The team at HollandGreen are celebrating after winning a BUILD Architecture Award for ‘Most Innovative High-End Residential Architecture Practice (England)’ recently. The award gives the studio national recognition and acknowledgement for their innovative working practices that is a crucial component of the business.
The BUILD awards were launched in 2015, and their aim is to recognise outstanding works throughout the year from people who have created inspiring designs and constructions. They concentrate on all areas of architecture, including more recently environmentally friendly and safe structures.
HollandGreen partner Stephen Green responded to the news:
‘We’re especially pleased to win this award as it recognises the commitment to innovation that has underpinned our approach since our very first days. Putting the client firmly at the heart of the design process. I’m proud of the team at HollandGreen that enables us to tackle increasingly challenging projects with creativity and confidence.’
The studio has developed a reputation for using BIMx and VR in their design processes to help clients to visualise their project through technology first. Using this approach has meant success for them as a business, as the projects they work on benefit significantly from being designed this way.
One such example is the stylish Riverbank project. This new home will replace a previous uninspiring 1960s house that occupied an extraordinary setting on the banks of the River Thames. The ultra-modern design means that the finished property will have great views giving the site a complete overhaul. Also, the brief for HollandGreen meant including sustainable elements making the home energy efficient for many years to come.
The Riverbank is a stripped back 2-storey property that uses wood, glass and render to create an elegant finish. While the property is totally unique, it still blends with the surroundings and neighbouring properties. The way the house is situated means it takes full advantage of the light and includes large windows and roof lighting to help accentuate the natural light available. The design also includes balconies, stairs and terraces which extend living space through to rear gardens.
A big concern of the whole project, which included various planning and environmental constraints, was the risk of the setting close to a high flood risk zone. The solution in the design meant that the structure was to be raised over piled foundations which would protect against any future flooding.
The site is in a conservation area and as such consideration had to be given to this. In terms of the design, while it is very modern, it also complements neighbouring properties. To make sure the design was in line with local authority guidelines, a pre-application was carried out.
In terms of sustainability and environmental technologies, the design includes:
- Rainwater harvesting system
- PV panels
- Air source heat pumps
- Additional insulation
Six garages were part of the original building and these are concealed in the new design too as it was part of the brief to keep them in the new structure. The project at Riverbank is an exciting project and is a excellent example of the methods of working at HollandGreen and how they use VR and BIMx technologies to define their projects.
HollandGreen belive that planning ahead of getting to site helps to save on costs and delays further down the line. When using HollandGreen for any building project, they plan to help clients to see the realities of the build using VR, meaning it can be truly experienced before anything is set in stone!
They plan out a VR version, and the client can view and ask questions or discuss changes there and then. The communication is then extremely accurate and fosters understanding between client and designer. VR isn’t just a clever gimmick; it is a very practical tool to help in modern building techniques.
“Because we introduce VR in the early stages of every project, and at regular intervals throughout, clients can give high-quality input to get the design just right. It also means that once the design is complete, they can go forward with confidence, knowing that they’re less likely to make changes once the structure begins to take shape on the ground.” Stephen says
VR is also no longer only for larger development companies working on huge projects it can be used by residential architects like HollandGreen to achieve very special results. It is the next best thing to seeing the living space in real terms.
“Virtual reality is transforming the design process and the communication between our clients and us. Clients gain a first-hand understanding of how the new space will look and feel, and a realistic view of the dimensions, the light and the aspect of their development. But it also helps them to sense whether they’re getting the right emotional connection to a living space. Our goal is to create wonderful living spaces, and the way clients react when viewing VR tell us when we’ve done our job well.”
BIMx is a technology that is very easy to explore using any mobile device on Apple iOS or Google Android. This type of technology with integrated 2D and 3D building project navigation can help to be the best thing for a seamless connection from design to construction.
Congratulations to HollandGreen for their fantastic use of VR and BIMx on their projects and of course the wonderful 2019 Build award.