Guildford Design Awards 2023

16 August 2023

Short List Regeneration Project

Cathedral Hill Industrial Estate, Guildford

Client: FTSE 100 Corporate Pension Fund

Architect/Designer: Savills Building & Project Consultancy Team

The Estate comprises 13 light industrial units totalling 8700sqm on a 4.9 acre site.

Developed in the 1970s some of the buildings were in poor condition. The good basic structure of the estate provided the opportunity to upgrade with a focus on sustainability for current and future occupiers.

The refurbishment programme minimised construction carbon emissions. Asbestos roofs which were ‘safe’ but leaking were replaced. The design brief sought to modernise the look and feel of the Estate through a combination of new cladding and a simple but effective raised parapet detail to the front elevations. Internal improvements were made to entranceways, toilets and common areas.

The importance of energy security and operational cost savings trom renewable power were an important component of future proofing. Gas supply has been removed to all refurbished units reducing the estate’s reliance on fossil fuels. Solar panels have been added to all new roofs in combination with Tesla Battery Storage Systems.

External areas now include EV charging points, secure cycle storage, better lit, safer pedestrian walkways and new native urban trees.

Ecology and biodiversity betterment was achieved with the inclusion of bird and bat boxes. To the rear of the units adjacent to the railway line, a wildflower meadow habitat has been created to encourage insects and wildlife.



2&4 Genyn Road, Guildford

Client and designer: David Strudwick Design + Build

This originally small commercial building has been converted into two 1 bed houses. The site was a disused commercial building with a small footprint of under 50m2 which presented many challenges from both a design and construction perspective, particularly as it had no outside space abutting the pavement to the front and surrounded by properties on all other sides.

Being built on a sloping site meant the original structure had limited ceiling height in parts of the ground floor and was also very dark on the first floor as it only had windows on the gable ends. The scope for the project was limited being a conversion of an existing structure and not a new build. The main objectives were to find a design which would allow the houses to have generous ceiling heights and to maximise light, making compact rooms feel more spacious. Also it was intended that the houses look like separate residential dwellings.

The solution was to raise the roof and first floor on the right side of the building, whilst adding large dormers to the front and Velux windows to the rear. The step in the roof line instantly defined them as separate dwellings and has been reinforced by mirroring the front doors and ground floor windows to echo the traditional semi-detached houses nearby.


New House, Art Space, Fays Passage, Guildford

Client and persons responsible for the design:
Dominique Frazer

New House Art Space was converted from a disused warehouse more recently a vacant four storey office block, situated in Bedford Road to create a community hub for the visual arts. The first, second and third floors are studios for individual artists and creative business, and the ground floor contains a gallery and two accessible studio spaces. There is a social space within the reception that can be multi-use - a coffee bar during the daytime for the studios’ users and public, and area for events such as exhibition launch nights. Individual studios are a key design feature, as opposed to an open plan space, so that artists would have their own secure space in which to work, and have 24/7 access to the building.


The Founders Studio

Client: Emmaus Road Community Church

Architect/Designer: Ra Ra Designs Ltd

Architect for planning: Chrysalis Design Ltd

This town centre, 1960s building, previously a dance studio, has been skilfully completely refurbished to create new contemporary community centre facilities for this Community Church including, on the first floor, a 162 seat capacity, flexible hall. This space has been created by opening up this floor including exposing the roof’s portal frame giving a sense of space and adding rooflights to maximise daylight.



White Lion Walk, High Street, Guildford

Client: Redevco

Architect: Corstorphine & Wright

The existing shopping centre in the heart of Guildford, with a mall running between High Street and North Street, has been altered and refurbished to improve the legibility of the connection these tow prime streets and maximise the sites potential.

This included repurposing the first floor space for office use due to changing trends in retail and demand for flexible workspaces in the town centre. Combined with this is the modernisation of the whole building and opening up of the mall between the two streets by removing the central lifts and escalators.


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