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The AI Specification Awards 2022 celebrated the best projects and products from across the architectural ironmongery sector. On this page you can find out more about the winners in each category, including the special Jubilee Award presented to mark the 40th anniversary of these awards

Commercial & Hospitality Award (sponsored by ASSA ABLOY)  

WINNER

Grantley Hall, Ripon
Architect - Bowman Riley
Architectural Ironmonger - Em-B Solutions Ltd

Summary
The magnificent Grade II Grantley Hall in Yorkshire opened in the summer of 2019 as one of the UK’s most luxurious hotels and spas after decades of neglect. Surrounded by thirty acres of beautiful Yorkshire countryside, 17th century Grantley Hall is set on an artificial island created by the canalisation of the River Skell in Ripon.

The renovation was inspired by its original country house grandeur, and while the original building has been retained and restored, it has been joined by two sympathetic new buildings: a new spa building and bedroom wing in a modern Georgian style.

Ironmongery specification
Em-B worked closely with all three architects on this major refurb/new build project. In the old buildings, Em-B worked hard to retain existing hardware where possible, mindful of the need to upgrade to fire door standards where applicable. New ironmongery was carefully matched to the old to provide a consistent design approach throughout. A new security and access control suite, based around a SALTO system, was also integrated with existing hardware in the old part of the hotel. This special project required an extraordinary level of design care to integrate the older listed and modern parts of the hotel. As well as organising the hand restoration and renovation of existing historic hardware such as handles and hinges, Em-B carefully adapted hardware designs and finishes throughout the building to reflect different styles and functions. Antique brass and stainless steel were chosen where appropriate to ensure that the hardware scheme worked seamlessly across the piece.

Judges comments
“An excellent project – from refurbishment of old to supply of new – tremendous work. A privilege to spend time judging this project.”

Public Health & Education Award (sponsored by Forza Doors & Frames) 

WINNER

Cambridge Mosque
Architect - Marks Barfield Architects
Architectural Ironmonger - d line Eisenware Limited

Summary
Planning for Cambridge Mosque began when the existing Mawson Road mosque began to experience capacity issues, with latecomers having to pray on the street. A limited international competition was held, calling for inventive and innovative ideas for a 1,000 capacity mosque that is truly sustainable and socially and architecturally integrated into and respectful of it’s neighbourhood. It is intended to announce Islam’s presence in Cambridge as a spiritual and cultural centre not only for Muslims but also the wider community.

Ironmongery specification
As mentioned above, this was an incredibly technical specification where time was indeed taken to ensure d line met the brief set by Marks Barfield Architects and the client. A natural looking product to blend into the Natural Look of the building specified. This brief was met and also went beyond. d line were approached by Marks Barfields Architects to prepare a detailed architectural hardware specification, which would offer a sustainable product produced in a Hard Enduring Satin Brass Finish for the Front of House Areas and Satin Stainless Steel Back of House.

Judges comments
“This was a project where the ironmongery selected fitted the brief exceedingly well – using satin brass in front of house and stainless steel as back of house finish. Ironmongery was carefully selected and concealed hinges where necessary. Satin brass finish was very well matched throughout the project on all relevant items including the handrail brackets.”

Residential Award (sponsored by Frank Allart) 

WINNER

Regents Crescent, London
Architect - PDP London Architects
Architectural Ironmonger - John Planck Ltd

Summary
Regents Crescent is a prestigious, super-prime residential development overlooking Regents Park. The development makes up one half of the semi-circle of Regents Crescent, designed by world-renowned Buckingham Palace architect John Nash in the 1800s. Upon completion, it’s the first Grade I listed site to be granted permission to be demolished and re-built, retaining its Grade I listed status - typically only granted to existing buildings with significant heritage. The attention to detail extended to all elements of ironmongery, with the majority being bespoke to adhere to the exacting heritage requirements.

Ironmongery specification
All ironmongery was supplied in a custom unlacquered, burnished bronze finish to complement the flourishes and accents from the Regency period within the contemporary designed apartments. This particular finish meets the brief given by the client that it would develop a natural patina through use, over a period of time.

The core door furniture was re-produced based on bespoke designs that formed a part of the original designs within the development prior to the re-construction. The pull handles were manufactured to match the lever design but also produced at varying lengths, intended to align with the vision panels of the doors within the communal areas.

Aesthetics were key to the success of the project and therefore concealed hinges were specified throughout. Over 3,500 hinges were supplied in total with a combination of four differing hinge types to suit the varying door type intricacies, weights and fire ratings. To further support the minimalistic approach for the functional ironmongery, magnetic locks were specified to the apartment entrance doors and all internal doors. With the lever handle weighing over 1kg per set, it needed careful consideration to produce a custom spring mechanism to self-support the handle and avoid any ‘drooping’ when in operation.

Judges comments
“This tapped into the very essence of the building – a beautiful specification inspired by the original ironmongery prior to the demolition of its predecessor.”

International Award (sponsored by dormakaba) 

WINNER

Xiqu Centre, Hong Kong
Architect - Ronald Lu & Partners
Architectural Ironmonger - Key Technologies International Limited

Summary
The Xiqu Centre, a unique contemporary example of a purpose-built venue around the world, with its mission to preserve, promote and develop the art of Chinese traditional theatre, to nurture the local form of Cantonese opera and to promote other forms of xiqu. The Xiqu Centre also presents the highest-calibre productions of Cantonese opera classics. The 7-storey building has a total area of 28,164 sqm and houses a 1,075-seat Grand Theatre, a 200-seat Tea House Theatre, 8 professional studios and a seminar hall, all specially designed for different types of xiqu-related functions and activities.

Ironmongery specification
In order to meet the architects’ expectations on product performance, KeyTech carefully studied and understood the users’ requirements and consultants’ design criteria. Products with independent third party HOKLAS / UKAS accredited laboratories test certification were supplied to correspond with the needs.

KeyTech went further to sponsor additional fire and insulation tests for the 2-hour fire rated timber doors to BS EN1634-01 with the appointed door manufacturer as the majority of ironmongery for fire timber doors were only tested to 1 hour in their country of origin.

Judges comments
“A prestigious project where the ironmongery specification stood out as it was evident that it greatly exceeded the stringent performance requirements of the building.”

Product Design & Innovation (Mechanical) Award (sponsored by Simonswerk) 

WINNER

Complete Sealing System for
Sliding Doors
Norseal Ltd


It is a popular conception that it is impossible to seal a sliding door: but this is no longer true. Sliding doors are becoming an increasingly popular choice, saving floor space and offering a sleek, flexible, minimalist design choice. They are particularly popular for ensuite bathrooms which need sealing, for obvious reasons. Norseal’s Complete Sealing System for sliding doors now automatically seal the majority of sliding doors with any kind of hardware configuration and regardless of door and frame construction. The system is self-levelling, unobtrusive sliding door drop seal that effectively provides smoke and draft protection as well as giving the best possible acoustic performance for sliding doors, offering sound reduction performance of up to55dBRw. It does this by providing automatic sealing top and bottom, and uninterrupted vertical sealing for most latched or unlatched sliding doors, including pocket doors.It works beautifully on timber, metal and even glass doors with zero-threshold, barrier-free access and minimal opening and closing forces.It is suitable for sliding doors up to a size of 2000 x 3000mm in size and can seal the door on four sides without affecting the appearance. The sealing system is mounted on the door surface so it is concealed by the wall and lintel when closed. Only the lower sealing level remains visible, covered with a decorative aluminium screen. The system can be used on new doors but is also suitable for retrofitting.

Judges comments
“It is refreshing to see an innovative method of providing an effective solution to overcome this need in the market place - most impressive!”

Product Design & Innovation (Electronic) Awards (sponsored by ADSA) 

WINNER

Virtual Engineer
Strand Technologies Limited

Virtual Engineer is an online dashboard that can be used on-site, or remotely, to alert and identify a problem and allow common on-site issues to be resolved. The dashboard has been devised specifically for the management of entrances and has two gateway user levels; one for non-technical staff who have immediate responsibility for looking after the site and another, more detailed interface for estates and facilities managers, which provides greater technical detail and remote management capability. It is a unique connectivity solution to enable complete remote monitoring and control of automatic pedestrian doors, access controlled doors, gates, barriers and shutters. User friendly “traffic light” dashboard empowers all support personnel with minimal training and to facilitate rapid fault finding and resolution. Significant reduction in carbon footprint by reducing unnecessary site visit through accurate remote diagnostics.

Judges comments
“This product has innovation written all over it. It provides an effective solution which has the benefit of remote fault finding coupled with helping to reduce its carbon footprint”.

Winner of Winners (sponsored by GEZE UK)  

Grantley Hall, Ripon – Bowman Riley and Em-B Solutions Ltd  

“The breadth and range of products used on this project was inspiring. From split finishes of ironmongery on bathroom doors to the specification and supply of ironmongery which reflected the different periods required in the hotel, this one was a treat to inspect.”
Judging Panel

Jubilee Award (sponsored by Eurobond Doors)  

WINNER

Adare Manor Hotel &
Golf Resort, Ireland
Interior Designer -Richmond International
Architectural Ironmonger - Harbrine Limited / Mooney Architectural

Summary
The Adare Manor project required the hardware specification of the renovation of the existing manor house and the new build extensions of this world class hotel and golf resort (approximately 1500 doors).

Ironmongery specification
The gothic style of Adare Manor lent itself towards ironmongery in a pewter finish. However, the products available in such a material/finish contradicted the designer’s brief of high durability. The products selected for the guest rooms and public areas were from Sun Valley Bronze of Idaho, USA. The dark patina on white bronze cast products proved to be the perfect choice for meeting both the design and durability criteria. However, their products were only designed to suit the North American market, resulting in a co-ordinated programme of redesigning the products to suit European hardware.

With an enormous amount of bespoke products and the requirement for a number of products to operate with the Vingcard locking system, the Architectural Ironmongers worked diligently to design and test the products to ensure they work perfectly in harmony with the access control requirements across the entire project.

Judges comments
“This project is a worthy winner of the Jubilee Award as it encompassed all that is good about our industry. Attention to detail, care in choice of material and co-operation with the design team and client produced an exquisite result.”

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