Magical mystery tour

On a very hot Saturday this month we went on site at Ashgate Croft School to construct the garden arbour, designed by students at Nottingham University last year. We built a timber framework that fixed back to the existing fence and enclosed the entrance path. The timber frames were connected with galvanised metal plates fabricated by Twiggs of Matlock, and tied together with metal wire for plants to climb up and artwork to be hung from. With the leftover funding we bought some herbs to add colour and scent along the path and edible fruits - a grape vine, apple tree and strawberry plants, all to be enjoyed by students using the building.
Ashgate Croft ILU garden arbour construction.
Several students from Nottingham University also came along and were a big help on the day, doing lots of digging, sourcing materials and plants, and helping to build, so many thanks to them. We completed the arbour in time for the official opening of the building by Vanessa May, a former pupil of the school, just before the end of the school term.
Ashgate Croft ILU grand opening
The office also took a trip this month to visit some of our recent projects in Derby. We started at the new classroom block at Littleover Community School that is due to complete before the end of the school holidays. The new block of 8 classrooms and a common room has a brick external leaf that curves along the front elevation overlooking the school field. Internally the concrete and steel structure is left exposed, with careful positioning of services, lighting and acoustic panels to the ceilings to give a light and airy feel.
Littleover Community School classroom block, in construction
Our next stop was the new hall extension to St Joseph's Church. This project began in the office almost exactly 10 years ago so it is fantastic to see it built, and the Church seem very pleased with the final outcome.
St Josephs Church hall, Derby
Tristan Poyser also visited the Church recently, and took some great photos of the building, particularly at dusk with the picture window illuminated.
Church hall at dusk by Tristan Poyser 
Our final stop on our away afternoon was Arboretum Square, which was recommended to us as Derby's 'hidden gem'. The square didn't disappoint, and gave us all some inspiration in masonry detailing.
Aboretum Square, Derby

Evans Vettori enjoying the sunshine on site in Derby, July 2013