Finished Project – Rushmore Road

London is known for being a metropolitan city of culture and wealth. With it comes a demand for property to accommodate a large and overwhelming population. The flurry of such a prosperous city calls for the use of space in unconventional and unique ways.

The project aim was to maximise the building footprint in the development of Rushmore Road in partnership with ZCD Architects. The challenge of redeveloping an infill site is made apparent to the lack of space and close proximity to sensitive surroundings.

The new build house sits on an 11m x 8m site, constrained by houses on all sides. The building site was originally a post-war, single storey building used as a builder’s yard before it was demolished.

To capitalize on the footprint, we focused on increasing the area compacity by reducing the structural perimeter of the building. Slender walls were logically designed in order to minimise structural compacity by 50%. This created more interior space for the client and allowed for more necessary head height.

Communal areas were designed to range in floor elevations. These proportions related to an illusion of varied height which worked with the increased floor to ceiling ratio, enhancing connectivity throughout.

The steel frame and the blockwork walls were used along with the floor joists to further express the anticipated design. Integrating exposed structural elements helps optimise space efficiency and serves as attractive design features. A feature staircase was designed from the ground to the first floor with steel flat plate stringers laser cut to allow the solid timber treads to bear directly onto the stringer.

The external focal feature is the CNC cut metal cladding, made of Corten, or “weathered” steel, that accentuates the house’s character because of its unique texture and colour.

This project is an example of how complex sites can be challenged creatively while supporting the new London Plan that encourages developers to build new housing units on small sites. Rushmore Road has been shortlisted for the 2018 Hackney Design Awards.

 

Project Focus – Larch House

Larch House is a bespoke Victorian residential property, aesthetically brought to life with Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects. The family home in North London was designed to retain its original Victoria spatial proportions, while extensive refurbishments and reconfigurations were added according to the aspirations of the clients. The tight space and proximity to party walls meant the project was designed in mind of planning regulations and to elevate the space’s potential.

The vision for Larch House was to design an open space using light, exposed structural elements for architecture expression and an evident contrast to the other half of the house. The focus was to create illusive “lightness” to the structure through selective material and technical design.

The works included the development of a new side and rear wrap around extension, uniquely conceived as a contemporary interpretation of Australian veranda structure. The brief specified creating a unit that acted as a threshold space between the lighter areas of the garden and darker areas of the property, uplifting the kitchen and dining room.

The exposed structural elements were focal to the space and aesthetics of the project. New reinstated skirting boards and cornice features were added and support mechanisms like the distinctive beams further expressing the aspired conception of the property. The engineered larch beams measured at 400mm deep and provide privacy from neighbouring windows while creating spatial flow.

Lightness was created by using 50mm timber sections including the 3.2m high bifold doors to the rear elevation. This careful and precise interpretation of client aesthetic objectives was executed through a collaborative approach from the early design stages. The finished product exemplified the client wishes and is a great example of cooperative structural and architectural design.


 

 

 

Join our Team – Structural Technician Vacancy

Structural Technician – Take your career to another level!

We’re looking for someone who is hungry to learn and who wants to get stuck in and be inspired by their career. Does this sound like you? Read on!

We are Blue Engineering. Structural Engineers who are completely inspired by what we do. We work closely with architects to make projects stand out from the crowd and much more.

An amazing and rare role has come up to slot into our existing Residential Team to work with project leaders to prepare the structural drawings and calculations for whole projects, leading to becoming client facing.

We’re looking for someone with an HNC in a related engineering or architectural field to join us. You must have office experience, site experience would be great too, but we’re fully prepared to train you in the specifics of the world of residential projects, you’ve got to bring to the table your enthusiasm and willingness to learn. In return we’ll turn you into an Engineer!

You’ll be thrown in the deep end and you’ll learn everything there is to know to run projects from start to finish and to become client facing. You’ll additionally be given the option to join our apprenticeship degree programme at UEL (University of East London).

Only apply if you are ready to put the work in to supercharge your career!

To apply, please email us a cover letter stating why you think you are the best person for the job and also attach your CV. The email address is joinus@blueengineering.co.uk

 

Live Site – Knights Park Road

We’ve been working on a residential site in south-west London with Pascal Huser Design and Build. A double storey wrap around extension will create a large open living space for the homeowners. The house is already taking on a whole new form with the single storey rear extension seen in these progress pictures.

 

 

Open House London 2018

Open House London is the world’s largest architecture festival held on September 22-23 2018 and gives the public free access to over 800 buildings with talks, walks and tours. The event brings together the classic and modern works of architects, engineers and contractors who have transformed London’s neighbourhoods and landscapes.

The rare opportunity to explore London’s uniquely diverse skyline attracts over a quarter of a million people each year. Therefore, we are proud to have some of our collaborative projects open their doors and participate in Open House London 2018.

Check out the list below to see which projects are taking part in the festival with links to opening times and locations.

 

Acute Intervention – David Stanley Architects

Block House – Nimtim Architects

Damson – Nimtim Architects

The Science Lab – Made with Volume

Connaught Road – Melissa White Architects

 

Open House 2018 participant “The Science Lab”

We are Hiring! Structural Engineering Apprenticeship

We are looking for Structural Apprentices to join us at Blue Engineering. A Structural Apprentice will provide technical support to our engineers who design and manage construction projects, mainly in the small to medium-sized building projects. Projects will range from residential/commercial and the arts sector.

Apprentice engineers will study Civil Engineering (BEng) undergraduate degree on a day release program with the University of East London. This role is progressive and will develop as the apprentice moves through the course. As the apprentice gains more skills, knowledge and experience through their work and study, they will begin learning how to engineer their own projects with support from our well-seasoned engineers.

To apply for our degree apprenticeship program you will need to send your CV and Covering letter to joinus@blueengineering.co.uk

The covering letter should address the following:
Why are you considering a career in civil/structural engineering?
Why have you chosen an apprenticeship route?
Which three achievements you are most proud of?
What do you get up to in your spare time?
Any other relevant info.

Our entry requirements are as follows:
Minimum 2 A Level’s (including Maths at grade B or above) Or Construction related BTEC level 3 (including Further Maths module)
+
5 GCSE’s grade A*-C including English and Maths

 

 

 

 

 

Finished Project – Cooks and Books

Over the last few years, we’ve partnered with Nimtim Architects on numerous projects, the latest of which is this glass-roofed partial infill extension of a terraced property in South East London. Flooded with light, the new kitchen becomes the hub of the home and provides the homeowners with a flexible space that blends smoothly with the garden beyond. For full project photos visit our Facebook page.

Shortlisted for AJ Small Projects

We’ve been shortlisted in the AJ Small Projects Award with Union Wharf, designed by Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects. The project has featured widely in the press already, with the latest articles appearing on Yellow Trace and Design Milk. We’re immensely proud to be in the running for one of the UK’s most prestigious awards.

Now in their 23rd year, the AJ Small Projects Awards celebrate projects built with a budget below £250,000. Only 20 projects are shortlisted each year, all of which demonstrate you can create big architecture on a small scale.

Stay tuned for the announcement next month. We’ll also be featuring in an exhibition of all shortlisted entries in London. The exhibition is free to attend and runs 18 April to 18 May.

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Apprenticeships available

Love architecture and design? Have a keen eye for detail? Looking for a place to build your career? Then get in touch!

We are one of the UK’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers, and we have a few apprenticeships available. We work in teams, so we’re looking for personalities who will work well with the rest of the studio. We work on a wide range of projects across the residential, commercial and arts sectors. See our project or news page for more details.

As a member of the Blue team, you’ll not just have a great supportive network of colleagues, but of friends as well. As a small company, social events are an important element of our ethos. Whether it’s a pub quiz, ice-skating or visiting design exhibitions these regular events give us a chance to build team relationships in a relaxed environment. Each year, the whole studio goes on a weekend trip abroad to explore some of Europe’s most interesting cities, which so far have included Porto, Berlin and Valencia.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is encouraged through weekly tutorial sessions, lunchtime talks from professionals in the industry and attending external training courses. Bi-annual reviews with team leaders and partners provide an opportunity to reflect on your progression and set individual goals. We think it’s important to invest in our people. Apprenticeships are an important part of our practice, and we have just been voted the best Small Employer of the year in the National Apprenticeship Awards. You can find out more about our work on the government’s education and skills website.

Other benefits include:

  • Payment of overtime
  • Buying holidays
  • Flexible working
  • Interest free loans
  • Cycle to work scheme

So if you want to join our award-winning team, and work in an environment that nurtures and encourages both personal and professional growth, send your CV and cover letter to joinus@blueengineering.co.uk.

Your letter should address the following:

  • Why you want to work for Blue
  • Why you think you are a good fit for Blue
  • What you can bring to the table outside of your degree
  • How you see yourself progress in the company – are you more analytical or client-facing? Remember there is no right answer, it takes a wide variety of skills to create the perfect team!

Any other questions about the application process just email us on the above address or call Jessica Ansell on 020 7247 3811.

BLUE IN THE ARCHITECTURE PRESS

We’ve had some great press recently for Union Wharf with Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects. We began last month with a full page fashion shoot in Wallpaper* magazine, followed by in-depth pieces on the architecture of this beautiful, minimalist residential project along Regent’s Canal in London. So far, we’ve had great pieces on wallpaper.com, Architecture Today and World Architecture News.

Photography by Nick Worley