Creativity In Concrete Award Winners 2018: Robert Bray Associates

23 Nov 2018

The 2018 winner of the British Precast Creativity in Concrete Award is Robert Bray Associates (RBA).

RBA has been at the forefront of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) for over 20 years and recognises the potential of concrete block permeable paving (CBPP) as a key, multifunctional SuDS technique. RBA has made the most of permeable paving to deliver a gradual flow of clean water for amenity, landscape design, biodiversity, education and recycling on numerous SuDS schemes include housing, schools and commercial developments, as well as civic and public realm enhancements. Recent projects include Australia Road, London; Parkside Civic Centre, Bromsgrove; St George’s Primary School, Kidderminster and Bewdley School, Worcestershire.

The first of these schemes - Australia Road, London – won two Landscape Institute Awards in 2017. The first award was for the Adding Value through Landscape category, whilst the second award was the President’s Award - ‘Winner of Winners’.

The Australia Road urban renewal project began as a SuDS initiative by Hammersmith and Fulham Council to introduce permeable paving into the streetscape. It introduced the innovative concept of CBPP as a thin overlay for existing streets. The CBPP simply replaces the bituminous material over the original road base. The same blocks that are used in permeable pavements generally are here installed over a geo-composite conveyance sheet that transports water horizontally. Rainwater is attenuated and treated within the paving, then discharged into adjacent planted basins or rain gardens.

Consultation with local people led to an integrated design that linked two disconnected spaces and CBPP was used to break the existing formal road alignment. The scheme also connected the Randolph Beresford Early Years Centre to an adjacent play area and generated a social hub for parents and children. Meandering through the whole space is a wiggly wall – a reminder of a low wall used as a balance beam by residents in their youth.

British Precast is delighted to present Robert Bray Associates with the 2018 Creativity in Concrete Award, in recognition of its inspiring and innovative work combining SuDS with hard landscape.

With thanks to Graphic Relief for creating and designing the award.