We would like to use this chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas on behalf of the entire team at Benchmark Architects!
As the year is coming to an end and Christmas is just around the corner, this will be our last blog post for the year. Therefore, we would like to pause for a moment and share with you some of our accomplishments and celebrations from this year!
Over the past year, we have been dedicated to becoming a more environmentally friendly business. We pledged to plant a new tree with every new project in 2023, obtained a carbon-neutral certification, and we have actively participated in initiatives that promote a greener culture. These include tree planting, reducing plastic usage, participating in Veganuary, and beach clean-ups. We also contribute to carbon offsetting schemes to further reduce our environmental impact.
We have been very busy with charity work and raising money for our charity partners. We have been involved with bake sales, world record attempts and wearing way too much pink! We have participated in some amazing events this year and are excited to see what we can be involved with in 2024.
It's been a very busy year for both our Bespoke Homes and Commercial teams. Our Bespoke Homes team has commissioned 13 projects this year, and some of them have already received planning approvals and are currently under construction; one of them being offshore on a beautiful Channel Island.
Our commercial portfolio is steadily expanding with new projects and numerous planning applications being submitted, including Grade II listed Bromham Mill, Action4Youth, Rothesay Road, and Cumberland Street in Luton, and a new housing development and extension to the approved Nature Park in Flitwick.
We have received many planning approvals for both teams this year including: Action4Youth; minor internal demolitions and external facade alterations // Rothesay Road; a 36-apartment development on the edge of the conservation area // Waller Avenue; 342 dwellings including flats and houses and almost 2000sqm of commercial employment space // Cumberland Street; 207 high-quality units, including 1, 2, and 3-bedroom options // Netherhouse Farm Crematorium; a new build crematorium // Silsoe; a new 5-bedroom dwelling in Silsoe’s conservation area // Stotfold; a rear extension and garage conversion for a 2.5-storey house // Lilley; a Grade II Listed home to create a single-storey rear and side extension // Aston Clinton; replacement of windows, maintenance, and construction of an annex, through the process of Listed Building Consent.
We have completed 3 projects this year: Reynard House, Rushcliffe Oaks Crematorium and Oak Hill Lawn Crematorium.
Reynard House was our student housing scheme in Leicester; after working closely with Leicester City Council and Study Inn, the new modern student accommodation features 266 bedrooms and accommodates perfectly for the modern student with spaces including a fitness suite, sauna, and a communal area.
Rushcliffe Oaks Crematorium, situated on the outskirts of Nottingham boasts a spacious ceremonial hall that can hold up to 120 people. It has been designed to reflect external materials and has views out to a well-planned reflection garden.
And lastly, Oak Hill Lawn Crematorium, situated on the outskirts of Hatfield with a stunning view of the Hertfordshire countryside. The main chapel provides space for 150 seated guests, and we are thrilled with the outcome.
Works on The Waterfront (West Quay Marina) in Poole have begun and are progressing very well, the first pre-cast panel was recently lowered onto the site which is a great milestone. We have also won 3 prestigious awards at the UK Property Awards for The Waterfront; it was acknowledged for its exceptional architectural design in three categories – Architecture Multiple Residence, Apartment Development, and Residential Development 20+ Units.
We have welcomed 3 new members to our team this year, and we are happy to report that they have integrated well into our team. It's great to see them bringing their unique skills, innovative ideas, and approaches to the table, which only adds to the already amazing team we have.
And speaking of our amazing team, Mah E passed her RIBA Part III qualifications, and Helaena passed her Part II qualifications this year. Their hard work over the years has paid off, and they are an absolute credit to themselves and our team. We are incredibly proud to have them on board with us.
As we approach 2024, we can't help but feel a sense of excitement for the new year and all the amazing projects that we will continue to work on. We are eager to see what the future holds and are looking forward to making progress on our current initiatives, as well as exploring new opportunities that come our way.
20 December 2023