It has been some time since we last posted a general update of what we have been up to and as spring slowly rolls into summer it’s probably a good time to remedy this.
The reason that it’s taken this time to post an update is that much has happened in recent months, including an office move, website refreshment and a number of new commissions.
This page initially began as an opportunity to share the practice’s activities in an interactive, informal format for those who may have an interest. The new website will have a built-in news page, which hopefully will make posting updates a more regular occurrence and keep the site current.
The website refresh coincides with a move from our previous base in North London to new offices in Hitchin, Herts. This strategically positions ourselves between London, Milton Keynes and Cambridge with better access across the wider East of England and also, to the North and the Midlands.
A number of exciting new commissions have added to an already varied project base across the spectrum of ‘place-making’. Combining building and urban design, sustainability and urban planning, this had been the initial intent when setting-up a practice that would be dedicated to place-making as a specialist discipline and our passion for creating bespoke, integrated buildings and places.
New & Ongoing
This year has seen new instructions on a number of sites from Lancashire to the East Midlands and West Sussex. These include strategic green and brownfield sites of between 10 and 45 hectares for a variety of activities – from predominantly residential extensions to mixed-use and tourism.
More about each of these projects as they develop via the ‘News’ link on the new website.
Working alongside a multidisciplinary team of Mayer Brown, Cerda Planning, Ecolocation and Eco-Design Consultants, the master plan for Stoneythorpe Village – a relatively self-contained settlement of up to 800 homes rooted in sustainable and environmental design principles – continues to develop, knitting potential development around existing landscape, natural habitats, ecologically sensitive areas and a sustainable urban drainage strategy.
Stoneythorpe Village – Illustrative Master Plan
In Ibadan, Nigeria, the site for Wellsprings has now been cleared and graded and new roads and utilities are being set out. Having completing the Master Plan in 2015, we were subsequently engaged to prepare five primary house types and a typical apartment building in the same spirit as the Master Plan.
Both Master Plan and typical building types have recently received approval of regulatory consents and we now look forward to watching the construction of the project – and ultimately, the arrival of Wellsprings’ new residents.
Wellsprings, Ibadan – concept through to construction
This year, L’Heritage (a boutique hotel in the Lebanese mountains and one of the practice’s first projects) enters its third summer season. Envisaged as a destination for both day and overnight guests, new accommodation was arranged around a centrally located infinity pool to provide uninterrupted views across Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea and a multi-purpose event space.
In addition to becoming a popular summer retreat, it has also become an attractive venue for music and entertainment events – the central open space is cleared in the evenings to create an atmospheric stage against the backdrop of the city and the sea.
Last month, we moved to new offices in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Equidistant to London, Cambridge and Milton Keynes, the new base gives us greater access to the Midlands and the North, while retaining good connections to Central London and across the South-East.
The new office is accessible from Hitchin train station (30 minutes from London Kings Cross and Cambridge) or by car from J8 (Hitchin) or J9 (Letchworth Garden City) of the A1(M) and the M1 via Luton.
To correspond with the office move, we (with the help of Inky Design) are currently refreshing the website and will shortly be raising a holding page for this (place-make.com).
The new site will be more fluid and interactive than the existing format, which, while serving us well for 4 years, was in need of a refresh to showcase recent projects, news and media links.
Existing posts from ‘PlaceMakeNow’ will be migrated to the ‘News’ page of the new site, which will also have links to related articles by the team.
A link to the new website will appear on this page once it becomes active – we hope you’ll like it!
Articles and other news…
Some links to recent posts and articles;
- A modern take on a walled village (Placemaking Resource, April 17); http://www.placemakingresource.com/article/1430696/review-modern-walled-village
- Reconnecting the ‘left over’ space: creating opportunities for affordable work and business space (Planning and Building Control Today, Oct. 16); https://www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/planning-construction-news/creating-opportunities-affordable-work-business-space/27512
- Higher density, continental style suburban housing (Placemaking Resource, Aug. 16); http://www.placemakingresource.com/article/1407160/review-higher-density-continental-style-suburban-housing
- When is a Garden City not a Garden City? (Planning and Building Control Today, June. 16); https://www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/planning-construction-news/garden-city-garden-city/24740
North London housing scheme raises density in the suburb (Placemaking Resource, Aug. 16); http://www.placemakingresource.com/article/1391623/review-north-london-housing-scheme-raises-density-suburb