May 11, 2017

Creative Quarter, Cardiff

We are delighted to announce that our project Creative Quarter in Cardiff has won two regional (South England and South Wales) BCO awards for projects up to 1500m ² and for Innovation.

The BCO had this to say about our project:
“The Creative Quarter hugely impressed the judges this year, winning two awards and standing as a lesson in how to create desirable and valuable work space from redundant areas above retail and other premises, something which the judges said could be applied in almost all towns and cities across the UK. The judges praised the developer for facilitating a creative working culture as well as highly attractive city centre offices and studio space which is distinctive, edgy and fun. The successful scheme relied upon pioneering vision and the bold investment of risk capital to unlock the whole development, the judges added.”

Read more about what the judges said at  1500m ² Projects  and  Innovation 2017

May 8, 2017

Farnham Mill Care Home

The Farnham Mill Care Home for Woodlands Hillbrow is progressing well on site, with scaffold being dropped on one wing revealing the striking contemporary elevation. In addition to the 60-bed care home, the £9m project also includes 16 shared equity affordable homes. Our services were not restricted to the buildings but include a new access road from the A325 along with realignment of the A325 link from the busy A31. The on-site access road included culverts to maintain the watercourses running through the site.

Completion is scheduled for later this year.

March 21, 2017

Opening of the Begbroke Innovation Accelerator

The newest building on the University of Oxford’s science park in Begbroke was officially opened last Friday by Nicola Blackwood MP, Minister for Public Health and Innovation.

Begbroke Science Park has been developed by the University of Oxford to provide world-class facilities for scientific research into the development of new innovative products and technologies, as well as a resource to start-up companies to help them take the projects to market.

Read more about the practical completion of the project on the  Architect’s  website.


February 24, 2017

Creative Quarter, Cardiff

We started work for Helical on the Grade II Listed David Morgan Department Store and the integral Royal and Morgan retail arcades in 2004. Since then the semi derelict upper levels of the development have been refurbished and redeveloped into office space to provide a hub for the thriving creative businesses of Cardiff. The project involved remodelling of the space to form lift and stair access to the new office spaces, meeting rooms and a communal social hub.  The focus has been on retaining the Victorian features of the existing buildings whilst providing bright, modern studio spaces. The Creative Quarter project has been nominated for the British Council for Offices (BCO) South of England & South Wales Award in Regeneration category.

Read more about these award nominated office facilities at  Creative Quarter

February 20, 2017

Museum of Jurassic Marine Life

Conceived to house the collection of amateur fossil hunter, Steve Etches, the Museum is designed to blend into the small village of Kimmeridge on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.

The building nestles into the hillside with a reinforced board-marked concrete basement housing the entrance and support facilities while the upper storey of the building is formed in Cross Laminated Timber. AKSWard worked closely with CLT supplier KLH to prepare the concept of the open framing of the building superstructure, minimising the number of ties within the roof. The building is clad in local Purbeck stone in common with the remainder of the village. External works are low key to mirror the rural nature of the setting.

See the work of the museum at  The Etches Collection

Architect: Kennedy O’Callaghan | Contractor: Raymond Brown Building

February 20, 2017

PR Mention in NSC Magazine

A comprehensive dissection of the design process that went into the construction of the Romford Leisure Centre has been published in the  New Steel Construction  publication, which includes a quote from our Sophie Onoufriou (Project Engineer), and features a 3D model of the steel structure by our Martin Parker (Senior CAD Technician).

February 8, 2017

Romford Leisure Centre Nearing Completion

Our Engineer, Alex Parry, has attended site to monitor progress on the eagerly anticipated Romford Leisure Centre site. The superstructure supporting the ice rink is nearing completion, and the pool excavation has begun.

The new multi-use four-storey leisure centre for Havering Council will provide state of the art facilities; a 25m eight-lane swimming pool with movable floor, learner pool, suspended ice rink with approximately 800 spectator seats, gymnasium, and cafe. The design posed interesting challenges. Ensuring the structure was robust enough to support the elevated ice rink (located above the main swimming pool) and working with specialists to determine all the details for temperature and vapour control between the extremely different environments required, was a real buzz.

A particular design challenge overcome by the design team involved construction of the new centre on the footprint of an existing building with piled foundations.

The project has recently been featured in  New Steel Construction Magazine

Watch a time lapse video of the new construction by  Havering Council

Architect: Saunders & Boston | Contractor: Wilmott Dixon

February 6, 2017

Recruiting the Engineers of Tomorrow

In conjunction with the Thames Valley Regional Group of the IStructE, David and Freya from our Oxford office manned the stall for the afternoon session at the Slough Aspire Careers Event on 2nd February held at the Refresh Skills Centre in Slough.   The event was aim at Year 9 (13 year old) students from schools and academies across Slough.

Overall it was a successful day extolling the benefits of a career in structural engineering.  Several of the schools AKS Ward have worked on were present which went down well when they saw the project page for their school.   We had a number of good conversations with several interested students, and have hopefully helped steer some of them towards a career in structural engineering.

Pictured L to R: Freya Berkin, Bernard Boys, David Girling