Friday, 26 May 2017

Start of summer for City lifeguards

Teams of lifeguards will take up their posts on Brighton & Hove’s beaches this weekend officially kicking off the summer season. 

The lifeguards patrol the city’s beaches from the Marina to Hove Lagoon and as far as Saltdean during the summer school break.  
The team of male and female lifeguards, aged between 17-55, have all successfully completed a rigorous beach lifeguard qualification and a week-long  induction course acquiring a wide range of skills from assessing sea and weather conditions and dealing with beach hazards, to carrying out first aid and water rescues.  Last year, the seafront team saved 33 lives and gave help or safety advice  to over 27,000 people.

The city is also celebrating the start of the summer season this week as Brighton Central and Hove Lawns beaches are among 14 of the South East region’s beaches to win prestigious Blue Flag awards while Saltdean beach has scooped a Seaside Award.  A total of 68 of the UK’s beaches have been awarded Blue Flags in 2017.

The awards, managed by Keep Britain Tidy, are the quality marks for the UK’s beaches and mean those visiting them can be sure that they are clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as the tough international bathing water quality standards.

Caroline Lucas talks policy and policing in Brighton

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Piling gets underway at the RSCH

Piling rig & crane
Redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital has passed another milestone. The first piles, that form part of the foundations for the Stage 1 Building at the north of the site, have been set in place. This is the first piece of true construction work for the building.

Although not visible, the foundation piles mark the transition from preparation to construction.
Foundation piles are large reinforced concrete columns that sit below ground level and support the weight of the building above. The piling works are starting in the north-west corner of the construction site and will continue through to November or December 2017, depending on how well the ground takes the piles. Once the piles in the north of the Stage 1 site are in place the first parts of the main excavation for the site will start, later in the summer of 2017.

The Stage 1 Building will stand on 413 piles in total. The piles on the northern boundary are being sunk to a depth of 33 metres. The piles that will support the building’s southern boundary, alongside Eastern Road, will be between 10 and 15 metres deep. The difference is caused by the natural slope of the site from higher elevations in the north to lower elevations in the south.

Piles for the building are formed by drilling a hole to the required depth. A reinforced steel cage is lowered into the hole and concrete is pumped in. Once the concrete has hardened the pile is capped, ready to support the building above.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The 107 year-old Council houses

The north end

The south end

These gems of the Tudor Revival style lurk in the little frequented and strangely named High Street, nos. 23 - 30. They tick all the boxes; half-timbering, gabled dormers, mansard roofs, stone-arched doorways, and mullioned windows. The narrow street makes them difficult to photograph and they are always partly obscured by cars.

They are grade II listed the description for which includes a mention of the scattered fenestration and that the individual units are designed to form an irregular and picturesque grouping by simple variations on a common type; only No.27 is really unique, forming a central point of emphasis. The other units are assembled from a limited number of features and finishes.

Between Nos 28 and 29 is a round gable which bears a shield inscribed with the date 1910 and the Corporation's arms. All the cast-iron downpipes are original, one of which can be seen on the right. 

They were designed by local architects Clayton & Black and the ravages of time appear to have left them largely untouched. It would be good to be able to say the same of more modern buildings.

Friday, 19 May 2017

SE "Project of the Year" - the BA i360

The highly acclaimed Project of the Year accolade is presented by the R.I.C.S. to the scheme which demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area. British Airways I-360 not only scooped the prestigious title this year, it also won the 'Design through Innovation' and 'Tourism & Leisure' awards.

Brighton has a long tradition of expressing its identity through remarkable architecture and British Airways I-360 continues this tradition of celebratory structures. Not only has the project given the city a 21st  Century landmark with which to identify itself, it has created new jobs and spurred economic growth. The innovative form of funding used to build British Airways i360 means that Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) earns nearly £1 million per year for the city. These earnings are used for regenerative purposes, to breathe new life into forgotten areas and to give back to the city.

In urban design terms, the tower can be seen as an equivalent of an obelisk which traditionally was used to complete the bottom of an open-ended, three-sided plan, such as Regency Square. The height of British Airways i360 is half the length of the West Pier, while the visitor centre at its base, including the reconstructed Eugenius Birch-designed 1866 tollbooths and flanking stairs, stretches the width of Regency Square behind it. The tower, aligned on the central axis of Regency Square, creates a strong reference point from afar.