Viewing archives for Public & Community

Marylebone Church

St Marylebone Church has served its Parish since the early 12th Century, when the first church was constructed. The current building constructed in 1813 and consecrated in 1817 is in fact the fourth one since then, designed by the renowned architect Thomas Hardwick. The church saw major post-war renovations, with an extension of the crypt in the 1980s. However it suffered from poor accessibility and several layout compromises. As part of its 900 year celebrations, the Changing Lives project was launched to refurbish and reinvigorate the building, to ensure its continued relevance to the communities it serves.

Following completion of the initial Heritage Lottery Fund Round 1 application in 2014, we were delighted to have successfully bid with Caroe Architecture to progress this ambitious scheme through detailed design and the construction stages. The church is Grade I Listed, located in central London, in a constricted site. The project included substantial remodelling of the existing Crypt, main entrance and vestibules, and replacement of the roof. New meetings spaces, a volunteer room, flexible artwork displays and pop-up kitchen facility were provided. The entrance to the existing NHS GP practice was reconfigured, with a new reception and waiting area. A new lift and feature staircase joins the Crypt to the ground level entrance. The works were carefully sequenced to allow continued use of parts of the Church and the GP practice throughout.

Engineering services included renewal of the major M&E systems within the Crypt and entrances. Being located on Marylebone Road with heavy pollution, ventilation systems were upgraded with bespoke HEPA filters to significantly improve indoor air quality, with heat recovery to reduce energy usage. The building includes a rare example of a functioning Perkins heating system, thought to have been installed in the 19th Century. This had to be carefully modified to suit the new layout. New lighting uplifts the Crypt spaces which lack daylight, and enhance the new entrance stairs. External lighting within the Portico was renewed, including refurbishment of the original torchiere lanterns.

Images – Alan Baxter

Equal Access, St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral, with its world-famous dome designed by the renowned British architect Sir Christopher Wren, is an iconic feature of the London skyline. This grade I listed building is steeped in history and draws in visitors from all over the globe.

CBG Consultants were appointed with the creation of a permanent accessible entrance to the north side of the cathedral. The north transept Porch provides inclusive access for visitors, staff, and volunteers. The Porch is the main visitors entrance and acts as a welcoming point with a clearly identifiable information point. In addition, it also helps with controlling traffic visitor flows, congestion, and security.

As of May 2021, plans were extended to include a memorial to commemorate those who have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tribute is an online book of remembrance which was installed in a purpose-built structure, more than 9,400 names have been entered into the book as part of the cathedral’s ‘Remember Me’ project. The online book contains the name of the deceased, their photograph, and an epitaph written by their loved ones. It is hoped the memorial would provide a reflective space for visitors to remember and to mourn those closest to them.

CBG Consultants were appointed by the client to undertake a lighting design and issue a few proposals to showcase the entrance lobby. CBG Consultants also designed the access control and power requirements for this project.

Winner – 2023 Civic Trust Awards

Winner – 2022 RICS Awards (Category: Heritage – London Region)

Winner – 2023 UIA Friendly and Inclusive Spaces Awards (Category: Refurbished Existing Buildings, including Historic Buildings)

Winner – 2023 Georgian Group Architectural Awards (Category: New Building in a Georgian Context)

Images – Graham Lacdao & CBG Consultants


The Parade Cinema, Marlborough

The former georgian chapel that was closed in 1984 has now since been refurbished into ‘The Parade Cinema’. Prior to the project taking place, the chapel was in a state of neglect with major renovation works required to be able to bring it up to standard for its new use.

Retaining the aesthetics of the former chapel have remained an integral part of the project, with the external appearance remaining the same. However, the main transformation has taken place internally where the once nave section of the chapel is now a grand one screen cinema with 106 seats, 70 in the stalls and 36 in the balcony. There are now dedicated seating spaces, an auditorium, fully licensed bar and café, industrial kitchen, lobby waiting areas and an external substantial paved garden where food and drink can be served and enjoyed in the fresh air.

CBG Consultants was appointed to provide the mechanical and electrical aspects of the project. In keeping with the client’s brief, the M&E works have been designed to be discrete and to not affect the overall look of the cinema, whilst at the same time providing suitable cooling, heating, and illumination.

Images – © Victoria Tapper Photography 

Aston Clinton Community Centre, Buckinghamshire

CBG Consultants were appointed to complete the modelling and full M&E design works to a new build community centre comprising of a multi-use hall, meeting rooms, office, community shop and changing rooms.

The aim was to provide a local facility for the community, social and sports facilities within this well used public park in Aston Clinton. The existing building no longer satisfied current needs, refurbishing and extending was initially considered however, it was clear at an early stage that a new build solution was the only viable option to meet the client’s aspirations.

Other criteria in the client’s brief was the need to minimise running costs, to be sustainable and to be a attractive addition to the village.

M&E services included arranging Incoming Utility supplies (Electricity and Gas), Power , Lighting (Internal and External), Data, Access control, Fire Alarm, CCTV, LTHW heating system (utilising Underfloor heating, Radiant Panels and a small number of radiators), Electric radiant panel heating in changing rooms, Potable boosted Cold Water system, Domestic hot water service, Above ground drainage, MVHR ventilation (changing rooms and toilets) and Passive ventilation (in the Multi-use Hall). Solar PV panels on the roof provide electricity for the building. Provision was allowed with the design for a catering extract system to be added at a future date.

Community of St Mary the Virgin Convent

The Community of St Mary the Virgin (CSMV) is an Anglican religious order based at Wantage in Oxfordshire, England. It was founded in 1848 by the vicar of Wantage, the Reverend William John Butler and is one of the oldest surviving religious communities in the Church of England.

This ambitious scheme sees the remodelling and extension of the 19th century Church of England convent, to provide a new foyer and reception area, together with a new office for CSMV’s bursary staff, office space for the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST) and six new bedrooms for visiting friends of the Sisters.

The previous entrance was poorly sited and poses access issues whilst the new entrance combined with the foyer, provides a large and flexible focal point for the building offering a warm welcome to visitors to the Convent.

The mechanical and electrical services design makes use of existing biomass boiler and PV solar panels on the site, to provide energy for the new accommodation areas.

CBG Consultants also undertook a site wide infrastructure upgrade, to provide new power and water distribution across the site, addressing significant legacy maintenance issues as part of the improvement project.

New Swimming Pool Complex, St George’s Independent Boarding & Day School

Following the opening of the new library and languages centre in 2015, St George’s continued their development plans and we were delighted to be involved with the new Swimming Pool complex commencing in 2018 and opened in the summer of 2019.

Working closely with the Architect, Edgington Spink + Hyne, our Sustainability team worked to optimise fabric first and modelled the building to maximise energy gain whilst avoiding overheating. Dynamic thermal modelling was used as part of our team’s input into the building elements selected. Additional opening windows and window treatment in key areas avoided the requirement for comfort cooling.

M&E services were selected based on proven quality and track record as well as efficiency. Plant was carefully located and to ensure access for maintenance and future replacement. We also undertook investigations into the capacity of the incoming gas, water and electricity supplies.

CBG provided a fully co-ordinated, detailed specification and drawings to ensure the tender documents were unambiguous to permit maximum competition in the tender process.

Images: © Edgington Spink + Hyne

Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

Founded in the 18th Century, the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew is the one of the world’s oldest research facilities of its kind.

The site comprises of many historic buildings which are famous in their own right, including the Pagoda, Palm House and Temperate House. Its importance was recognised in 2003 when it became a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The mechanical and electrical infrastructure has evolved constantly as the site has expanded and developed, with many ad-hoc additions made over the decades. Despite the existence of substantial record drawings and archive information, inevitably there were gaps and inconsistencies in the knowledge of the site. We were appointed to undertake both a strategic level review of the site electrical infrastructure, and detailed building by building surveys. This remit included the home of the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakenhurst Place, Sussex.

We initially carried out visual surveys and inspections of the record information. Following this, we advised where intrusive investigations were needed, and supervised the undertaking of these by qualified specialist contractors. Ranging from the upper galleries of the famous glass houses, to concealed Victorian tunnels and state of the art laboratories, our surveys took us to all areas of this unique and important site.

The client now has a comprehensive accurate record of their assets, and an understanding of what capacity is available for future developments. This will support their work through the next few decades.

Photos: Doruk Yemenici & Philippe Gras

Stockwell Hall of Fame, Stockwell Park Estate, London

The Stockwell Hall of Fame was originally built in the 1950s, to be used for sports by the children of the Stockwell Park Estate.

As part of their estate regeneration, Network Homes have invested in this area to promote the space as a place to showcase artwork (including legally painted street art), whilst also improving the conditions for sports and events usage.

It was highlighted that the site suffered from poor drainage and lighting, and a general need of improvement to ensure the safety of users of the local community. New wall openings, steps, and lighting opened the space up to the outside world.

CBG Consultants were appointed to design the lighting to make the area very welcoming and more importantly safe. Whilst working very closely with the architects, the design team, and the client to ensure that the lighting chosen, and the location of the lighting enhanced the area and realised their vision.

The project was completed in Spring 2019 and is a new cultural destination in the Brixton/Stockwell area, providing a great space for sports, art, and performances to bring together the local community and visitors from all over the globe.

Civic Trust Awards 2020 – Highly Commended
Civic Trust Awards 2020 – Regional Finalist
Building Awards 2020, Social Value category – Finalist

© Matt Clayton Photography

Command Of The Heights, Fort Amherst, Chatham

Located directly to the north east of Chathams town centre, Fort Amherst is one of the country’s best preserved Napoleonic Fortresses. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, previously on Historic England’s ‘at risk’ register, with numerous listed structures and sites.

The ambition for the ‘Command of the Heights’ project was to restore and enhance Fort Amherst, as a space of historic significance, with a strong vision for the future, and to inject new lifeblood into the area, by engaging people from all walks of life to help shape the future of the site.

The vast site poses many logistical challenges, with a network of tunnels, barrier ditches and hilly terrain. The project includes the conversion of former gun casemates at the summit of the site into an open-air theatre; creation of a new visitor access to the site from the main road; installation of a new WC block and demolition of a former MOD office building to reinstate the historic lines of the lower site defences.

Engineering services include new power and water distribution across the site, M&E services to the theatre, landscape lighting, and diversion of a former UK Power Networks substation.

Performance photographs are of ’The Chatham Witch’ by Icon Theatre, Chatham, Kent.

 Finalist – Landscape Institute Awards 2020

Images: Phil Pead – Medway Council & © Simon Kelsey /

Floyds Row Homeless Centre, Oxford

Working with Jessop and Cook Architects, Oxford City Council, St Mungo’s Community Housing Association and Oxford Direct Services (ODS) to convert a former Jobcentre Plus building into an assessment hub and emergency shelter for people sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness.

Collaborating with potential service users – including those experiencing homelessness – the building had been designed as a calm and functional environment, with a provision for dogs and a mix of different spaces including private space.

Floyds Row will provide assessment services and shelter for up to 60 people experiencing homelessness or at risk of rough sleeping. 20 spaces will be temporary shelter of up to a week for people whose needs are being assessed, with another 20 beds reserved for people who have been assessed and are engaging with services to find suitable move on accommodation. The remaining beds will be winterlong emergency accommodation available to anyone experiencing homelessness.

In addition to the range of accommodation, the building offers washing facilities, kitchens, treatment rooms, and intensive support to help people move on from a life on the streets.

CBG designed all mechanical and electrical services for the new facility, ranging from boiler replacement, hot and cold water, power, lighting, fire alarm, security, and brand new purpose-built ventilation system.

The project was completed and opened just two months before the pandemic struck, and had to be temporarily re-purposed as a triage centre because residents could not isolate safely in the building.

His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex visited the completed project in May 2021 and heard how the council had forged new partnerships to provide COVID-safe accommodation in hotels and student rooms, and how Floyds Row was and continues to be an integral part of the recovery from the pandemic.

Images supplied by Jessop and Cook & Cyrus Mower Photography