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View of the Museum of St Albans residential development, viewpoint taken from across the road

Museum of St Albans (MoSTA) residential scheme

The Morgan Sindall Construction team delivered ten new high-specification homes for the Oak Tree Gardens Scheme, on the site of the former Museum of St Albans (MoSTA), on Hatfield Road.

The centre-piece of the scheme is the Victorian façade. The front and side façades were retained due to their location within St Albans' conservation area. In total the existing façade runs for 62 metres around the site.

Key Stats

Project was procured via the Pagabo Framework

First residential scheme for the customer since 2012

Busy site, located next to a main road and primary school

10 residential properties delivered

Five properties were constructed within the existing Grade II-listed façade

2,000 bricks were reused from the demolition phase as part of the new construction

At a Glance

Client

St Alban’s City & District Council

Budget

£5.1 million

Timing

59 weeks

Location

St Albans, Hertfordshire

Year

February 2019

Sector

Residential

Our approach

This was St Albans City and District Council’s first residential development since 2012, and forms part of their plan to regenerate the city centre as a cultural hub, following the relocation of the Museum of St Albans to the old Town Hall.

With the project having such a large focus locally, the team quickly created a series of events, newsletters and updates to the local community, who were keen to find out more about the development as it progressed. This included sponsoring the Mayor’s Pride Award, regular slots at the Look! St Albans meetings to communicate project progress, making use of some of the community groups and organisations keen social media presence, developing mental health and safety initiatives and working closely with Alban City School on poster competitions and site safety talks.

The London & Home Counties team has a range of experience in delivering projects within a tight site footprint. In fact, many commented that the logistics of this project were very similar to that of a city-centre London project. The town-centre location and proximity to a primary school meant that the team had to develop an extensive temporary works scheme before main construction began, also paying particular attention to their delivery schedule, employing a JIT (just in time) delivery process.

Find out more about the projects the team has delivered

London & Home Counties

An interesting find…

During construction phase the Morgan Sindall Construction team found two time capsules buried in the site. One from 1898, which was placed there when the Museum of St Albanswas officially opened on 20 July that year, and a second that was laid in 1960. Both capsules contained coins, newspapers and notes from the times they were laid. Taking inspiration from this finding, the team decided to commemorate the completion of the project by burying another time capsule and working with pupils from Alban City School to run a competition on what should be buried. Contents included letters and pictures from the children and a fidget spinner! The new time capsule and the original contents from those unearthed from 1898 and 1960 were all re-buried ready for them to be found again in the future.

We were most impressed with [Morgan Sindall Construction’s] can do and will attitude, wanting to achieve opportunities for the Council. They have been very reliable and constructive in dialogue meetings with senior management and executive leader and portfolios holders and stakeholders. Ensuring that excellent communications are maintained with neighbouring buildings, the local community at large and empathetic to the needs of the local primary school next door. All of this has been in achieved in spite of these buildings getting built in the city centre. The Morgan Sindall Construction team took into account the mammoth logistical challenges, management of the public and causing minimum disruption in a very busy and congested part of St Albans.
Richard Shawe, St Albans City & District Council
A selection of the items found in the time capsule at the Museum of St Albans residential scheme including, old newspapers, currency and handwritten notes
A selection of the items found in a time capsule that was buried at the Museum of St Albans residential scheme, the capsule was re-buried as part of the project
The Morgan Sindall Construction site team, councillors and school children outside the Museum of St Albans residential scheme at the time capsule ceremony
After finding the time capsule on site, the Morgan Sindall Construction team invited pupils from Alban City School to suggest items for a new capsule to be buried

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