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Today saw the opening and official completion of Sandley Lodge, Gillingham. A few of the team who worked on the design and conservation of this Grade II Listed building went along for a tour of the finished product. We particularly like the handmade, clay roof tiles which were made just down the road in Salisbury!
A beautifully appointed and detailed build that was snapped up and the new owners who are now looking forward to making it their own.
HRH the Princess Royal
Holton Lee Spinal Injury Centre Official Opening
HRH The Princess Royal formally opened the new spinal injury centre at Holton Lee, by Western Design Architects. Set in 350 acres of SSSI, this new facility will provide specialist rehabilitation services in a home from home environment. Photograph courtesy of Livability.
RIBA Summer BBQ
Architectural Association's Woodland Site
Last night the RIBA held their Dorset Late Summer Social at Hooke Park. Students and practices were able to explore the various buildings around the Arrchitectural Association's (AA) woodland site along with a talk from the Director Martin Self who we would like to thank for showing us around.
Thank you also to Marshalls Plc for sponsoring the event and to Hungry Mule Catering Catering for providing the amazing food!
Our Hovercraft Champion
Well Done Hannah!
Hannah took to the land and lake this bank holiday weekend as she took part in the Hovercraft National Championships in Southampton.
Emblazoned with the WDA logo, she did brilliantly well, coming 5th overall out of 19 teams, and making the podium with second place for one of her races.
New Forest & Hampshire County Show
Our First Show of the Summer
Last week we ventured deep into the heart of the New Forest to take part in the annual New Forest & Hampshire County Show for the first time.
With a stand in prime position, we met many new faces, particularly those who were interested in the Part Q Permitted Development rights allowing the conversion of agricultural holdings into residential dwellings.
The three day event meant all hands on deck, and while there were a few showers, the weather held out and the show was a great success.
We are looking forward to the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show on the 17th August. Hopefully, see you there!
30 Years Party
Thank you for Celebrating with us!
To mark the passing of 30 years of WDA, we celebrated in style with a gathering of WDA friends and colleagues. With live music, food, drink and great conversation, the event had a fabulous atmosphere and we want to thank everyone who came to see us to mark this special occasion.
Here’s to another 30!
30 Years Sailing
Poole to Lymington
Our 30th Anniversary Sailing event went well earlier this month. Three yachts, skippered and crewed by the WDA team set sail from Poole Yacht Club and made their way down to Lymington for a team lunch. A few of the crew suffered with sea-sickness, but overall it was a huge success – hopefully to become an annual event.
Take a look at our ‘About Us’ menu for more information of the event, or follow the link below!
Most expensive UK Seaside Towns
Sandbanks Named No.1
Yesterday, the BBC published that the South-West is home to 8 of the top 10 most expensive Seaside towns in the UK... and with the average house price reaching £664,655, our very own Sandbanks is at the very top of the pile.
Take a look at the link to the full BBC article for more information;
Dorset Art Weeks 2016
In anticipation of the 2016 Dorset Art Weeks, Phil made a visit to one of our past projects in Monkton Wyld in which our client was looking to transform a dilapidated house with incredible views into an inspiring art studio.
10 years on, the property has gone from shell, to studio and for the up-coming Arts Festival, a temporary art gallery – packed to the rafters with paintings and sculptures by artists Jane Hedges, Ian Middleton and Duff Pearce.
Yesterday, Kathryn and Rachel spent the day at Adidos Attention; Digital Marketing Summit at Southampton Football Club. The day was packed full with lectures, seminars and guest speakers exploring some of the newest approaches to online advertising and marketing.
As well as more specific seminars targeting our social media approach to marketing and branding, key speakers addressed subjects such as neurology and tech-development in terms of advertising. Studies have shown that tapping into people’s emotion and encouraging interaction are far more effective ways of creating lasting memory and affiliation to a brand. Turns out, nostalgia is a big seller!
There were also talks by Barclays Eagles and UBER amongst others, who have attributed their recent success to combining a simple idea with connecting people through new and exciting technologies. It was a great event, well run and full of useful and inspiring ideas.
We look forward to using some of these new ideas within the office and our new website!
First Race of the Season
Poole Yacht Club
Last night saw our lucky crews back on the water for their first race of the season at Poole Yacht Club. Not a lot of wind but the views aren’t half bad… looking forward to getting back on the water in preparation for part of our planned 30 Year Celebrations!
Ceramics and Bathroom Trade fair
On 22nd January Turkish Ceramics and the Anatolian Exporters Union very kindly invited me to visit UNICERA in Istanbul.
OAiB staff showed me wonderful hospitality and escorted me around the Turkish Ceramics exhibition. I knew nothing about Turkish Ceramics but I soon learnt a great deal.
Ceramics have been produced in Turkey for over 8,000 years so they have a great tradition of producing the finest quality products. As part of my trip to Istanbul, I visited the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and other smaller mosques in which I saw the beautiful workmanship of the historic tiles. I learnt that the work ‘turquoise’ is derived from the French ‘turque’ and ‘quartz’. The material used to give the turquoise tiles their particular lustre.
Contemporary Turkish ceramics have since come a very long way. There are amazing products which I have never seen before.
Ceramic tiles in huge sizes up to 3 x 1m.
Flexible ceramic panels which can be bent to clad curved facades. Tiles have been created to imitate other materials such as wood, planks, boards, marbles, concrete, cement and polished stone. There are tiles that look like pebbles. The effects are so realistic you have to touch them to see they are not real. The realism is achieved by the digital printing and by texturing the finish of the tile. 3D tiles have a finish so realistic that you have to go right up to them and you are still not sure how this is achieved.
Why are these products so good? They compare in quality with anything I have seen so far elsewhere, but due to Turkey’s low production costs, they are much more affordable. They make a very practical alternative to natural stone and timber floor finishes as they are harder wearing than the real thing, need no maintenance and are perfect for underfloor heating at a price considerably less than the real thing.
In addition to all the interesting products I saw, I was treated with the greatest kindness and hospitality by the people I met. I am still glowing from their warmth.
Thursday 10th December 2015 is the opening of this year’s MAP Exhibition at the Lighthouse Poole. The exhibition is curated by a handful of Architecture students as part of their third year studies and exhibits the work from their degree so far. The three projects exhibited vary in size, from a small 60m2 Curiosity Shop to a Future Scenario of Poole Town. Last year’s MAP exhibition involved a series of interactive, architectural installations and we can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us.
Ross and Hannah are leaving us to start their RIBA Part II. We wish them both the best of luck and thanks for all their hard work... and cake!
Last of the Summer Sailing
Poole Yacht Club
Steve Lawrence and Phil Easton skippered in the final race of the summer at Poole Yacht Club. We were very lucky with the weather on our final outing, not a great deal of wind but a beautiful sunset!
Thanks to captains and crew for a brilliant summer of sailing.
Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show
Our stand at this years Gillingham and Shaftesbury Agricultural show was a great success once again. Despite the forecast rain, there was excellent attendance and a great day was had by all!
Staff in the "Chicken Run"
London fun run
On Saturday 15 August 2015, 5 of our team took part in the Architects Benevolent Society 'Chicken Run'. This is an annual 5km charity run from Tate Modern to Pollard Thomas Edwards' offices in Islington. The run was a huge success and great fun was had by all.
A great day was had by all at the Great Boat Race.
Members of the Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) and RIBA Dorset, including Western Design Architects, took part in a public event to race boats made from recycled materials down the river in Bournemouth Gardens.
The event was part of the Bournemouth Arts Festival 2014 and was part of a number of interactive features happening across the centre of Bournemouth.
Each local practice had to make a prototype using the recycled materials. By using plastic milk bottles and card we created a sea-worthy milk-float that we believed had a strong concept due to its simplicity and scope for flare and embellishment. We were right. The designs the children produced were beyond our expectations.
The variation in colours, shapes, materials and sparkles were ingenious.
Ask the Architect
Homebuilding & Renovating Show
Homebuilding & Renovating show in Somerset. Our principal Architect Phil will be appearing at the Homebuilding & Renovating show in Somerset on the 22-23 November.
Phil is an RIBA Chartered Architect, and will be on hand in the 'Ask an Architect' area of the show to answer any questions you might have about design, the planning process or just simply to give you peace of mind.
So why not pop along to get FREE advice and support in a 15 minute consultation.
Take a look at our facebook page to get FREE tickets