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Habs Boys Academic Hub

August 15, 2022

We are delighted to be able to share some initial photographs taken at handover on our new academic hub development for Habs Boys’ School.  The completed buildings and landscape are the culmination of work begun in 2016 and we are very pleased to see the school enjoying the benefit of the new facilities.  We hope to be able to share professional photographs shortly but in the meantime, follow the link below for more details.

 

Academic Hub

 

New Health & Wellbeing Garden Approved

August 11, 2022

NVB Landscape have recently received approval for a planning application and listed building consent for a new garden at Prior Park College, Bath. The site is highly sensitive, being one of the large Georgian houses and landscapes that form Bath’s World Heritage Designation. The space is currently a space at the school that is under-used and therefore ideal to become a space to support and improve the health and wellbeing of the students and staff. It compliments the adjacent building uses, which includes the Health & Wellbeing and Sixth Form Centres.

Three flexible spaces are defined for outdoor learning, socialising and more reflective and quiet conversations. The planting has been designed for biodiversity and particular interest in the academic year. The design is intended to contrast with the heritage setting to add to the storey of the landscape, using traditional timeless materials as well as recycled and locally sourced. There is also a focus on sustainable materials and drainage, including integration of permanent and seasonal springs.

Wildflower Seeding Competition

June 16, 2022

At the ISBA Conference in May we gave seeds to the attendees who we have encouraged to plant them at their schools or home and send us photos via Instagram in September. We’ll then choose  the winner and send them a prize. In case any haven’t yet sown their seeds, like us, here is some advice to do so.

Tag us in your posts with @nvblandscape and #nvblandscapeseedbomb

WHEN & WHERE – Normally meadow flower seeds are sown in spring and autumn when you can ensure that no frosts or hot sun are likely to damage young tender shoots. Ideally the seeds will be sown on a site that is warmed by sun for at least half of the day. Wildflowers often establish best on thin or fairly poor soil. They are often out competed by weeds in rich loamy soil.

PREPARATION – Wildflower seed bombs are nutrient-rich and give the plants a head start to grow because each seed bomb is a combination of seed, compost and clay. Before using them, all unwanted plants, grass, and weeds have to be removed from the area of planting so that there is bare soil in which the wildflowers can establish. You can use a hoe or hand-tools to clear the planting area back to bare soil or spread a plastic sheet in order to smother any existing weeds and grass. The choice of technique depends upon the time and energy you have for preparing the soil!

HANDLING THE SEED BOMBS – The seed bombs should not be broken. Germination occurs after the clay is permeated with water. Seed bombs that have been scattered should be left untouched once it has rained. The number of seed bombs needed to depend upon your coverage area. A square meter will need about twenty seed bombs while about 5-6 seed bombs will suffice for a small pot. Larger pots will need about 12 or so of them.

HOW TO PLANT

  • Check the forecast and choose a few days when it isn’t too hot and sunny, otherwise, the seedbed will dry up right away. As the seedlings begin to grow, it is essential to water them (if it doesn’t rain) at regular intervals to keep the soil moist during germinations and until the seedlings are about 4-6 inches in height. It is often better to water them early in the morning rather than later in the day.
  • It is important not to sow the seed bombs too densely. Just gently scatter the seed bombs over the bare soil area ensuring some space has to be given to the seedlings to grow well without strangling one another.
  • The seed bombs can flourish in planters. You can fill pots and planters with compost and soil and and grow your wildflower garden in them.

WATERING – Keep the planted area moist with a mild spray throughout the early growth period. If the seedbed looks dried, water it to ensure that the topsoil is moistened. Watering will hasten the germination and growth process.

SPROUTING – If you are regular with your watering then you can begin to see sprouts in a matter of seven to fifteen days or so. However, flowering takes time. Some species will flower in the first year while some will do so only from the second year onwards. If you keep your wildflowers watered and weed-free then soon you will have a beautiful wildflower meadow to enjoy.

St John’s Marlborough Opening

June 7, 2022

New facilities at St John’s Marlborough were opened last week giving the school much-needed sports and social space. This development completes the school’s rejuvenation in 2007 which left this area of the site ready for further development, but which was affectionately known as “The Somme”. The main impetus of the project was  funding from new housing nearby to which Excalibur Academies Trust increased to enable the construction of a sports hall, 2 games courts, storage building and an outdoor social space.

NVB Architects masterplanned the project and defined the client brief for the sports hall which was delivered by a sports hall specialist contractor, Collinson Construction. The sports hall will allow for greater flexibility of their existing hall addressing in particular the exam season which was impeding the sports curriculum.

NVB Landscape were involved in the planning of the site once the brief for the building was defined to find the best place on the site and maximise the remaining space for outdoor sports and socialising. The site is highly sensitive with a bat roost nearby and being within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to name but a few.

The head teacher, Ian Tucker, opened the project with many kind words for school community, town, design and construction teams.

ISBA Conference

May 16, 2022

We’re on our way!

We are heading to the Independent Schools’​ Bursars’ Association Conference in Birmingham this week. Please do visit us on Stand 99.

We are hiring.

March 8, 2022

We are looking for talented Part I and  Part II Architectural Assistants to join our growing team.  You will be enthusiastic, enjoy being part of a team and have good design skills and wider design awareness.  We value participation, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. You will be working primarily on a number of high quality education projects along with a range of work in other sectors.

We will be looking for good graphic skills and a knowledge of Photoshop/ Indesign/ Illustrator.  A knowledge of Revit would be an advantage.

NVB are committed to promoting equality & diversity both in our workplace and in the wider industry

Please contact Andrew Simpson mailbox@nvbarchitects.co.uk

NVB Appoints Landscape Director

January 6, 2022

We are delighted to announce the promotion of Peter Baker to Landscape Director.

This strategic appointment reflects the importance of landscape design to NVB and the creation of this role is a recognition of the significant work Peter has undertaken in recent years in developing this aspect of our work.  Our landscape team has grown a significant portfolio of work both in conjunction with our architectural work and independently.

Peter originally joined the practice in 2008, becoming an associate in 2010.  After a brief spell working on large-scale public sector schemes at BDP, Peter returned to NVB in 2019.  Since then, he has continued to develop the breadth, scale and quality of projects undertaken as well as our relationships with both public and private sector clients.  Peter’s boundless enthusiasm and energy will be very welcome on the board.

The growing team has some exciting new commissions in hand as we begin 2022 and as part of this development, we are also very pleased to announce the appointments of Jenny Hyden as Landscape Team Leader and Lizzi Rigler as a Landscape Architect.  Jenny brings a wealth of experience of design work and project management as well as significant client relationships.  Her recent work has included projects at Hauser and Wirth Somerset, The Newt and a range of high-quality private gardens and estates. Lizzi originally joined NVB in 2015 before leaving to gain more experience of practical horticulture at the American Museum, RHS Wisley and Stourhead. She has now returned to join our landscape team bringing with her a diverse range of practical and design skills.

The appointments are part of a wider strategic plan for the future of NVB of which we look forward to sharing more in 2022.

Academic Hub on Site

September 7, 2021

A great photograph taken by the main contractor VolkerFitzpatrick showing the extent of our Academic Hub project for the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School.  The project will create a new landscaped Quad framed by teaching buildings bringing life to an underused part of the campus and is due for completion in 2022.  The project design is the result of great teamwork between the school, NVB Architects, NVB Landscape, HGH Consulting, JLL, RLF, Integral Engineering Design, Darke and Taylor, FG Alden, Orsa and VolkerFitzpatrick.

We are Recruiting

May 21, 2021

We are looking for a talented Part II Architectural Assistant, initially to provide maternity cover.  You will be enthusiastic, enjoy being part of a team and have good design skills and wider design awareness.  We value participation, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. You will be working primarily on a number of high quality education projects along with a range of work in other sectors.

We will be looking for good graphic skills and a knowledge of Photoshop/ Indesign/ Illustrator.  A knowledge of Revit would be an advantage.

NVB are committed to promoting equality & diversity both in our workplace and in the wider industry

Please contact Andrew Simpson mailbox@nvbarchitects.co.uk

Planning Approval at St John’s Marlborough

May 6, 2021

We are really pleased to have received Planning Approval for the Sports & Social Development at St John’s Marlborough. This follows a number of planning refusals for the site, largely due to its sensitive location outside the town limit, being within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and near a sensitive bat roost. This represents a significant improvement to the school’s facilities being located in an area affectionately known as ‘The Somme’, a former construction compound from 2007, which will now include a much-needed four court sports hall with changing, informal games courts and social spaces centred around an amphitheatre.

The planting design includes re-use of the chalk-based aggregate to be seeded with flowering meadow grass to increase opportunities for invertebrates for birds and bats to feed on. Detailed assessments were undertaken such as a Noise Impact Assessment by Archo Consulting, detailed bat survey by Nash Ecology and Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment by NVB Landscape, contributing to a thorough planning application to address the sensitive issues on the site.

The building was led by NVB Architects up to the appointment of Collinson Construction for a design and build contract. Planning was expertly managed by Rackham Planning, cost consultancy by Edmund Shipway and Integral Engineering have designed the SuDS, civil and structural elements.

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