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Swaffham Swimming Pool
August 5, 2016
03 - Floor Plans Opt 2 Rev A.psd 04 - Site Plan Opt 2 Rev A.psd 06 - Model Views.psd

This Swimming pool has been designed for a site on land adjacent to the wind turbines in Swaffham. Headed up by Helen Manson and Carolyn Watts, the aim is to raise awareness and funds with our help, to create a community swimming pool and associated infrastructure. Considerable pledges have already been made which include a free biomass boiler and free electrical labour to complete the works.

We will be working alongside Daniel Connal Partnership and the team at Swaffham Swimming Pools to bring this fantastic project to the Swaffham community.

Planning Approval secured for expanding Norfolk business
February 16, 2016
7163 Southwood Dwelling Photomontage

We are very happy to have been lead designer for a recently approved major development in a rural setting near Norwich. The approved scheme includes a large office building and owner’s residence in what originally was a working farm now operated as a highly successful and expanding wedding event business.

The planning criteria was a significant challenge to provide office space for some 50 staff alongside the very specific needs for an owner’s residence removed from business operations. The Client’s requirements to provide a  contemporary architectural  response dictated a number of critical considerations both in personal and planning terms.

With the above in mind and the planning gain of supporting sustainable business in the rural economy the application also embraced Policy 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework where individual buildings of Architectural merit would be considered beyond current development limits including the sustainable use of heritage building stock.

George Skipper – a Norwich Treasure
January 22, 2016
george skipper

We have Mr George Skipper to thank for a lot of the iconic architecture we see today around Norwich. Not only did George Skipper create the Cromer skyline but also he was the genius behind the much loved Royal Arcade, the elegant Jarrold Department Store, the beautifully crafted Surrey House, with its domed entrance, the Commercial Chambers in Red Lion Street, Hunstanton Town Hall and many more.

The Dereham born Architect started his career in 1873 and his “exuberant” and “Edwardian Baroque” style meant he soon grew a name for himself. He has been described by poet John Betjeman as being to Norwich as Gaudi was to Barcelona. Skipper’s strength was to excel at developing the concept of a design and adding the decorative detail.

With the coming of the railway, Cromer welcomed a flock of wealthy tourists and was soon transferred from a sleepy fishing village to a popular seaside resort. The wealthy tourists coming to the seaside village by train wanted holiday homes and hotels. And George Skipper obliged.

From the 1890s until the early 1900s the town rapidly grew and Skipper designed a wealth of buildings for Cromer, including its clifftop Hotel de Paris, former town hall, The Red House (now Halsey House) and large homes on St Mary’s and Vicarage roads.

Recently George Skipper was nominated and shortlisted to appear on the next £20 note!

 

Written by Kerry Bath, Norwich Office Manager

Eastern Daily Press Business Awards 2015
November 16, 2015
Eastern Daily Press Business Awards 2015. Pic by Keiron Tovell

This year was a special year for the Eastern Daily Press Business Awards, not only were they celebrating fantastic business in Norfolk, but also the award’s 25th anniversary.

This year was exciting for PRP, venturing into unknown territory and sponsoring a completely new category, being the Enviro-Technologies category. Sustainability is something which we as a practice are extremely passionate about and it therefore seemed very fitting for PRP to celebrate the green pioneers of Norfolk.

First thing was first, we needed to fine tune the category criteria that we intended to judge the entries against.

After receiving our entries, it soon dawned on me that our job would certainly not be an easy one, the calibre of the entries we received was extremely high.

Undertaking the visits was a fantastic experience. We met small family owned businesses, large corporations, revolutionary companies, companies working and promoting sustainability internationally, innovators and companies thriving to be completely self-sufficient.

Crunch time; we needed to select our finalists and winner! It appeared to be an impossible job and we deliberated for a long time before all agreeing that our 3 finalists would be Future Transport Systems, Beattie Passive and UEA Low Carbon Adapt Group. Future Transport Systems were ultimately picked as our winner. We were impressed with their passion to continue to learn, develop and innovate in order to improve sustainability.

The pinnacle of the entire process was the big awards night. We all brushed off our tuxes and pretty gowns to enjoy an evening of celebrating, what truly is, fantastic business in Norfolk. There was certainly a buzz in the room, the food was delicious, the wine was flowing and we were delighted to share the evening with our 3 finalists.

The judging experience can be challenging, you need to be clear as to what you are looking for, always keep the criteria in your mind, and make difficult decisions, but it is also a great opportunity. It was fantastic to hear about how Norfolk businesses are leading the way in promoting sustainability.

Paul Robinson Partnership look forward to seeing you all at the 2016 awards!

 

Written by Kerry Bath, Norwich Office Manager

Back to School
October 29, 2015
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The dark evenings have arrived and so has the inevitable grey weather. Whilst most children are enjoying their half term breaks at the moment, next week schools will once again be filled with pupils in their school uniforms, and teachers ready to pass on their knowledge.

This time of the year makes me remember my own school days which, while undeniably full with learning and adventures, were spent in rather old and worn down school buildings. There were draughty classrooms in the winters due to the old windows in need of replacement, the school gym a bit too small for everyone’s liking and premises always lacked a bit of maintenance despite the best efforts of the school staff. Annoyingly though, every time I moved from one school to another, they managed to get some funding together and replace the windows or, even better, build a new sports hall on which I completely missed out.

We spend a great part of our lives at school, and both the children and the teaching staff deserve to have an enjoyable environment providing a certain level of comfort. While the build of several new schools in Norfolk has been anticipated in the next few years, there are still many existing schools in which would benefit from refurbishments, expanding to accommodate the rising number of young people in the county and general works to improve the quality of the environment it provides to its pupils and staff and their learning experience. A lot of schools struggle with the lack of funding, limited space or sometimes even just a lack of knowledge regarding their possibilities.

Here, at Paul Robinson Partnership we have a wealth of experience working with schools and we pride ourselves in understanding the specific needs of different types of schools. We are capable of exploring different options and working with various budgets and no job is too big or too small for us. Just recently we were granted a planning approval for a new extension and alterations to the existing premises for the Parkside School in Norwich city centre. The new single storey extension will replace an outdated pre-fabricated teaching facility and will supply 2 new classrooms, exceeding the current Building Regulations requirements in thermal efficiency and providing a modern and enjoyable environment for the children and staff.

We are always happy to support local schools in every way we can, so please get in touch should you wish to discuss any possible projects or just to get some informal advice.

 

Written by Sam Berzina, Architectural Technologist.

WHY I DO WHAT I DO
July 23, 2015

I am one of those people who are convinced that they might just have the best job in the world. My friends don’t always get it, because to them it looks like I am just drawing a lot of plans, going to endless client meetings and prancing around in a high-viz vest way too much.

Yes, I do all of the above and I enjoy it, but what ensures I am content with what I do is the feeling that I actually make a difference – due to the work my colleagues and I do or a long awaited development that gets the green light, that extension for much needed extra space can be built, a family moving into their new home or giving an old building a new lease of life and so much more.

Starting a new project never fails to excite me as it is never the same. The experience is different every single time, starting from different kinds of people seeking advice, to different sites, client circumstances, design solutions and the amount of steps to be taken to bring an idea to reality.

A great deal of work is involved from an initial idea to getting a building on site. No matter what scale the project is, it requires a careful design process, plenty of communication and mutual understanding between the client and the designer.  It is not always a smooth ride as tight deadlines, design limitations, site constraints, strict legislation and other unforeseeable issues can contribute to a few stressful moments along the way.

Although, as mentioned earlier, no project is the same, there are general processes that are always the same – it all begins with an initial client meeting where the design brief is established and notes are taken which then help in the design stage which consists of lots of sketching, reviewing with the client and sketching again, occasionally involving some hair pulling trying to find the best/most efficient/aesthetic solutions.

Once everyone is happy, the scheme is finalised and can be submitted to a Local Authority for the approval it requires – generally Planning Approval followed by Building Regulations approval with the later requiring more work to be done on the finalised design to prove it complies with the current legislation. Once all the necessary approvals have been granted, the client can choose if they want to proceed with the management of the building process themselves or leave it in the capable hands of their appointed designer who can help with finding the right contractors, overseeing the build process and dealing with legal requirements.

Not many things can compare to that feeling of satisfaction when the permission to build has been granted or building work has been finished and seeing the client happy no matter how big or small the job has been. At that point I know that we here at PRP have made a difference to someone’s life.

 

Written by Sam Berzina, Architectural Technologist.

NEW PROJECT PROVIDES STEEP CHALLENGE!
July 13, 2015

Paul Robinson Partnership were given one of their more strange project briefs recently, where the client wishes to provide an access drive to his garden some 4m above the entrance level!

The large rural house is, in effect, landlocked from its garden space by a very tall bank from road level up to the garden with no space for a traditional drive.

Whatever the design solution is for the access it will be similar to the north face of the Eiger! The design will also need to include research on the size and power of lawn mower engines and whether they can climb a 1 in 3 gradient!

Even for a low-key and fairly straightforward brief, a number of studies comes into play including:

Topographic Survey
Planning Application
Ecology Survey
Bank Stability
Civil Engineering
Arboricultural Study
…and how much welly a sit-on lawn mower has!

What a strange business we’re in!

PRP’S CHARITY OF THE YEAR – NELSON’S JOURNEY
June 10, 2015
Each year Paul Robinson Partnership picks a charity to support throughout the year by participating in fundraising events and raising awareness for good causes. This year Paul Robinson Partnership’s charity of the year, as decided by a staff vote, is Nelson’s Journey.

Nelson’s Journey is a fantastic charity which helps bereaved children, up to the age of 18, all across Norfolk. Gena Moore, from Nelson’s Journey, visited us at our office last week to tell us all about the support they offer to children and young adults, and the great things we can do to help support them, in their cause of helping children come to terms with losing a loved one.

Losing someone close is very difficult to deal with no matter what age you are, however it is especially difficult with children and young adults who may not be equipped in understanding or dealing with loss, especially with the additional emotions and pressures of growing up. Nelson’s journey offers support and guidance through this difficult time, and we couldn’t be more proud to raise funds and awareness for all the work they do.

Throughout the year, we will be organising events to raise money for Nelson’s Journey – to kick things off, we held a ‘Purple Picnic’ during lunchtime today in both Great Yarmouth and Norwich offices. Each member of staff (adorned in something purple, of course!) brought in a plate of food to share with everybody – a special thanks to Ellen for her delicious cake and Andy who brought in a homemade Bakewell tart! Much fun was had by all and, most importantly, money was raised for Nelson’s Journey – which we will continue to add to in the upcoming months!