120kWh/yr.  These numbers don’t mean a lot on their own, but if you understand that 50kWh/yr could run your dishwasher twenty times or 100kWh/yr the washing machine for fifty cycles, the scale and context become much more tangible.

At the heart of the issue, however, is a simple message – we must all do something to contribute to reducing our energy consumption and our dependence upon finite planet resources.  It really doesn’t matter which sector you work in – everyone can do something to make a difference.  The current energy crisis has brought all these themes into sharp focus, and now is the time to capitalise on the opportunities to look at our consumption and behaviours and commit to making a difference.

The Construction and Property Forum have identified key themes, one of which is ‘Sustainability and Quality’, because we want to highlight the need for more ambitious targets across the region.  The challenge is to shift from historical drivers, such as shareholders and regulations, and move towards the over-arching target of net-zero carbon by 2050 whilst still demonstrating profitability and compliance.  The shift needed is seismic and not to be underestimated – but we all have to do something, and we need to do it now.

The Forum seeks to support and challenge our local authorities as they strive towards these ambitious goals whilst providing exemplars of best practice for our colleagues in the sector to learn from and share.  We are keen to explore who is working on these themes in our area and welcome input from colleagues across the sector.  You can get in touch by emailing PropertyGroup@chesterfield.co.uk

In the meantime, maybe it’s time to not leave the fridge door open.

Jillian Mitchell is a Chartered Architect and Director at Lomas and Mitchell Architects.  Jillian is a member of the steering group of the Chesterfield Property and Construction Group and heads up the themes of  Sustainability and Quality.

Find out more at: www.lomasandmitchell.co.uk

Chesterfield Property and Construction Group

 

Posted in Blog, Business, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

Chesterfield’s Whittam Cox Architects recognised for redevelopment of iconic Sheffield estate

Chesterfield-based Architects Whittam Cox has won an AJ Retrofit Award in the listed buildings category £5 million and over for it’s work on Beton House in Sheffield.

The AJ Retrofit Awards, by The Architects’ Journal, celebrate the design expertise behind the vital renewal and repurposing of existing buildings, setting a precedent for ways to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint in the process.

Béton House is the third phase of the redevelopment of Sheffield’s iconic Park Hill estate. Originally completed in 1961, Park Hill is the largest listed building in Europe and is regarded as a significant brutalist building of heritage. Working with Alumno Group, Whittam Cox created a new 8-bedroom 3 storey townhouse typology that fitted into the constraints of the unique Park Hill architecture.

At this year’s AJ Retrofit Awards, the judges commended Whittam Cox’s approach to retaining as much of the original scheme as possible, which has saved a total of 577 tonnes of CO2 emissions.  As a ‘holistic scheme’, they thought the model of adaption should be celebrated and described the completed scheme as ’a lovely project that captures the spirit of the Retrofit Awards’.

Nick Riley, Board Director commented, “Winning this design award is testament to the hard work and commitment from everybody involved in delivering this incredibly special and unique project.

“Our approach to the design was about being authentic and respectful to the structure and facades. We felt it was important to retain, repair and reinstate as many original elements as we possibly could. The addition of carefully selected coloured elements, both internally and externally, adds new character and identity which is rooted in its culture and history.”

Matthew Borland, Associate Director added: “As a team, we have worked incredibly hard to understand the deep roots of the original design which is clearly unique in architectural character.

“Our designs for Béton House retain and celebrate all of the important elements of the original scheme, while respectfully adding new layers of identity, using the famous ‘streets in the sky’ to create a unique student living offering in Sheffield city centre.

“Our aim was to be able to express Béton House as a coherent piece within the Park Hill estate as a whole that formed a framework for other collaborators to work within so that all new interventions could be well considered with a consistent and timeless feel.”

Whittam Cox supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Home, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

“The nature of roles in the construction industry are changing”

Chesterfield Property and Construction group member and Associate Director of Nineteen47 Sarah Wills, has penned her thoughts on the importance of skills and employability initiatives in the town during National Careers Week 2022.


The property and construction industry impacts on all of our lives.  It is an industry that creates and changes the places in which we live, work, communicate, play and exercise.

The professions across the industry are diverse and it is a fascinating space to be when all of those different facets of the built environment come together to create places.  That said, the workforce creating these places that we all interact with every day, should represent the populations we are creating places for and currently, there is a distinct lack of diversity across the sector.

The Chesterfield Property and Construction Group are aware of our role to raise the profile of the industry and encourage and support people from all backgrounds to enter the built environment disciplines.  The forum has supported some fantastic initiatives in Chesterfield including Made in Chesterfield which highlights and celebrates manufacturing, engineering, science and technology industries and careers in the town.

The My Future virtual platform is an exciting resource to showcase careers and apprenticeships available in the local area.  In addition, a significant amount of time is being spent on expanding a mentoring scheme to support young people across North Derbyshire who are interested in pursuing a career working in the built environment.

As an industry, we collectively need to shout about how rewarding it is to work within the sector and make young people or those retraining and changing careers aware that being involved can help shape real places around them; can help tackle climate change, can address housing shortage, can allow biodiversity to flourish alongside new development and can protect our heritage and our future.

With new methods of construction and sustainability at the heart of current directives, the nature of roles in the construction industry are changing and there is a significant opportunity to engage those who have previously felt it was not for them or not been aware of the broad range of job prospects available across the built and natural environment.

I am proud to be part of the property industry.  Awash with real, genuine and kind people who are actively trying to make a difference to Chesterfield and the places that make it special.  I hope that the property and construction industry will be a more accessible, obvious choice for a broader range of young people in the future.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Blog, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , ,

New mentoring programme to support young people across North Derbyshire

The D2N2 Careers Hub, Led by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company, are expanding an innovative mentoring programme to support more young people across North Derbyshire, in partnership with The Work-Wise Foundation.

The launch follows a successful pilot in 2021, initiated by leaders from Chesterfield’s Property and Construction Forum, in partnership with Chesterfield Borough Council and D2N2 Careers Hub.

The Future Makers, Creators, Designers and Builders Mentoring Programme is designed to support people who may be interested in exploring or pursuing careers working in the built environment. This might include designers, architects, surveyors, structural engineers, builders, and construction workers.

The pilot, which ran from March 2021 to January 2022 and was led by The Work-wise Foundation, saw female students from local Careers Hub schools and colleges; St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Chesterfield College, Whittington Green School, Springwell Community College and Brookfield Community School partnered with mentors from Whittam Cox Architects, Woodhead Group and Chesterfield Borough Council.

As part of this, students took part in construction themed activity days at CBE+ in Chesterfield and had regular meetings with their mentors to introduce them to the world of work and enthuse them about a career in the industry. In January, The Work-wise Foundation visited the students in their schools/colleges with D2N2 Careers Hub and their mentors to award them with certificates to celebrate their achievements.

Hannah Higley, Hub Coordinator for the Derbyshire North Careers Hub at D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership said, “It has been fantastic to see this programme develop over the last year. D2N2 Careers Hub and our local steering group are proud to fund the expansion of this successful model, in partnership with the Careers & Enterprise Company cornerstone employers in D2N2, to support more young people in exploring what their next best step might be”

Cllr Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council said, “I am really pleased to see the continuation of this project.  Improving the skills and work readiness of people in Chesterfield is our top priority because it will help ensure our ambition to create a thriving borough.

This programme is a great example of how partnership working can strengthen the links between education and business and help ensure that more school leavers are developing the skills they need to enter the workplace.  I am especially excited to see programmes that inspire with young women in sectors where they are underrepresented is key to ensuring success.

Women currently make up around 14% of professional roles within the construction industry, a number which we hope is set to rise with more and more women choosing construction jobs as a result of programmes like this.”

Following the success and positive feedback received from the schools/colleges, businesses and young people involved, the programme is launching to schools across the North Derbyshire region this month.

The programme will seek 15 mentees who may be interested in exploring or pursuing careers working in the built environment and partner them up with role models from industry who will work with them to build confidence, knowledge, and career prospects.

Over a 6-month period, mentors will receive relevant training which will help them work with their mentee on a bespoke project relevant to their mentors business and/or industry. The programme will finish with a showcase event on 8th July where students will present their projects and celebrate their achievements.

A launch event is scheduled to take place on Friday 18th March 2022 at Chesterfield College and any individuals interested in becoming mentors, or schools interested in their students’ becoming mentees, should contact The Work-wise Foundation at info@work-wise.co.uk or call Alex Gardner on 07726 362067.

To get in touch with D2N2 Careers Hub, contact hubs@d2n2lep.org

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , , , , , ,

Whittam Cox take top regional award for project in nearby Sheffield

Chesterfield-based Whittam Cox has won the ‘Refurbishment/Fit out of the year’ award at this year’s Yorkshire Insider Property Industry Awards, for work carried out on the Beton House development in Sheffield.

The annual dinner is a highlight in the property industry calendar that celebrates major achievements across the sector in the region. In this category, the judges were looking for evidence of standout projects that demonstrated fresh thinking, new design standards and a positive response from the local community.

Beton House is the third phase of the redevelopment of Sheffield’s iconic Park Hill estate and provides student accommodation in a unique three-storey townhouse format, with entrances accessed from the famous ‘streets in the sky’.

Originally completed in 1961, Park Hill is the largest listed building in Europe and is regarded as a significant brutalist building of heritage. Working with Alumno Group, Historic England, Urban Splash and Sheffield City Council, Whittam Cox developed a refurbishment strategy seeking to restore and enrich the successful elements of the original design whilst also adding new elements to the fabric to provide character and identity to the building.

The retention of most of the original fabric also makes this a very sustainable student living building in terms of embodied carbon.

Matthew Borland, Associate Director at Whittam Cox commented: “As a team, we have worked incredibly hard to understand the deep roots of the original design which is clearly unique in architectural character.

“Our designs for Béton House retain and celebrate all of the important elements of the original scheme, while respectfully adding new layers of identity, using the famous ‘streets in the sky’ to create a unique student living offering in Sheffield city centre.

The completion of Beton House as part of the regeneration of Park Hill has created a thriving community for the City – not only in the physical concrete structure that has been transformed but the life that has been reimagined into it.”

Nick Riley, Whittam Cox Board Director commented: “Park Hill is captivating and infectious; its original design has timeless value and integrity architecturally.

“Our team have delivered a design response which ensures a long-term future for the fabric of this historically important asset, whilst also seeking to promote a sustainable and diverse community. Being part of the Park Hill story has been a genuine privilege for us, especially as so many of our team and their families live in the city. Winning this prestigious title is a testament to what the entire project team have achieved”.

Whittam Cox supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in Business, Home, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , , ,

Chesterfield’s first Property and Construction Group launched

A pioneering Chesterfield Property and Construction Group has been launched at the annual Celebrate Chesterfield event held on 31 March 2021.

The new group, which is organised by Destination Chesterfield, brings together leaders from the area’s property and construction sectors to shape and drive forward collaboration, investment, sustainability and skills within Chesterfield.

It is chaired by Andy Dabbs, Architect and Board Director at Chesterfield-based Whittam Cox Architects which is behind the town’s £19.9 million Northern Gateway Development project.

He explained: “Within the new group there’s a diverse range of talent- architects, construction specialists, landowners and developers; a true collective who have joined forces for the good of the town and to benefit everyone living here.

“We’re all passionate about Chesterfield and what it has to offer everyone living and working here. It’s full of potential, it’s perfectly located, and offers a plethora of independent shops and hotels and collectively we shall be flying the flag for the town not only locally but regionally and nationally through our individual networks.”

The new Chesterfield Property and Construction Group is one of a number of sector-specific Destination Chesterfield groups, including the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Manufacturing Forum, which share a vision to make the town an attractive place to live, work and invest in.

The action-focused Chesterfield Property and Construction Group meets quarterly. The next meeting, which is free to attend, will be held virtually on Wednesday 16 June.

The group has already identified four key themes that will be led by members of the group, specifically the skills agenda, business support, promote investment in Chesterfield and sustainability and wellbeing.

Vice chair, architect and founding director of Markham Vale-based Lomas and Mitchell Architects, Jillian Mitchell will lead the sustainability and wellbeing theme within the group.

She explained “Sustainability is at the heart of our practice. We specialise in designing low energy, healthy and beautiful buildings so I was keen to lead this theme. In doing so it enables me to engage directly with bigger businesses and gain a wider perspective. It also gives me the opportunity to find out what’s happening within other areas and to learn from each other.”

Andy, who has lived in Dronfield all of his life and feels strongly about Chesterfield’s potential, added: “Chesterfield has held its own during the pandemic, with continuous investment and development taking place. The Glass Yard, Chesterfield Waterside and

Peak Resort developments are perfect examples of investors believing in our town and we want to keep driving this forward.”

“The group aims to provide a platform for professionals in the property and construction sector that can be used to help market Chesterfield as an area of interest to a wide range of investors.”

Appealing for the sector to come together and join the Chesterfield Property and Construction Group, Jillian added: “It is very much a case of together we are stronger so we hope more organisations and individuals from both the public and private sector will join the group.

“It is an opportunity for us all to pool our varied and extensive expertise, using the collective to support others in helping shape the built environment of Chesterfield both now and for future generations.”

To find out more about become a member of the Chesterfield Property and Construction Group contact Propertygroup@chesterfield.co.uk or visit https://www.linkedin.com/company/chesterfield-property-and-construction-group

 

Posted in Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , , ,

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