National recognition for Cupola House restoration

The project to raise Cupola House from the ashes is competing for national recognition at the national Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Awards, to be held at Westminster Park Plaza on November 10.

The five year project to rebuild the Grade I listed town centre landmark, which is now home to Bourges Restaurant, after it was destroyed by fire, won two LABC East Anglia Building Excellence Awards in July.

In recognition of the excellent job done, O. Seaman and Son Builders were awarded the Best Local Builder Award and the project also won the award for Best Commercial Building, beating stiff competition from around the East Anglia region.

Following the fire in June 2012, O. Seaman and Son Builders took on the re-build project following a comprehensive design from renowned architects Purcell. The project entailed balancing the desire to adopt traditional construction methods and retain the historic design, whilst attempting to bring the building’s performance into line with modern safety standards and to reduce the risk of future fire.

West Suffolk building control officers attended the blaze that gutted Cupola House and have worked closely with O. Seaman and Son Builders to completion in 2017. Richard Sill, the building control officer who undertook the majority of inspections during the painstaking re-instatement work, said: “It has been a pleasure working with Seamans Builders on such an iconic building of such importance to the local community. We met the challenges through an excellent working relationship and we’d like to thank and congratulate Seamans on a meticulous job, and in particular, Site Manager Neil Honeyball for his tireless efforts in bringing the project to completion.”

Duncan Haydon, at O. Seaman and Son Builders, said: “To win the category at the East of England’s LABC award’s evening is terrific for Seamans . We are delighted the efforts of the build team, who applied so much detail to this complex refurbishment, have been supported by St Edmundsbury’s LABC. This endorsement shows what management, craft and skill sets we have within our company, and as importantly, are available locally.”

Alaric Pugh, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Cabinet member for Planning and Growth, added: “Buildings need to be used to keep them alive and part of Bury St Edmunds attraction is the way the part its rich heritage plays in everyday life. Striking the balance between conservation and modern standards needs sensitivity and imagination, attributes that local company O. Seaman have used throughout this exacting project. So many people have fond memories of this building, and I feel that these have been respected as well as the bricks and mortar. I wish O. Seaman every success at the national awards.”

Picture above are back, Richard Sill, West Suffolk Building Control Service; left, Neil Honeyball; right, . Duncan Haydon; front, Ben Whatling, O. Seaman and Son Builders.

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