Salvus House, Durham
New Headquarters Building for SMMI
The new headquarters building for SMMI were constructed to the highest standard and reflect the Company's industry, incorporating a number of nautical features.
The entrance is marked by a four-storey metal-clad structure with riveted detail in the shape of a ship's bow with three storey glulam ships prow. The central reception area reflects strong maritime characteristics and some external windows replicate portholes, externally lighting features replicate sea clams.
Strict requirements and limitations were imposed by the Council. The development was only permitted if it did not exceed the height of surrounding trees, was sympathetic to its setting and did not compromise the quality of the adjacent area of high landscape value.
To accord with this brief the building was partially sunk into the ground, necessitating a lightwell and retaining wall with vaulted pavement around part of the plot. The result is a highly innovative but contextual building.