Our Gateway Cafe has been shortlisted for the AJ Retrofit award by ‘The Architect’s Journal’. The award seeks to reward achievements in design, engineering and construction.
In Architecture, retrofitting is a term used to describe the process of taking an existing building and renovating it with techniques that may not have existed at the time of construction. It’s hard to imagine now, but the Gateway Cafe was once an unattractive maintenance depot with brick walls, security fencing and an asbestos roof – things were different when it was built in 1979! We now have access to ‘greener’ technology and more appreciation of how buildings look and feel much better when they complement their surroundings.
Taking this into consideration our architects Kaner Olette replaced the roof with recyclable zinc and insulated the ugly brick walls with more attractive locally-sourced Sweet Chestnut cladding. The new building is much more environmentally friendly with a wood pellet burning stove, and a solar thermal panel on the roof producing hot water and underfloor heating, and solar PV panels producing electricity. The building now achieves an A rating for energy performance.
The Cafe also reflects and embraces it’s natural and historic surroundings. By using the existing footprint of the building, it meant that disturbance of existing archaeology was avoided. The archeological interpretation inside really sets the scene for visitors to the park and the large windows frame a beautiful view of the downs.
Architect Mike Kaner said
“We like the idea of working within the constraints of re-using buildings and the transformation that can be achieved. It was great to see the positive reactions of the original parks maintenance staff who used the old building for many years.”
We agree that the transformation has been incredible and we wish Kaner Olette the best of luck. Winners will be announced on 16th September 2015 – we’ll keep you posted.