Hackney Wick Project, Olympic Regeneration, Fish Island London
Hackney Wick Regeneration, London, UK : The White Building
The White Building Renovation, Fish Island - design by David Kohn Architects
11 Aug 2012
Hackney Wick Olympic Regeneration
Olympic Legacy suppliers embrace local workforce and sustainable solutions
Design: David Kohn Architects
East London contractors BRAC achieve Fish Island renovation in record time
As London 2012 finally descends on the UK, East London family run building firm BRAC is realising the Olympic legacy in record time, working closely with the London Legacy Development Corporation.
The White Building, a derelict former print house situated in Olympic thoroughfare Fish Island, is the site of an impressive refurbishment that breathes life into the local community by offering studio and exhibition spaces to local artists, a vibrant programme of screenings and music events, and public facilities including a café and micro-brewery.
photographs : Will Pryce
Whilst the contribution of lead architects David Kohn to the project has been widely publicised, the renovation has been driven behind the scenes by BRAC's skill and commitment. The firm worked closely with David Kohn to deliver the build to a challenging aesthetic and environmental brief and a limited budget.
Despite competition from larger firms, BRAC Group were selected by the London Legacy Development Corporation for their insider knowledge of the local area's culture and aesthetics, proven track record in hands-on management to tight time scales, and innovative approach towards environmental sustainability.
Their involvement represents the impact of the Olympics not just on the country as a whole, but on locally based projects delivered by suppliers operating at the coalface to deliver on legacy expectations.
A tight budget inspired the innovative yet cost-effective use of environmental measures including the use of lamb's wool to insulate the building. This natural solution insulates against sound, is fireproof, and can pay back its own energy costs five times faster than man made alternatives.
Adam Clark, Managing Director of BRAC, explains more: “As well as delivering a contemporary space it was vital to address environmental issues” he says. “That didn't just mean finding intelligent and cost-effective solutions. It meant thinking creatively about energy efficiency at every stage of the build – from responsible site clearance and reclaim to efficiency in the new heating system, sanitation and drainage areas”.
The build was more than just a run of the mill contract for BRAC, as Adam reveals: “BRAC is a family firm and we're based just 30 miles from the site, so we have a lot of East London based staff who will benefit from the Olympic regeneration” he explains. “The legacy is dependant on visionary concepts balanced against the best practical use of funding and resources. Our local understanding, highly skilled tradesmen and tight project management structure enabled us to achieve the build to superior standards but within budgetary restrictions. We completed the regeneration on the exact date we said we would – no delays, no overspends. The opportunity to make LLDC's vision of a thriving cultural centre into a reality makes me really proud.”
With 4 decade's combined experience in building contracting, BRAC specialises in new builds, renovations, renewable energy structures and roofing for schools, commercial spaces and listed buildings across London and the South East.
The firm is based in East London and run by father and son team Adam Clark and Lee Bradley. They operate a team of their own employed tradesmen, each of whom is highly skilled in their own field.
Past prestigious projects include a £2.5 million refit of Queensmead School in Middlesex, the complete refurbishment of Welwyn Civic Centre in just 6 weeks, and the full roll out of energy saving sanitation systems for Johnson and Johnson, saving approximately 400,000 litres of water per toilet block per annum.
For more information visit www.brac-group.co.uk
Hackney Wick Olympic Regeneration images / information received Aug 2012
London Architecture - Selection
photo © Nick Weall
Tate Modern Extension
Herzog & de Meuron Architects
image © Hayes Davidson and Herzog & de Meuron
Victoria & Albert Museum Jewellery Gallery
Eva Jiricna Architects
photograph : Katsuhisa Kida
London Architect Offices
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Hackney Wick Regeneration : page - adrian welch / isabelle lomholt