BuroHappold wins two Yorkshire IStructE awards
BuroHappold Engineering was recognised for innovation at the Yorkshire IStructE awards held in Leeds on Friday 9th October, where the team picked up two awards. The awards are held annually and recognise outstanding structural engineering.
Engineered by BuroHappold, Stanbrook Abbey was recognised for its delicate form, its use of cutting edge digital design techniques, and its bold but respectful use of a simple palette of materials. It was declared winner of the Building category.
Set in a remote area of peaceful woodland near Wass in North Yorkshire, Stanbrook Abbey provides a stunning new eco-friendly home for a community of Benedictine nuns. The project involves a new wing to the east of the existing cloister and comprises the church and chapel, sacristy, four parlours, conference room and the guest wing.
The initial brief outlined an aesthetically pleasing monastery designed for the 21st century, to provide a building that was both economic to run and sensitive to ecological and environmental concerns. Together, BuroHappold and Feilden Clegg Bradley architects developed a design embracing sustainability, architectural vision and structural innovation.
For a modest construction value of £2.5m, it was imperative that an optimised structural solution was developed and the new building is the direct result of a thoroughly innovative approach using structural components to perform several roles, which the judges recognised in their comments.
Careful attention was given to the use of building material in an efficient, simple and sensitive way and preference was given to materials which are renewable, recycled or have low embodied energy. The use of structural steel was minimised and instead locally sourced timber was used where possible. The design also incorporated the use of sandstone formed by recycled offcuts from a local paving manufacturer.
The judges praised the approach:
“The end result is a masterpiece and a worthy winner. This is modern integrated structural design as it should be.” Yorkshire IStructE Judging Panel.
“The structural engineer took full advantage of a variety of advanced technologies to model accurately the different properties and behaviour of the chosen materials, thereby allowing them to perform multiple functions in a very deliberate manner.
The concrete wrap wall acts as a load bearing element supporting the roof members, a shear wall providing overall stability, a retaining wall reconciling varying ground levels, and an acoustic barrier separating the church, chapel and guest wing residential spaces, while also performing a climatic control function by providing exposed thermal mass. The end result is a masterpiece and a worthy winner. This is modern integrated structural design as it should be.”
Siamak Taghaboni, project leader for BuroHappold added “I enjoyed working on this delightful project immensely. Stanbrook Abbey is the direct result of innovative thinking, relentless attention to detail and outstanding teamwork. We used simple but clever engineering solutions to complement the architectural concept in the most cost-effective and environmentally responsible way. The result is an elegant and unique structure and I am proud to have been part of it; seeing it recognised by the IStructE is fantastic.”
Also recognised on the night was HOME, Manchester’s new centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film which was awarded a commendation.