Modular Building News from Yorkon

Yorkon News Archives

13/05/2001 – Murray Grove factory-built housing wins 9th award


A building manufactured by York-based Portakabin subsidiary, Yorkon, has won a 2002 Civic Trust Award, bringing the total number of awards for this pioneering project to 9.

The acclaimed Murray Grove Apartments scheme was designed by Cartwright Pickard Architects for Peabody Trust. The aim of the project was to harness new construction technologies and to set new standards in cost-effective quality housebuilding. The scheme was the first multi-storey affordable housing development to be built in a factory.

The purpose of the Civic Trust Awards is to recognise the very best urban and environmental design in the UK with a view to promoting the highest standards of planning and development. The awards highlight three key issues - sustainable design, access for people with disabilities and context - buildings should enhance their local environment and be of benefit to the community.

 According to the judges at the Civic Trust Awards:

"The flats were designed as modules, built in a factory and then assembled on site. The result is a block of well-designed, well-built flats, which contribute positively to their urban environment. In particular, the internal courtyard allows residents a valuable tranquil space. This is an exemplary project that holds important lessons in commissioning affordable housing."

Keith Blanshard, Director and General Manager, Yorkon, said, "Murray Grove has been hailed by Government and others as a breakthrough for innovative housebuilding. The lesson for all is clear - production not construction is the building method of the future."

James Pickard, Project Director at Cartwright Pickard, said, "Murray Grove has demonstrated the value of a more innovative approach to building. Off-site construction can enable clients to develop exciting, contemporary architecture more quickly, efficiently and with reduced running costs."

30 high specification apartments were manufactured and fully fitted out off-site in York. The steel-framed modules were craned into position complete with carpets, kitchens, bathrooms, plumbing and heating.

The design for the scheme openly expresses its modular construction with innovative features such as steel cable cross bracing. Each apartment has its own private balcony, which overlooks a south facing landscaped courtyard. A full height glazed lift and stair tower is a prominent architectural feature and the striking terracotta rainscreen cladding is sympathetic to the surrounding industrial Victorian architecture.

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