Channel Island Ceramics
The site upon which the completed showroom and warehouse development is now situated was purchased by Channel Island Ceramics, with a Planning Consent being in place to permit development. The approved scheme did not fulfil the needs of Channel Island Ceramics and, as a result, the company commissioned Dunnell Robertson Partnership to develop a new design which would be tailored to their own particular requirements.
Channel Island Ceramics are now a well-established company dealing with the supply and installation of high quality sanitary and kitchen installations, floor and wall tiles, granite and marbles, together with various natural external hard surfacing products. However, the company wished to expand their trading base to enable the introduction of high quality furniture, both free-standing and built-in. As a result, it was imperative that a building with a large volume was created, a large element of which would be given over to storage and warehouse facilities, whilst large display areas were required for the products, together with office accommodation for the sales and administrative staff. It was also imperative that the building should be of a high standard, with good quality materials, elements of which reflect the products which the company supply and fit on a regular basis. It was also vital that large glazed areas were provided to enhance the display of the merchandise within the store.
The site itself is particularly prominent, being raised above the road and, in the design consideration, it was necessary to create a strong and imposing appearance to the property, but limiting its mass. This was to be achieved using strong horizontal features to the eaves line of the property, together with the introduction of large glazed areas, with the background theme to the design being of a Japanese nature. Strong colours were introduced reflecting the theme of Channel Island Ceramics corporate identity.
Whilst the building is of a substantial size, a number of measures were incorporated to reduce the impact of the building as a whole. This included the provision of a shallow pitched roof structure, whilst the need to create a large volume, but to avoid a high external structure resulted in a decision to create a substantial basement beneath the building, with access to this being provided by a ramp to the side and rear of the site. The majority of the ramped areas have also enabled on-site parking to be accommodated, with the landscaping to the site as a whole reflecting the products which are supplied and installed by Channel Island Ceramics.
The execution of the project was undertaken by J W Rihoy & Son Limited. The initial stages of the project involved extensive excavation and de-watering of the site to facilitate the construction of the basement areas. The project, however, progressed to programme and budget, with the latter stages of the project being given over to internal fitting out works for the various display areas, with much of this work being undertaken by Channel Island Ceramics’ own staff.
The completed building is now fully occupied and the company continues to trade successfully, and with the business continuing to develop. The planting to the site is beginning to establish and mature with the facility, which has been created, being enjoyed by both the customers and the staff. The building also makes a considerable contribution towards the locality and its setting.