PCMS Design is pleased
to announce that we have recently relocated! We’ve moved our office premises by
only a few miles from Haddenham to Long Crendon, a nearby Buckinghamshire
village. Our new office is in a lovely, totally self-contained building located
within a farm complex, situated on the rural edge of the village. We now have
tractors rumbling down the driveway, the sound of cattle in the distance and
hares hopping past the window! We’ve all been impressed by the views, which
extend across open farmland and countryside towards the Chiltern Hills.
Our working environment is certainly more harmonious and peaceful, and we’re trusting that the office move will provide inspiration for ever more creative architectural designs! If you have a home, educational, community or commercial project that would benefit from architectural advice or project management, then do get in touch for a no obligation chat. We are happy to work throughout rural (and urban) Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire and beyond …
Our new address: The Barn, College Farm, Chearsley Road, Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire HP18 9AP
Our latest project for
Thame & District Housing Association – a two storey side extension and
refurbishment of two flats – is due to start on site in
mid-April. Planning permission was
sought and granted by Buckinghamshire Council for improvements to the one
bedroom flats at Anstey Court in Waddesdon.
The existing stairs to
the first floor accommodation pose accessibility issues, as they’re too steep
to meet the latest building regulations: our solution was to design an extension
to the side of the building to house a new wider staircase and entrance door,
so that it’s more suitable for elderly residents.
Because of the siting of
the building there was only one option for the extension, and it meant that the internal layout of the First
Floor flat would be changed to accommodate the new entrance. The Ground Floor
flat will receive full redecoration.
Our administration of
the procurement process lead to Skyline Development & Construction being
appointed to carry out the building works, and we are looking forward to
working with them on this social housing improvement project.
We were very pleased last week to be invited to attend the
forthcoming Haddenham Annual Parish Meeting, and particularly delighted this
year because it will take place within the newly refurbished Parish Centre. Our
recent project to improve the Parish Council offices at the Village Hall has
transformed the space.
Haddenham has seen considerable
development in recent years, with new homes, employment sites and leisure
facilities all being constructed in the village. Consequently, Parish
Council activities were becoming ever-busier and the need for administration
resourcing had increased. Staff had outgrown their under-sized office, and the
entrance lacked a reception area making it unsuitable for accepting visitors; there
had become an urgent need to improve it.
A former Day Centre within the
village hall had been closed for some time; an outdated lounge area also had
two large supporting pillars restricting the layout. We designed a
reconfiguration and renovation of existing internal spaces to deliver rooms
that will enable the Parish Council to continue operating effectively as the
village expands. A re-utilisation of space is a cost-effective and
environmentally sound way of achieving an objective like this; building
materials are kept to a minimum, but structural alterations enable the building
to be upgraded to a modern specification, and at the same time the opportunity
is there to deliver more efficient heating, insulation, lighting and storage.
At the same time, the dilapidated flat roof was repaired and the external
facades of the whole building were decorated.
Staff and Parish Councillors have
embraced the new Parish Centre, which includes
a dedicated smart entrance doorway and reception hatch, and a conference room
large enough to seat the whole Parish Council in comfort. Haddenham Parish
Clerk Sue Gilbert commented: “Our smart Parish Centre is great to work in, and
finally we have an office and meeting room which is fit for purpose. We are
delighted with the transformation. We have worked together with PCMS Design on
a number of feasibility and construction projects, and have always been
delighted with the great service and support that we’ve received.”
A recent survey carried
out by Barratt Developments found that almost half of households believe their
current property to be unsuitable for home working. Many people struggle to do
their job effectively from the kitchen table or lounge, and only 28% of
respondents had the benefit of a dedicated work space such as a study or home
Flexible work patterns –
or ‘hybrid’ working as it’s increasingly becoming known – are now the norm for
millions of people across all age groups, with at least a proportion of the
working week being spent at home. It’s increasingly common for householders to
need extra – and preferably more flexible – space. Not just to work in, but to
exercise in too, as the rise of home gyms and the success of brands such as Peloton
Whether you have a new
or old home, we can assist. Rather than thinking of moving, the solution may be
simpler and cheaper in the short term. It’s true that with the benefit of a
large garden, a ‘Shoffice’ (Outdoor Shed/Office) may be the solution for you.
But by reconfiguring the spaces within your home – and sometimes combining this
with a modest extension or garage conversion – a solution to the working from
home dilemma may well be closer than you think.
More than two thirds of workers said they would prefer a dedicated office space in their home – simply contact us now for a no obligation chat about the potential to improve your property.
an interesting experience to take on a conservation project. This beautiful
timber roof structure has been revealed during the renovation of a Grade II
Listed house – previously a butcher’s shop – in the heart of a Buckinghamshire
village. Works are now underway to carefully restore the timbers, and ensure
the roof’s longevity.
particular house is also being extended to the rear to provide a new first
floor bedroom with en suite, and a larger kitchen beneath. We have successfully
applied for Listed Building consent for a number of repairs to the structure,
in addition to the extension.
listed buildings with a long history behind them requires sensitive treatment
and a detailed understanding of the processes involved. The extension and
renovation of the White Lion pub in St Leonards combined a similar need for
restoring the older part of the structure, whilst ensuring that the building
could function as a profitable hospitality business.
Do get in touch if you would like
advice on improving or extending a Listed Building.
are seeking ways of both adapting to climate change and minimising their environmental
impact. Chinnor Rugby Football Club in Thame has found a clever and cost
effective method of irrigating their playing pitches – by digging a borehole.
modern version of a well involves drilling a hole around 10m deep which is then cased in steel, and a borehole pumping
system is attached to collect natural water and pump it to the surface. Water
is extracted up to the daily allowed amount and stored in a metal storage tank
until required. An added advantage of this irrigation method is that water
naturally percolates through the soil for future use, forming part of a natural
a procurement process to find a suitably qualified installer, we worked in
conjunction with AW Synergy Boreholes to dig the borehole, and also contractor
Agripower to construct the storage tank. The whole project required careful
planning and project management which we were happy to provide.
Oxfordshire District Council funded the project via Section 106 developer
Rugby Football Club will shortly have access to a ready supply of natural water
to irrigate its pitches, which not only saves money but significantly reduces
the environmental impact of using potable mains water.
As part of Central Bedfordshire’s ‘Schools for the Future’
plan Henlow Academy is within the first cluster of Schools to change from a
three tier system to a two tier system. This means that Henlow Academy is
changing from a Middle to a Secondary School.
Our design for this latest phase of works involved a two storey extension to the existing sports hall and classroom block. The extension was designed to mirror the sports hall with a curved standing seam zinc roof, and sections of the building were rendered to break up the mass of the building. The siting of the extension created a courtyard area which gave the opportunity to explore different finishes, and create social spaces for staff and students.
The extension incorporates four science labs, five
classrooms and a lift, giving access to all. Wide corridors and views of the
courtyard create light and space, matched with the brightly coloured walls and
lockers throughout. All classrooms and specialist teaching rooms are designed
to Department for Education Building Bulletin 103.
In the existing building, a dull and drab old gym was converted to a vibrant theatre/dining space with the introduction of four new vertical windows with coloured glass, and two high level horizontal windows. In addition, a retractable tiered seating system was installed along with fold away pocketwall dining hall tables and benches.
Two existing Multi Use Games Areas (MUGAs) were consolidated to make one new space, primarily for hockey use, and this facility can now be hired by the local community.
Works have completed at the former Day Centre located within the Banks Park Village Hall complex. Work included providing a new sensible sized Office for the Parish Council to work from, as well as additional spaces such as a dedicated meeting room, a larger conference space which can be hired by the public, a welcoming reception area, and new WCs including DDA (access). Overdue maintenance work was also carried out throughout the building including general repairs, roof refurbishments and adding fire breaks within the roof space.
The project also involved some external works to create a
new vibrant entrance which gives the Parish Council a central presence within
the Banks Park Complex.
The works were partly funded by Aylesbury Vale District
Council through their New Homes Bonus scheme alongside Parish Council Funds.
“We’ve been supporting this project since its inception and it is very satisfying to see it to completion” said project manager Helena Cox. “Added to that, the Parish Council are delighted with the end result.”
Planning permission has been approved for a new £1.8m
Standalone Classroom Block at Raynsford Academy, Henlow. The new building will
enable Raynsford’s transition from a Lower school to a Primary school as part
of Central Bedfordshire’s Schools for the Future programme.
The building will provide additional classrooms, with
ancillary accommodation including studio/multi agency, SEND meeting and a
multi-purpose specialist teaching space for smaller groups. In addition a
Multi-Use Games Area, that will also be available for community use, is being
provided as well as number of off-site highways improvements.
Careful consideration was made in terms of the design of the
building and its siting within a semi-rural/residential area. The mass of the
building has been minimalised by the use of the four sloping roofs and a lower
central corridor flat roof reinforcing the visual separation. The form is
essentially a cube shape that has been broken up with the recessed and
projecting wall elements along with the use of materials to define those areas.
The school were very keen to minimise the energy use for the
new building. This has been achieved with the design of Ground Source Heat
Pumps, solar panels which are to be sited on the main school building, grey
water recycling and, for bio-diversity, a green sedum roof to the four main
sloping elements of the building.
“We set about to help Raynsford Academy create a sustainable
building – in line with the council’s sustainability strategy – and securing
planning consent is an important milestone” said project manager Alex Bond.
“The aim is now, with the help of building contractors, to deliver the finished
article ready for the school’s new year 5 class this year.”
The exciting further phase of work in the transition of Henlow Academy from a Middle School to a Secondary School is well underway.
The project is the next phase of the Master Plan and is a further extension to the new Sports Hall and Classroom Block that was completed in 2018. The extension will proved four new state of the art Science Labs, five additional classrooms and SEN Group room spaces. The extension has been designed to reflect the form of the Sports Hall, the mass has been broken up with the addition of the rendered elements. The project also includes works to the former gym to create a new drama/dining space, with the introduction of large vertical windows to bring in natural light, with new lighting and retractable seating it will transform the space.
Works are due to be completed and the end of July 2021 ready for the start of the new year where the school will take their first year 9.