Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Behind the scenes of Ipswich's massive Waterfront development - College Street

The Ipswich Waterfront is now thriving with the University of Suffolk's new buildings, restaurants and bars breathing life into the marinas and surrounding area.

Council Leader David Ellesmere commented recently that "the Stoke Bridge side has long been a sorry state and we want to enhance this to create a new and attractive gateway from the western end."

Such a vision for central Ipswich is one JMS share and, in fact, are practically very much involved in delivering.

As you drive from Fore Street into Key Street in the direction of College Street, you enter one of these major redevelopment areas. Imagine Regatta House (left) and Premier Inn (right) forming a 'gateway' to College Street. JMS have been involved in the structural development of both of these properties.

The 'gateway' to College Street: Premier Inn (JMS project) right, Regatta House (JMS project) left.
Through the gates and into College Street where, ahead, huge scaffolding banners announce the coming of 'The Mill House'. This is a concept creating 43 apartments with a three-storey extension built on top of the existing building - another project commissioning JMS's specialist services.

As Civil and Structural Consulting Engineers, we are engaged to support this and other construction projects, each literally a stone's throw from one another. Our role is to provide engineering expertise to all assets in the construction community - from architects, project managers and contractors, to developers and owners.

Projects, civil and structural, benefit from cost efficient creativity, finding ways to achieve pre-determined goals and surmount unexpected problems. We turn architectural aspirations into functional reality.

From substructure, drainage and infrastructure below, to foundations, supporting walls, load bearing steel work and additional floors on to existing high-rise.

The concept will create 32 studio flats and 11 one bed roomed flats with a three-storey extension built on the top of the building.

Just past the mountain of scaffolding is a boarded shopfront which is due for renovation. JMS are just preparing designs for its renovation to retail units.

JMS are contracted to both developments - The Mill House and the shops which face the island between College Street and Star Lane. The island has had all but a few buildings and St Peter's church demolished ready for urban development. Again, JMS are contracted to this also.

Driving on past the shops, the first building on the island is 4 College Street, a Grade II listed building in need of mush care and attention.

It is a 16th Century timber framed merchant's house with plastered walls, a quaint cottage with interesting features, all in need of preservation and sympathetic development.

The first floor along the front is jetted, as is the west elevation, although here the protrusion is not much more than the width of the bressummer beam.

Restored brickwork and roof repairs have been undertaken to weatherproof the building, as well as work to restore the archway at the back. It's understood that period front doors from its 18th Century roots will also be installed.

JMS have in turn been appointed as consultant engineers on the project.

Having already undertaken initial designs and worked with the developer on temporary shoring and repairs, JMS are now working with the other team members to fully restore the building and bring it back to working use.

This small piece of the region's architectural history had been on the 'at risk' register for over 20 years. It has finally been handed a life line that we are delighted to support.

This protected merchant's house sits very much in the shadow of Cardinal Lofts on the other side of College Street. From the image (right) you can see it rising behind the weatherproofed roof of 4 College Street.

Apartments and tiered balcony apartments above, offer one and two bedroom flats whose inhabitants have use of the pool and leisure centre in the building downstairs.

By now of course you may not be surprised to hear that JMS were contracted as consultant engineers in the re-development of Cardinal Lofts also.

Although this was one of the first projects JMS undertook along the Waterfront, we continue to work on further development with the formation of further apartments at ground and basement levels.

With 15 projects already under our belt in just this part of Ipswich, we'll be actively supporting the development of this vital gateway, to design and instruct the precision engineering necessary to let creative architecture grow.

Across pre-development, re-development and post-development, Ipswich has much to be proud of. And, named or unnamed, architects, project managers, contractors, developers, owners and of course Consulting Civil and Structural Engineers, all have much to be proud of also.

We add value to every project we have been,
are, and will be equally proud to support.

01473 487 047


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