Fletcher Priest Architects: Sedley Place

Fletcher Priest Architects: Sedley Place
Fletcher Priest Architects: Sedley Place

Fire engineering challenges don’t come much bigger than this. The Sedley Place development on Oxford Street has a two-storey suspended glass entrance structure, within which it houses a five-storey retail store, offices, retail kiosks, residential apartments, a restaurant and a cafe. It is bounded on almost all sides by adjoining properties, and is located right next to Bond Street Underground Station in the Mayfair conservation area. The fact that Fletcher Priest Architects’ solution made it the stand-out winner of this category is testament to how well it rose to the challenge. Westminster council building control – and the judges, too – had nothing but praise for the architect’s co-operative approach and its use of high-level bridges, glass floor, facade sprinklers, fireproof blinds and escape stairs to provide an award-winning fire engineering solution.

The finalists

Capita Percy Thomas: Wales Millennium Centre

The Wales Millennium Centre is Cardiff’s landmark theatre complex – but the construction team didn’t make a song and dance about building it. During the design and construction programme, which lasted less than three years, the structural design continually evolved to provide the best solution at the best price. Structured hazard identification, risk assessment and information gathering methodology were all used to develop fire scenarios, which in turn informed the final design. It’s an approach that architect Capita Percy Thomas can be justifiably proud of.

London Borough of Lambeth: Evelina Children’s Hospital

“Professional” and “efficient” were the words used by Lambeth building control to describe the approach of its construction team to the new-build Evelina Children’s Hospital. As well as the installation of alarms, sprinklers and emergency lighting, providing effective fire separations was a key design consideration.

The team had to separate the huge glazed atrium from the wards that overlook it, as well as ensuring that the tunnel linking the new hospital with the old was adequately protected. Gleesons, Michael Hopkins and the hospital trust did the job in truly impressive style.

Lymm Water Tower

You can’t argue with a score of 96% – unless you’re some kind of wild-eyed perfectionist that is – and that’s the mark that Warrington council gave the transformation of the 130-year-old grade II-listed Lymm Water Tower into a family home. The council’s building control manager said of the scheme’s fire engineering that it proved how safety and conservation could work side by side – and gave it 20 out of 20 for compliance with Part B of the Building Regulations.