Category Archives: New Builds & Refurbishments

Chelmsford High School for Girls

Summary = Enabling works to Chelmsford County High School for Girls ahead of the construction of a new Sports Hall and teaching block, which will include additional science facilities

Location = Chelmsford, Essex

Architect = PCH Associates

Challenge = Removal of an existing building in a live school

Solution = Enabling works to Chelmsford County High School for Girls which included the following:

  • Removal of the existing building called Bancroft and infilling the site
  • Division of existing services from Bancroft, in order to keep the swimming pool and all other blocks operational
  • Clearance and re-levelling of work site, including embankment adjacent to science block
  • Sawston Village College

    Summary = Roof works and internal decoration to two college buildings

    Location = Cambridgeshire

    Architect = PCH Associates

    Challenge = The Grade II Listed buildings had to be protected from the weather whilst the roofs were stripped and replaced

    Solution = The project was divided into two phases and temporary roofs protected the Grade II Listed Henry Morris building during Phase one and the North Wing during Phase two of works.

    Phase one of works to Sawston Village College, an academy school founded in 1930, began April 2019. Works involved the installation of the temporary roof whilst the stripping and re-roofing of the Grade II Listed Henry Morris building took place. The existing pantiles were re-laid to the front elevation of the building and new handmade pantiles were installed to the back.

    Below the roof, the deteriorating lath and plaster ceiling to the main hall was replaced with new, which included the installation of new laths, scratch coat and a finish of thermalime plaster previously approved by the Conservation Officer. Existing facia boards were replaced and the cast iron gutters and downpipes were thoroughly sanded back to metal and painted. The bell tower underwent extensive repairs to the leaded lights, structural timber and boarding.

    The second phase of works included roof works to the North Wing of the College, similar to the roof works to the Henry Morris building. All roof works and internal decoration was completed in time to hand back to the College for the new Academic New Year.

    Newington Green Meeting House

    Summary = Restoration, refurbishment and a new build basement level extension

    Value = approximately £1,100,000

    Location = Stoke Newington

    Architect = Richard Griffiths Architects

    Challenge = Limited access and limited space for storing materials

    The restoration, refurbishment and a new build basement level extension to Newington Green Meeting House in north London is well underway. The £1.1 million project started February 2019, and is on track to meet the project deadline of February 2020.

    Built in 1708 the Grade II listed Newington Green Unitarian Church is one of England's oldest Unitarian churches. It has had strong ties to political radicalism for over 300 years and is known as the “Birthplace of Feminism” due to its connections to activist and writer Mary Wollstonecraft. The Dissenters, a group that campaigned for religious freedom, social reform and the abolition of slavery, also used the Meeting House.

    A grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund has given the Meeting House the opportunity to future-proof and preserve its iconic heritage legacy. The project will provide a new visitor centre to enable local schoolchildren, researchers and community groups to make the most of the building’s rich heritage.

    Bakers are also restoring the Schoolroom and constructing a basement to accommodate facilities including a meeting room, three w/c, a plantroom and lift shaft going from basement level to the first floor. To construct the basement, Bakers have excavated 4m deep, formed a new steel reinforced slab, carried out underpinning and structural steel works to support the ground floor walls. An underground drainage and tanking system were installed to the basement level as well as a ducting and airflow system.

    As part of the restoration works the existing external render will be removed to enable localised brick repair, before new render is applied. Roof repairs will take place and a new roof light installed within the apse roof (a semi-circular recess at the end of the chapel). A new raised entrance ramp and reception area into the chapel will be formed and an extensive AV package installed.

    The entrance into church is temporarily at the back of the building whilst works continue. The front of the church is restricted to site access only by using ply hoarding and pedestrian barriers. Internally the work areas are sheeted up and alternative routes made to channel visitors and staff to the site office and segregate works from other areas. There is a separate compound for storing materials and a site office has been located within the limited space available.

    Almshouses Refurbishment

  • Summary: Refurbishment and extensions to nine almshouses, some of which date back to the 18th century
  • Value: Approximately £600,000
  • Location: Colchester, Essex
  • Architect: Nicholas Jacobs Architects Ltd
  • Challenge: The site was confined within a busy residential area. It had very little space for storage and very limited access.
  • Solution: Bakers of Danbury carried out the refurbishment and extensions to nine almshouses within the Old Square, Colchester, Essex over an 18 month period.
  • Former Colchester Mayor, Alderman and farmer, Arthur Winsley, who died in 1726, left much of his property to a new charity to house 12 men who had: “lived well and fallen into decay”. The 81 Winsley’s Alms houses are now home to more than 100 people.

    Refurbishment and extension works to the nine properties included:

    • Demolition of 3 single storey extensions
    • Construction of 3 two storey extensions
    • Reconstruction of 2 existing flat roofs with external patio/balcony
    • Complete new kitchen installation
    • Complete new wet room installation
    • Landscaping to enhance the area - communal gardens and planting areas
    • Substantial internal alterations to improve circulation and space

    • Demolition of old sheds and garden walls
    • Removal of raised walkway and stairs
    • New energy efficiency measures installed
    • Soundproofing
    • efficient and controllable heating
    • enhanced fire precautions
    • Scooter charging facilities

    Acting Trustee Irene Kettle said:

    Our Founder’s legacy is important to us and we are very proud of the history of Winsley’s, but it is essential to remember this is a thriving, friendly community and a place which must grow and improve. In this way, we can ensure the legacy of Arthur Winsley and Others, lives on.

    At a ceremony held in January 2019 at Winsley’s Square, off Old Heath Road the renovated properties were blessed by the Rt Rev Roger Morris, Bishop of Colchester and officially opened by The Mayor & mayoress of Colchester. Residents were invited to take a look around.

    Refurbishment of Spains Hall

  • Summary: Refurbishment of Spains Hall, a Grade I Listed Country home in Finchinfield, Essex including some alterations to the Great Hall to accommodate weddings and functions
  • Value: Approximately £1,500,000
  • Location: Finchingfield, Essex
  • Architect: Kay Pilsbury Thomas Architects Ltd
  • Challenge: The house was in need of substantial restoration and repair, as very little work had been carried out on the house for decades.
  • Solution: Spains Hall is a beautiful Grade I Listed country house circa 1570, incorporating a timber framed medieval house C1400-50.
  • The sympathetic restoration, repair and alterations began in August 2008, during which many hidden original features were enhanced and brought back to their former glory. These features include the jib door, the Tudor well in the floor and the restored flamboyant Victorian wallpapers.

    The house was altered to add new facilities allowing the house to open to the public for the first time for business and hospitality use, including weddings and functions. The rooms which were altered for business and hospitality use included:

    • The porch
    • The Great Hall
    • The large drawing room
    • The dining room
    • The vestibule
    • The south staircase lobby
    • The tapestry bedroom and en-suite
    • A new w/c for disabled and elderly people inc. baby-changing facilities
    • New separate w/c facilities

    The refurbishment of Spains Hall included major restoration works in the Great Hall and remaining rooms. Within the Great Hall repairs were made to the primary beams and the supporting brick walls were strengthened. Where possible, carvings were cut from the decayed beam and fitted onto the new sections.

    Where carvings could not be salvaged, Bakers' in-house joinery workshop hand carved replica carvings. New oak floor joists were introduced, plank flooring installed and substantial wall panel repairs were made within the Great Hall, the large drawing room and the vestibule.

    A new kitchen was installed with large French doors and a fanlight. New bathrooms and en-suites were also installed.

    New mechanical systems, heating, plumbing, electrical power and lighting were sensitively installed as well as Audio Visual systems with speakers hidden within the wall panelling.

    The tapestry bedroom and en-suite were fully restored, to be used by the Bride and Groom for wedding functions.

    A large roof light was installed within the roof of the entrance hall to gain additional light. The small staircase was replaced with a large Georgian style sweeping timber staircase, to create a dramatic and welcoming entrance hall.

    The rear entrance was also remodelled to include a new large panelled entrance door and long side sash windows to let more natural light in.

    The external walls were re-pointed where the pointing had failed. Windows were restored which included stained glass repairs. Roof tile repairs and lead repairs were also carried out. The garden walls were also repaired, and a new opening formed with an arch leading into the formal gardens.

    The refurbishment of Spains Hall was awarded the RICS 2012 National Grand Finalist Award for Building Conservation

    Westminster School Extension

    Summary = Bakers of Danbury Ltd are currently building an extension to Westminster School. The extension includes meeting and teaching space as well as offices for school staff. Bakers have completed phases one and two which involved the demolition of the existing building and an archaeological dig. We are currently working on phase three.

    Location = Westminster, London

    Architect = Ptolemy Dean Architects Ltd

    Challenge = Access is restricted due to working on a live school. Westminster School is the only ancient school in London which still occupies its original site. The site of the new extension is very closely surrounded by Grade I Listed buildings, some dating back to the 11th century.

    Solution = Phase one involved the careful demolition of the modern concrete music centre in Little Dean’s Yard. The demolition was carried out carefully to protect the Grade I Listed buildings surrounding the site.

    Careful demolition and breaking out was also carried out on the reinforced concrete foundation to the music center to protect the archaeology below ground.

    During phase two Bakers oversaw archaeological excavations, which were carried out in conjunction with Pre-Construct Archaeology. The archaeological excavations uncovered part of the original kitchen to the Monks Abbey dating back to the 11th century. A section of the new build floor will be cantilevered glass - creating a platform from which to view the archaeology below ground level, which was exposed during archaeological excavations.

    Working under the instruction of Ptolemy Dean Architects Ltd, Bakers of Danbury are currently working on phase three of the project. During this phase Bakers will be using traditional building techniques and materials to create a new build extension. The new extension will be constructed with handmade bricks, reclaimed tiles, lead roofing and handmade timber and lead windows. The extension will house a new teaching/ meeting area and offices for the school staff.

    Bakers will also carry out internal renovation works and external restoration works to a number of surrounding school buildings.

    This project will also include a full M&E package which includes the new build extension and existing school buildings, as well as landscaping to Little Deans Yard, which lays the front of Westminster School.

    St Michael’s School, Braintree

    Summary = New build extension to a primary school consisting of a new staff room and medical room.

    Value = £250,000

    Location = Braintree, Essex

    Architect =Purcell

    Challenge = Works had to take place without disrupting the school and its pupils.

    Solution = Delivery times were restricted so that deliveries did not take place during school pick up or drop off times. Works stopped whilst the pupils sat their SAT exams.

    Works involved the demolition of the existing staff room, breaking out the existing foundations and the construction of new pad and beam foundations with a Milbank floor. The construction of the new staff room consisted of a steel portal frame, with cavity brickwork to match the existing, and a pitched Kingspan roof and Trespa Cladding.

    Works also included adaptations to the existing photocopy room and the provision of new toilet facilities. New kitchen facilities were fitted within the new staff and medical room. Comprehensive M&E works to new extension.

    Before the school opened again in September landscaping and drainage works took place, as well as the provision of a new footpath and railings.

    St Catherine’s Church, East Tilbury

    Summary =A sympathetic extension and redecoration to St Catherine's Church, East Tilbury to provide a new kitchen area and toilet facilities. Works also included a new heating installation to both the extension and church, along with a full renovation of flooring, walls and roof to the main church.

    Value = £330,000

    Location = East Tilbury, Essex

    Architect =Inkpen Downie Architecture and Design Ltd

    Solution = St Catherine's Church, East Tilbury is an important survival from the 12th century. The site is associated with the first church established by St Cedd.

    Works involved an extension and redecoration to St Catherine's Church, East Tilbury. The parishioners were consulted to set out requirements for the building which was to provide some basic amenities such as a kitchen and toilet facilities.

    Designed to allow focus to remain on the existing Church building; the extension is a simple free-standing structure with no interference on the existing structure. The external walls are clad in weathered horizontal oak boarding, reminiscent of timber porches commonly found in Essex where stone is a scarce material. The roof is configured to allow the use of pan-tiles without encroaching on existing openings. The foundations are a shallow raft supported on piles, to minimise interference with burials and underlying archaeology.

    When the opening to the west door was unblocked to provide access to the new extension, it revealed decayed and missing stonework. This was reinstated and repaired with great attention to detail.

    Internally, a new heating system was installed within the extension and church and the floors, walls and roof to main church were all renovated.

    The new kitchen and toilet facility, together with a new heating system makes the church more usable as a place of worship.

    Works were completed January 2016. The new facilities have enabled the Church to open for teas and homemade cakes from Easter to October on the afternoons of the last Sunday in the month and on Bank holiday Mondays.

    This project was recently Highly Commended at the Diocese of Chelmsford, Design Awards 2017 for Development and Restoration.

    Photos credited to Inkpen Downie Architecture and Design Ltd

    Extension to Grade II Listed Property

    Summary = A new build double storey extension which consisted of a garden room, dining room and first floor bedroom with en-suite.

    Value = £150,000

    Challenge = The extension had to constructed sensitively, to ensure its in keeping with the existing grade II Listed property.

    Solution = Bakers worked closely with the property owner throughout the build, to ensure they take part in all decision making. The extension was constructed to a high specification, with cornice designed to match the existing and new box frame sashes and french doors handmade in house by the Bakers’ Joinery workshop. Ashlar lines were applied to the exterior render to match the exterior of the existing property.

    The property was occupied whilst all works were carried out. To minimise disruption to the household; the extension was constructed, with the breakthrough to the existing house being carried out towards the end of the project.

    The owners were so impressed with the work carried out, they asked Bakers to return to repair their storm damaged barn. Works to the barn are due to complete later this year.

    Kitchen/ family room extension

    Value = £150,000

    Location = Woodford, London

    Summary = Single storey extension to a Victorian period property consisting of a large kitchen / family room, utility room, downstairs shower and w/c.

    Challenge = The property remained occupied whilst all works were carried out.

    Solution = As the extension was for a new kitchen / family room; bakers provided the client with a temporary kitchen to use during works, until the new kitchen was installed and final breakthrough into the house completed.

    Trusses were supported on steel flitch plates to create a large open plan kitchen and family living area, with vaulted ceilings, exposed truss tie beams and floor to ceiling length windows to the rear, to enjoy views of the large garden. The shower room was tiled with traditional Victorian tiles to the floor and walls. The rest of the kitchen family room extension is tiled with natural stone floor tiles. The terrace is paved, with vertical sleepers to retain ground levels.