Creativity In Concrete Award Winners 2019: Bennetts Associates

22 Nov 2019

The 2019 winner of the British Precast Creativity in Concrete Award is Bennetts Associates. Over many years Bennetts Associates have created numerous buildings of the highest quality using concrete in an honest, structurally expressive, sustainable and creative manner.

Bennetts Associates have a creative approach to architecture, with sustainability at the core of the process. Their work shows a great understanding of concrete’s potential, in particular the use of thermal mass, the use of which is supported by the practice’s own research.

An early pioneering project was the PowerGen headquarters, completed in 1994. The distinctive precast concrete coffered floor units and exposed concrete structural frame are integral to the natural ventilation strategy and energy efficiency of the building. The profiled precast units increase the thermal effect of the concrete through increased surface area. The lessons learnt here influenced a new generation of workplaces.

Other notable projects include the Jubilee Library in Brighton, which was completed in 2005. A thermally active building strategy was adopted for the library using the Termodeck precast system, while the expressive cast-in-situ concrete columns are defining features of the central space. New Street Square (completed in 2008) was the first BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated building in the City of London and the first large-scale concrete-framed building to be constructed there for many years. 5 Pancras Square (completed in 2014) is a largely painted cast-in-situ concrete frame structure, which achieved a BREAAM ‘Outstanding’ rating. At the time, the scheme was the highest-scoring office building in the UK. One year later, 40 Chancery Lane, where the practice chose to expose the precast structure, was completed.

The latest finished scheme is the Royal College of Pathologists. The building comprises an in-situ concrete frame and the dramatic ceilings again use deep concrete coffers so that the thermal mass of the concrete can be used as part of the building’s heating and cooling strategy – most of the building can be passively cooled most of the time.

British Precast is delighted to present Bennetts Associates with the 2019 Creativity in Concrete Award in recognition of its body of work over 30 years and its inspiring and innovative use of concrete.