A first look inside the £25m Winerack as it is brought to life
PUBLISHED: 05:37 26 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:30 27 December 2018
It stood; an empty frame as a monument to the recession; but now an army of workers is bringing The Winerack, in Ipswich Waterfront back to life.
The £25m project, reaching up to 17 floors at its highest point, will provide 150 one, two and three bedroom homes, many with superb Waterfront or town views.
Contractors RG Carter has the partially completed building under wraps as it works beneath the covering to complete the scheme, for the developers Ipswich Wharf Developments Ltd.
It is still a hard hat, high vis area; with carefully controlled access to the building site, but I have had an exclusive visit `under the wrapping’, to discover what is happening.
It stood, empty and unloved for a decade, but RG Carter moved on site earlier this year, the scaffolding frame began to be built in March and giant cranes assembled in May.
I met with head of sales and marketing Samantha Kirk, design director Julia Scowsill and quantity surveyor Connal Griffiths, for a guided tour of Q3, the front porion of the scheme which goes right up to the quayside.
After the years of inactivity there is now a constant stream of craftsmen and technicians working on this project.
RG Carter is forging ahead, with Q3, which will be the first quarter to be completed, probably by late February/March when a show apartment will be opened.
Head of sales Samantha Kirk said: “Here there are 11 apartments, including two penthouses, set to be completed by the end of February, allowing residents to move in from May.
“We have already had some interest in them, and some viewings.
“The apartments will have balconies or Juliet balconies with superb views to the south and west, across the boats in the marina.”
These apartments have high levels of insulation, double glazed aluminium and Velux windows, and balconies will have glass ballustrades.
Inside fitted kitchens and bathrooms are already being installed and the final stages of fit-out is taking place.
We were able to step out onto the scaffolding, where the penthouse balconies will be, and look south across the wet dock, towards the university buildings, Neptune Marina and down river.
Design director Julia Scowsill said: “These will be absolutely lovely places to live.
“I think it will be fabulous living here.
“We have gone for a high specification of finish. We have done a lot to make them special.”
There would be Scandinavian electric heaters, Egger laminated floors (from Austria) in living areas and carpets in bedrooms, with tiling in the bathrooms.
When the big reveal happens, the Q3 exterior will be seen to be a mixture of brick and terracotta board panels, with slate roofs.
Importantly, in the wake of the Grenfell disaster, there are also sprinklers being installed.
Prices for this first phase of apartments are up to £495,000 for a three bedroom penthouse.
There are four blocks, or `Quarters’ in the Winerack, each with their own entrance.
Hidden inside is the car park, with an entrance from Key Street.
The Winerack will have a 260-space German made Wohr automatic car stacking system.
These space-saving systems are used around the world and there is a 339 space system in The Cube, Birmingham.
The car park will provide a space for every apartment and additional spaces for sale.
The German technicians will oversee the building of the system which will have three turnstiles, leading to three turntables.
Once `turned’ cars are lifted and deposited on the various levels, until needed again.
Installation is set to begin in January, ready to be open in September 2019.
This really is the future of parking.
The system `remembers’ a car once it has been entered, and scanned.