About the Project
The brief for the project was to preserve the historic intent of Lifton House, a late Victorian villa, whilst enhancing the building to provide a modern workplace setting and exemplary training facilities for the GMB trade union.
Through full refurbishment and fit-out of the original building; demolition of the unsympathetic 1960s extension and creation of a new reception area and arrival space, the project team breathed new life into the building. On completion, it provided an inspirational workspace and exemplary training facilities for GMB employees.
The GMB required a combination of cellular office accommodation, open plan office and flexible training facilities. To achieve this, the project team needed to understand the significance of the existing structures and making sure no damage was made to these. The resultant design preserved the best features of the building whilst adapting it to suit the needs of the occupier.
About the Award
The Refit/Refurbishment Award is open for any scheme of a North East building during the qualifying period. The judges were asked to assess the submitted schemes for evidence of innovative, sustainable solutions, whether there was clear control of costs and worked within the agreed timeframe. Design elements were also considered, as well as feedback from occupiers and/or clients.
The Lifton House project team comprised:
SW Architecture (architect, interior designer and project administrator); Sanderson Weatherall LLP (Cost consultant and agent); Aecom (Heritage consultant); Kyoob (M&E Consultant); Jasper Kerr (Structural engineer); MKT Consult (Furniture consultant); Dunelm (Geotechnical and environmental consultant); WYG (Planning consultant); SAJ (Transport consultant); Eco North (Arboricultural and ecological consultant); Northern Bear (Principal contractor); and Stroma (Building Control).
The North East Property Awards judges said: “This was a scheme that needed to preserve the historic intent of the building while providing a modern workplace setting and this was achieved extremely well. This required understanding complex structures to preserve the best features of the building, marking this out as an exemplary refurbishment.”