Ready To Take On Anything!
This year we went to Warwick Castle for our team building event. It was an enjoyable day.
And now the team is ready for anything!
This year we went to Warwick Castle for our team building event. It was an enjoyable day.
And now the team is ready for anything!
We are pleased that Beaulieu is a finalist in the Best Placemaking category at the British Homes Awards.
The character of the architecture and landscape, working together, give a strong sense of place. The first phases - including the neighbourhood centre are now complete.
We are delighted that our design for 2 Iceni Square has been nominated – a group of three-storey, four-bedroom houses in the Atelier neighbourhood where a mix of interesting contemporary designs, which include terraces and flats, have been composed to provide both a distinctive architectural flavour and a sense of integration.
The awards team describe the townhouse as “This house has both pleasing overall proportions and a combination of details that complement each other nicely so that the design works well whether you are looking at it standing back or close up.”
It’s great to see the first businesses moving into Station Square, Carpenders Park. This retail area and public square form part of the first phase of the South Oxhey Initiative.
This is a joint venture between Countryside, Home Group and Three Rivers District Council to regenerate the town centre. At the same time the first 84 town centre apartments are under construction.
We are delighted that the Community Centre at Beaulieu is now open. It is an important element of our mixed-use neighbourhood centre design.
The community centre has a wonderful double height space - which can be used for lots of purposes. We can't wait to see the programme of events coming up! (Photo credit - Countryside)
We are delighted to see that Beaulieu has been shortlisted in the Best Placemaking category for the 2018 British Homes Awards. Further to the development of our design for the wider masterplan for 3,600 homes to the north of Chelmsford, we have designed two of the initial detailed phases of the Development – Beaulieu Chase and Beaulieu Square.
Now completed, these initial phases of the scheme are setting the tone for further phases of the development and have created a place with a real sense of character. New build homes are set within generously landscaped avenues, linear parks and public garden spaces - alongside private amenity space including both gardens and external terrace space.
GSA have been working with ENGIE Regeneration - developing the EnergieSprong near net-zero energy retrofit pilot for social housing provider Moat Homes in Maldon, Essex. GSA associate John Pratley gave a presentation to prospective residents as part of a customer engagement workshop at the local community centre.
We have submitted a planning application for 6 homes. GSA designed the holistic proposals using our in-house Passivhaus modelling capabilities to energy-prove the design process. “The project is exciting and the finished result looks really smart but the best bit has to be the expected savings on energy costs” - Ms Edwards - Resident
Congratulations to the Beaulieu team for the win in the Infrastructure Planning category of the Planning Awards. It was a successful night -also scooping highly commended awards for Partnership Working and Best Housing Scheme (500 homes or more).
Picture credit – Countryside.
“When it comes to designing for adults, young adults in this case, you have to make sure it reflects somewhere they want to live in. It’s not a nursery or a school — you want it to feel like home so you have to be using colours that reflect that kind of environment.” – Manoher Matharu, director
Manoher was talking about our design at Redhill for RNIB. Find out more about inclusive design in George Kafka’s article for Blueprint this month.
“Estate regeneration was already a thorny issue before the Grenfell Tower fire, involving complex debates around whether to refurbish or demolish. Tragic events at Grenfell almost a year ago further complicated the issue, leaving many questioning the future of some of the UK’s mid-twentieth century estates, specifically those constructed using the
non-traditional materials and designs of the public housing boom.” – Josephine Smit We are helping to address this. At Wilmcote House, Portsmouth we have been upgrading the external fabric performance to achieve Passivhaus EnerPHit. Read more about our refurbishment project in Josephine’s article.
Part of the North Kent College campus is being sold for residential development (to raise funds for a new teaching building). The site has an interesting place in history. In 1895, Martina Bergman-Österberg located her women’s Physical Training College here (then a house called Kingsfield). The game of netball is credited as being developed here.
Our proposals include new houses and apartments, centred around The Green - a large landscaped area which lies at the heart of the development. It also provides a new setting for Kingsfield, which will be sensitively converted into apartments. A public exhibition has been held to consult upon the proposals.
We are delighted to receive two planning approvals in one week for our designs at Park Place, Stevenage. Here are some site photos of our town centre regeneration work currently on site. The recent approvals relate to:
12 Park Place - a 9 home scheme for MBU Capital adjacent to our current Park Place project which responds sensitively and adds to the modernist conservation area. St George's Car Park cladding scheme - creating a visual screen for the benefit of the new residents of Park Place that will look towards the car park, utilising perforated metal panels.
Grays in Essex is a town with great potential, close to scenic country parks and the River Thames, yet within convenient commuting distance of London. So we were delighted to be appointed to transform this development site within a former quarrying area of the town.
We have just submitted a planning application for 102 new homes (a mix of houses and apartments) at Devonshire Place. We worked closely with the Bellway team to turn around the planning application in 2 months!
Congratulations to Paddi Clark who graduated with Distinction in her MSc in Environmental Strategy from the University of Surrey. Her dissertation explored the potential for using Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) in UK social housing using GSA's Westway Beacons as a case study.
Westway Beacons was the first U.K. Housing project to incorporate ATES which uses the heat naturally stored in the aquifer to provide low cost heating and cooling, thereby minimising residents’ fuel bills and helping people out of fuel poverty.
We noticed an advert for our apartment scheme at Grange Walk in Bermondsey on the back of a London bus in Greenwich.
Far from looking like ‘the back end of a bus’ - the scheme is an elegant courtyard design that strongly addresses the urban context and surrounding streets.
Our twin mixed-use buildings at Park Place, Stevenage, town centre regeneration are progressing well on site. The scaffolding has been taken down revealing the profiled aluminium cladded façade.
Projecting window frames and flat aluminium panel inserts are being installed, as balconies are clad, awaiting glass balustrade inserts to the sides. The “bookends” are finished with Corium brick slips whose lustrous finish changes throughout the day and in differing light conditions!
Residents are moving into their new homes at Hallowes Crescent and Maylands Road, South Oxhey. This is part of the South Oxhey Initiative – to regenerate the town centre, achieved through a partnership between Countryside, Home Group and Three Rivers District Council.
Construction of Phase 2 will start in Spring 2019 - providing a further 174 homes. With completion on these properties expected by spring 2020.
Recently there has been increasing interest in the alternatives to tall buildings. We thought that you might like to see progress photos of Grange Walk (Corio) in Bermondsey – which is currently on site.
This scheme for Linden Homes and Wandle housing association provides 167 mixed-tenure apartments (including wheelchair homes) in a mid rise courtyard scheme. Although it is only 4-7 storeys high, responding to its context, it achieves 305 dwellings / HA or 859 habitable rooms / HA.
GSA with Crest Nicholson have been selected by MKDP to design a prestigious new mixed use quarter overlooking Campbell Park and the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes.
Campbell Park Northside will be developed jointly with Urban Splash and Places for People and will contain up to 1,500 new homes, together with retail, restaurants, offices, a hotel and community space. GSA's winning design incorporates existing trees and hedgerows in a linear park connecting the town centre with the Grand Union Canal.
The MHCLG held their "Addressing Fuel Poverty" Workshop in Portsmouth this week, using our Wilmcote House Passivhaus EnerPhit social housing retrofit as a case study. We heard presentations from Portsmouth, Exeter and Southampton City Councils sharing their experiences of providing energy-efficient homes and refurbishing existing housing.
After the Workshop, GSA Associate John Pratley helped lead the building tour - including a look inside one of the recently refurbished maisonettes, where we witnessed first hand the thermal benefit of a Passivhaus home:- a pleasant, draft-free internal temperature of 20C (with the outside a chilly, windy –1C). All achieved without the heating on!
Beaulieu will provide a vibrant new district for Chelmsford offering inspirational architecture and landscape. The design is inspired by the area’s rich heritage – set around the majestic New Hall School, formerly King Henry VIII’s Tudor palace, and its estate parkland. The development is conceived as a series of individually designed neighbourhood
Chelmsford's MP Vicky Ford has been on a tour of the latest updates to Beaulieu. Here she is shown visiting Beaulieu Square - our design for the neighbourhood centre.
The first phase at Mindenhurst was unanimously approved at Committee last night - great news for CALA Homes and GSA. The scheme for 215 new homes, ranging from 1 & 2 bed flats up to 5 bed detached homes, sets the bar high for the redevelopment of the Princess Royal Barracks in Deepcut.
This is part of a wider plan to deliver 1,200 new homes, a school & village centre. Work will now start on site to deliver much-needed homes sitting within a beautiful woodland setting, with many enjoying views across the Village Green or parkland.
Our Design Code for Parcel M at Arborfield Green for Crest Nicholson Regeneration has just been approved. We have a 3 out of 3 success rate at Arborfield!
This code focuses on the Cricket Green character area, right in the centre of the masterplan, close to the new Park and District Centre. The document guides the design of the intimate courtyards and lanes forming a sensitive transition to the existing houses next to the site.
Our design for the community hub at Beaulieu, Chelmsford is reaching completion on site. The supermarket and shops are now open for business.
The hub will also provide a new health centre, community centre and with new homes above. Photo courtesy of Countryside.
Thank you to everyone who supported the public exhibition showcasing the proposals for the new District Centre at Arborfield Green. We are currently working with Crest Nicholson to produce a Development Brief. This was our chance to share initial ideas with the public.
The centre will be located alongside the new school, and will bring together a vibrant mix of amenities for the community including a food store, shops, food & drink outlets, community and leisure facilities.
This year it is 40 years since Francis Tibbalds founded our practice. His holistic approach to placemaking is still enshrined in our practice today. Director Christine Goldsmith is rediscovering his work through his wonderfully illustrated book ‘Making People-Friendly Towns’.
Through the course of this year she intends to visit locations featured in the book, and photograph them. Seeing if the qualities that he valued have survived and how change has affected these places. Starting with London!
In refurbishment projects, squeezed budgets are often torn between the demand for better fire safety measures and improving energy efficiency in tower blocks.
But Wilmcote House, Portsmouth shows that needn’t be the case. GSA associate John Pratley recently spoke to RIBA Journal about his experience.
Happy New Year from everyone at GSA! We wish you a happy and successful new year in 2018.
This is the spectacular new years fireworks display from our office on Blackfriars Road.
We have been privileged to work on some very exciting and rewarding projects in 2017.
Thank you to everyone who worked with us and supported us throughout the year.
It’s been another busy year for GSA with our portfolio of diverse projects continuing to grow. This includes South Oxhey where we received unanimous planning approval for Phase 2 of our Masterplan (comprising 500+ homes, 50k+ sqft retail, along with the new Market Place and Station Square).
Construction is progressing rapidly - so it won’t be too long before everyone can enjoy a cup of mulled wine at the real Christmas Market!
The design team braved the winter weather to visit Beaulieu Square, being built by Kier contractors just outside Chelmsford. The mixed-use Neighbourhood Centre containing shops, apartments, a nursery & community centre provides the communal facilities for the 200 new homes at Beaulieu Chase for Countryside and L&Q.
Our taxi driver from Chelmsford station has already used the new Sainsbury’s Local store, and we all sampled the delights of the Churchills Fish & Chip shop for a well-earned hot lunch. The first residents will be moving in to their new contemporary apartments early next year - all with generous balconies overlooking the parkland.
Ruth Stanesby and Hannah Shopland joined the CALA team to explain the scheme for 215 new homes, ranging from 1 & 2 bed flats up to 5 bed detached homes, at the Mindenhurst public exhibition. This is the first phase of the redevelopment of the Princess Royal Barracks in Deepcut.
This is part of a wider plan to deliver 1,200 new homes, a school & village centre. The new homes will sit within a beautiful woodland setting, with many enjoying views across the Village Green or parkland. Retention of many mature trees with additional high quality planting sets a high benchmark!
RNIB Redhill was shortlisted for the Health Future Projects Category of the World Architecture Festival Awards. Director Manoher Matharu presented the scheme in Berlin 15-17 Nov. It is a really uplifting story - RNIB in partnership with Countryside are creating a truly inclusive & pioneering residential environment.
The scheme will deliver housing for people with visual impairments side by side with open market sale homes. All homes are linked by the sensory trail to The Hub where the RNIB staff are based. This allows RNIB clients varying degrees of independence and a chance to fully participate in the community.
We built a great relationship working with the residents, Optima, and Crest Nicholson at Park Central. We worked together to regenerate the Lee Bank Estate in Birmingham over a period of roughly 15 years.
It was a very positive design and development process – leaving all parties feeling very proud of what had been achieved through partnership and collaboration together. The most recent accolade is Finalist for Best Community Initiative in the Housebuilder Awards.
Associate John Pratley took part in a very informative 2-day study tour in the Netherlands looking at the innovative Dutch Energiesprong zero-energy, housing retrofit approach.
GSA are currently looking at a number of potential Energiesprong pilots for UK Housing Associations with our Wilmcote House Passivhaus Retrofit clients Keepmoat Regeneration, part of the ENGIE energy and services group.
We had an inspiring WISH (Women in Social Housing) London RegionBreakfast Briefing at our offices this week. The topic was Effective Utilisation of Social Media presented by Paul Monteath, Director at the Digital Co.
Paul specialises in digital strategy, where he has delivered a number of pioneering integrated campaigns. He was able to inspire us to tell our stories...interestingly!
Thanks to MBU and Ashe Construction for inviting us to the topping out ceremony at Park Place, Stevenage. The final steel was successfully craned into place. Now work on the external envelope can start.
The practice of "topping out" a new building can be traced to the ancient Scandinavian religious rite of placing a tree atop a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits displaced in its construction. Fortunately this is a town centre regeneration project!
South Oxhey is no longer the Unsung Town – as it was named when it appeared in the BBC series The Choir. The process to revitalize the town centre is well under way – the first housing sites are nearing completion and the new shops and public square at Carpenders Park Station are progressing on site – whilst maintaining public access at all times.
The planning application for the second phase has just been granted planning permission. This gives the green light for 174 mixed tenure homes, shops and a new market place.
We are delighted to see that our work at The Briars (BAC), Harlow, now called Atelier, is coming to fruition. This week the first Home Group tenants moved in. We wish them a very happy future in their new homes.
Working with Harlow Council, Countryside & Home Group we designed a low rise scheme based on a traditional network of street and squares. Consultation with the community told us that this was what was wanted. The challenge was to design an attractive high density scheme at low rise. This was the first of Harlow's priority estates to reach viability
We are delighted to have been selected by CALA Homes to design the first phase of the redevelopment of the Princess Royal Barracks in Deepcut – now known as Mindenhurst. This first phase contains 215 new homes, ranging from 1 & 2 bed flats up to 5 bed detached homes. This is part of a wider plan to deliver 1200 new homes, school & village centre.
A reserved matters planning application will be submitted imminently, with construction potentially starting early in 2018. The new homes will sit within a beautiful woodland setting, with many enjoying views across the Village Green or parkland. Retention of many mature trees with additional high quality planting sets a high benchmark!
We have joined an impressive list of companies and organisations that have signed up to the Future of London Diversity Pledge.
“London’s diversity is its biggest asset”, according to the GLA, offering a competitive edge internationally and among industry peers. New voices can also bring fresh ideas and perspectives - just what is needed now!
The first residents at Hayling Place have moved into their new homes. These family homes neatly infill the vacant site of the former Jet Pub.
This site is the is the first part of the wider South Oxhey town centre regeneration in partnership with Three Rivers District Council, Countryside and Home Group.
John Pratley and Alex Baines will be talking about Wilmcote House, Portsmouth at The International Refurbishment Symposium at The IET, London on Friday 15 September.
They will be explaining the design process and delivery on site of this large scale Passivhaus retrofit project.
Our scheme for 79 new homes in Parcel U2 of Arborfield Green has received unanimous approval at planning committee. This is part of the wider regeneration scheme to transform the former Arborfield Garrison near Wokingham into a garden village.
Many homes will enjoy views over the Lake, and the retention of mature trees, with additional planting adds to the attractive landscaped setting. The design reconciles complex constraints, including flood protection, SuDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage System), an existing sewer, mature protected trees (TPO), and the location of the new bus route.
We are delighted to be appointed by Crest Nicholson on the district centre at Arborfield Green near Wokingham. This is part of an overall masterplan to redevelop this former garrison into a garden village.
It is anticipated that the new district centre will contain a mixture of town centre uses including an Early Years Centre or nursery, community centre, health centre, apartments, office / employment space and retail space including a food store.
We have just completed the architectural design of Phase 2 of the town centre regeneration at South Oxhey (phase 1, including the Station Square is currently on site). This will deliver 174 new homes across a mixture of tenures and 730sqm / 7,850sqft of retail space facing onto a new Market Square (designed by Philip Cave).
The masterplan relocates the existing market place closer to local transport links and Carpenders Park Station, which should help to revitalize the market by encouraging more footfall, and making it sustainable in the long term. The space is also a gathering space that will be used for the annual summer fair and Christmas event.
Great to see the first houses at Arborfield Green completed. They set the bar high for the further 2,000 homes that will transform this former garrison site into an attractive garden village centred around lakes and mature trees.
The design promotes wellbeing, with many homes enjoying views over naturalistic parkland – providing a rich habitat for humans and wildlife alike!
Here is a preview of the new entrance to Beaulieu urban extension in Chelmsford, it is now peeping over the hoarding. It will create an attractive entrance into the new masterplan, as well as catering for the needs of the local community. This block contains spacious duplex apartments above a row of new shops and a food store.
We will keep you updated as the mixed-use buildings in the neighbourhood centre reach completion.
Phase 3 of Arisdale Avenue, South Ockendon (on the Former Ford Works), has just got planning permission. This includes 113 new homes (a roughly equal mix of houses and apartments) arranged around a new central park and play area. A wide range of house types and apartment blocks creates a diverse and sustainable neighbourhood, providing choice.
The design work was developed in a very short 8 week programme. Our team were able to provide the intense effort and focus needed to make this project a success. So much so - the entire application was determined in 5 weeks!
At South Oxhey, town centre regeneration project, there is a process in place to engage with the community. There is a Community Board, regular updates can be found in the newsletter and on the project website. At the weekend the public exhibition to update everyone on progress was attended by over 150 people.
Even the hoarding has been designed to give the public viewing areas so that the progress can be seen - it makes a real difference. On the central site, the structure for the first residential apartment buildings are going in at the moment, and work is just starting on the new Station Square.
A planning application for 79 new homes in Parcel U2 of Arborfield Green has been submitted. This is part of the wider regeneration of Arborfield Garrison. Many homes will enjoy views over the Lake, and the retention of mature trees, with additional planting adds to the attractive landscaped Garden Village setting that new residents will enjoy.
The design reconciles complex constraints, including flood protection, SuDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage System), an existing sewer, mature protected trees (TPO), and the location of the new bus route for residents.
The Community Centre at Beaulieu will be a thriving multi-purpose resource providing a wide range of services, activities and meeting spaces for people of all ages. The building has been designed to be flexible to support all these uses.
The Community Centre forms part of the wider Beaulieu Square neighbourhood centre – which is currently under construction on site. We are delighted to see it all taking shape. Not long to wait!
Our award-winning estate regeneration project at Park Central, Birmingham is nearing completion on site. The Sales Suite is being converted back to an apartment.
So we were really delighted when Crest Nicholson gave us the model. It now has pride of place in our conference room. Please click the link below to see photos of the finished buildings.
We have just submitted a planning application for Phase 3 of Arisdale Avenue – the masterplan to redevelop the Former Ford Works at South Ockendon. This includes 113 new homes (a roughly equal mix of houses and apartments) arranged around a new central park and play area. The new masterplan provides better pedestrian and vehicular connections.
A wide range of dwelling types will create a diverse and sustainable neighbourhood, as well as an attractive, varied streetscape. The parkside homes have generous full height windows and bay windows – making the most of views. The colour palette references the original colours of the Ford Escort Mexico that was built at the site.
Our scheme to transform Park Place, Stevenage has commenced on site, with completion due in late 2018. Carefully considered adaptive re-use and extension of the existing buildings, will provide 202 town centre homes and over 20,000 square feet of retail space; helping to revitalise the town centre and acting as a catalyst for wider regeneration.
The design honours the rational structural grid of existing buildings and re-utilises existing stair cores, maintaining an honesty and connection to the modernist legacy of Stevenage, but with new life and vitality. Totally refurbished and extended retail units at ground floor address a high quality landscaped central parade.
The team are celebrating a successful launch for the first phase of Atelier in Harlow. This is an estate regeneration scheme working in partnership with Harlow Council, Countryside and Home Group. It replaces run down prefab bungalows with contemporary houses and apartments.
It is part of the council's Priority Estates programme - the first to achieve viability and be built. A great milestone for the future of the town!
GSA is rare: we have delivered masterplans as fully functioning built environments. We are able to combine understanding of the place with a design ideology. We create design visions that are aspirational and transformational. We test and support our design objectives with practical knowledge and rigorous viability assessment.
We were able to assist at Arborfield Green Garden Village by testing and adapting the existing masterplan for 2,000 new homes and a neighbourhood centre. Helping our client Crest Nicholson to take forward their strategic plans for the site.
Architecture students from Anglia Ruskin University on a tour of Beaulieu, Chelmsford. Director Graham Kime, who has been involved with the project from the masterplanning stage, gave a presentation and was on hand to answer questions.
The students visited the neighbourhood centre which is under construction, and the first residential phase, which is now complete.
Birmingham City Council are amongst those awarded a share of the government’s £32 million estate regeneration fund.
We were delighted to see our award-wining estate regeneration design for Park Central, Birmingham used as the illustration on the Placemaking Resource website.
We are delighted that our Passivhaus Retrofit project Wilmcote House, for Portsmouth Council, appears in the RIBA Re-Use Atlas by Duncan Baker-Brown.
The book is a great read – we would recommend it!
We are delighted to be appointed to work on the next phase of South Oxhey town centre regeneration, working in partnership with Three Rivers District Council, Countryside and Home Group.
The scheme will deliver mixed-use, mixed-tenure regeneration and a wide range of different dwelling types from one bedroom flats to 4 bedroom townhouses. The focus of this phase will be a new market place and events space.
Finchampstead, Berkshire features in The Sunday Times Best Places To Live Guide. Judges assessed the whole country to decide on the definitive top locations. Criteria included jobs, exam results and broadband speed, to culture, community spirit and local shops. The judges combined statistics with their own experience of the shortlisted places.
Amenities such as local pubs, ease of transport and the range of attractive property were assessed to ensure the chosen locations truly are places where families can thrive. Our work at Arborfield Green, which is designed to Garden Village principles, will contribute to the choice of high quality homes in the area.
This aerial photo shows progress at Beaulieu Square in Chelmsford. This is one of the first phases of the masterplan for the Beaulieu urban extension.
This neighbourhood centre will provide a 600sqm community centre, 1,175sqm retail space, including an anchor food store, a health centre, nursery, restaurant & 34 apartments. The buildings are arranged around a public square and events space.
Our design for Station Square, South Oxhey has received unanimous approval at planning committee. The scheme was the result of a collaborative process - developed in partnership with Three Rivers District Council, Home Group and Countryside.
The new Station Square will deliver 16,000sqft of retail and commercial space, and will completely transform the existing public square making it more accessible and pedestrian friendly.
We are delighted that our work at Park Central forms the poster for the Estate Regeneration Forum.
The Housing Forum begins 2017 working with DCLG and GLA discussing the Estate Regeneration National Strategy and the London Mayor’s Good Practice Guide.
GSA have obtained planning permission and listed building consent for our client CityWest Homes for a package of building environmental improvement works to be incorporated into their on-going landlord maintenance programme across the grade-II listed housing estate designed by architect Berthold Lubetkin Hallfield Estate near Paddington, London
The estate houses over 2,300 people in 650 flats. The range of environmental improvements include increased ventilation, upgraded space heating and improved insulation and moisture control of the external building fabric - all to work within the heritage constraints of the listed building status and to be implemented with residents in place.
Our design for the final phase at Oakgrove Village has been approved by Milton Keynes Council under delegated powers – again! Phase 5 features 73 dwellings - a wide range of contemporary house types from 1 and 2 bedroom apartments to 5 bedroom detached houses.
Continuing the theme from the highly successful previous phases, the ‘Ouzel Island’ features distinctive bespoke house designs set within a landscaped setting, with great views over the beautiful Ouzel Valley. The new homes will be located in close proximity to the new neighbourhood centre and acres of green, open space.
Looking back at 2016, it was an eventful year. We worked on a wide range of design projects - covering town centres, community buildings, housing and public spaces. This encompassed projects of all sizes, in urban and rural contexts.
We are increasingly able to offer a sustainability perspective for our clients - we are now able to provide Passivhaus design services. We have greatly enjoyed the richness and variety of these projects and we look forward to what the new year will bring. We wish everyone a successful and happy new year in 2017.
Our festive image for 2016 was of our office near Waterloo. The image was drawn by architect Marcel Maag, who was a full-time member of the practice for many years.
Now he helps us out with beautiful artwork like this. A real master!
Our work at Park Central, Birmingham is a case study in the new DCLG Estate Regeneration National Strategy Case Studies. Over 1,600 new mixed tenure homes, centred around a new park, have been built. And retained, refurbished tower blocks provide a further 400 affordable homes.
Residents, the wider community, the local authority and other stakeholders have been closely involved throughout the estate renewal process. The project was based on a strong and flexible masterplan that has created a sense of place and responded to market fluctuations throughout the 10-year programme.
The town centre regeneration scheme at South Oxhey has reached an important milestone - the groundbreaking at Central South Oxhey.
The scheme will deliver over 500 homes and approximately 5,000 sqm of retail space and town centre uses.
Sometimes demolition isn't the most sustainable way to achieve estate regeneration. GSA associate John Pratley led the tour of Wilmcote House, Portsmouth.
John explained the construction principles of this large scale Passivhaus retrofit project - showing all stages of construction through to completion.
Our design for 202 new homes, and 2,000sqm of retail space in the centre of Stevenage has just received unanimous planning approval at committee. Park Place is set to deliver much needed mixed-use regeneration in this part of the town centre, and heralds wider urban renewal in the area.
Aspirational, open plan apartments overlooking the Town Centre Gardens, above an attractive, contemporary retail environment at ground level, offers a positive urban lifestyle choice in Stevenage. The scheme partly converts existing buildings, and extends them upwards and outwards to maximise their potential.
GSA hosted tours of our Passivhaus EnerPHit social housing retrofit of Wilmcote House in Portsmouth on Friday 11th November 2016 as part of the International Passivhaus Open Days event. CEPH Designer and GSA Associate John Pratley provided tours of the completed dwellings.
The event offered the chance to see different parts of this complex retrofit at different refurbishment stages under construction - all with residents in-situ.
Our design for RNIB, Redhill, Surrey appeared in the prestigious AJ Architecture Tomorrow Exhibition at Olympia on the Wed 19th – Fri 21st October, as part of the MIPIM UK event at Olympia, London.
The project was also shortlisted for the overall winner of the AJ Architecture Tomorrow award.
Our design for a new public square and retail space that creates an attractive new arrival experience for Carpenders Park Station, has been submitted for planning. It is part of the first phase of The South Oxhey Initiative - a town centre revival scheme in partnership with Three Rivers District Council, Home Group & Countryside.
The design overcomes major challenges – from existing underground services, overhead power cables and reorganising modes of transport to create a more inviting and pedestrian-friendly space. It injects a new energy through a series of new buildings, and a high quality public realm.
RNIB, Redhill, Surrey features in the AJ. Our scheme was selected to appear in the prestigious AJ Architecture Tomorrow Exhibition at Olympia on the Wed 19th – Fri 21st October, as part of MIPIM UK.
The exhibition selects schemes that will shape the the future of the built environment in the months and years to come.
The final phase of the highly successful Oakgrove Village development in Milton Keynes has just been submitted for planning.
This phase will provide 73 distinctive new homes - 25 houses and 48 apartments. The new homes are located in the north of the site adjacent to the Ouzel Valley Country Park – enjoying close proximity to the new neighbourhood centre and acres of green, open space.
Directors Ruth Staneby and Christine Goldsmith have been elected as fellows of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).
A core value of the RSA is that all human beings have creative capacities that, when understood and supported, can be mobilised to deliver a 21st century enlightenment.
We have enjoyed a visit to our completed projects in Milton Keynes and Birmingham. We met our clients to find out how things are going and to see the transformations that have taken place. It's great to walk around our built designs and to know that the projects have been successful. We can learn a lot for our future projects.
Afterwards it was time for a fast paced treasure hunt around Central Birmingham - we are still not sure which team won! All gathering together at the final destination on Birmingham's Walk of Fame for a delicious meal.
We are delighted that our design for RNIB Redhill in partnership with the RNIB and Countryside is shortlisted for best Housing Project in the Sunday Times British housing Awards.
The Sensory Trail links through the whole community - helping to provide an integrated environment that can be enjoyed by all - regardless of whether they are visually impaired or not!
Our masterplan for up to 350 new homes at Church Farm, Wavendon, Milton Keynes has been granted outline planning approval. The new homes will be set within a landscaped framework which sensitively creates a transition from ‘town’ to ‘countryside’ at the edge of Milton Keynes.
The masterplan draws upon the unique site features to create a strong sense of place, and a network of distinctive character areas: • The Gateways • The Northern Village • Parkside • Wildlife Corridor
Our richly landscaped rural housing scheme for Nine Ashes has just been submitted for planning. The scheme is for 12 high quality houses that derive their character from the historic buildings in the area.
We developed an animated wall concept - drawing upon references from local agricultural buildings. The buildings form a pair of courtyards defined by red brick walls with black weatherboarded, pitched roofs peeping over the top.
Our competition winning masterplan for the regeneration of 3 estates in Harlow will replace outdated post-war bungalows that no longer meet Decent Homes standards. The development, a partnership between Countryside, Home Group and Harlow Council is coming out of the ground on site.
“This major regeneration programme, when completed, will meet our promises to residents to provide more and better housing and to regenerate Harlow. Providing new housing opportunities, improving local people's quality of life and transforming areas like this are all vital to building a better Harlow.” - Cllr Tony Durcan
Corio Bermondsey providing 167 news homes is progressing swiftly on site.
This is the article from Evening Standard Homes & Property last night.
We are delighted to be appointed to design the first retail phase of the South Oxhey Initiative. This is a town centre regeneration scheme, near Watford, for Three Rivers District Council, Home Group and Countryside.
The design for Station Square will create an attractive new arrival space, including new shops and offices, and new public square and transport interchange.
Sometimes the most sustainable regeneration option is to refurbish existing buildings and extend their lifespan, whilst keeping the existing community together by allowing residents to remain in their homes during the works. This is the case for 107 social housing dwellings at Wilmcote House, Portsmouth - currently receiving a new lease of life.
The building is being retrofitted to the Passivhaus EnerPHit energy efficiency standard; improving the performance of the existing building fabric & ventilation to provide a more comfortable internal living environment for the residents - and reducing their future energy bills. Associate John Pratley is currently taking forward the project on site.
The Ouzel Island house designs for Crest Nicholson at Oakgrove Village, Milton Keynes are shortlisted for the Housebuilder Awards 2016. Ouzel Island enjoys a delightful setting with views over the Ouzel Valley Park.
We have created exciting, aspirational and contemporary new homes for Milton Keynes. The houses are light, airy and spacious - with infinity gardens overlooking the parkland. We hope that people really enjoy living in their new homes.
Our contemporary design for The Gardino at Beaulieu, Chelmsford has been chosen as a finalist for Best Design for 3 Storeys or Fewer at the House Builder Awards.
A series of themed ‘Gardens’ create a landscape focus to the scheme, contrasting the urban terraced frontages with a leafy, green outlook.
Associate Andrew Needham has been leading many of our successful mixed-use, residential, retail & commercial schemes. He demonstrated his design flair and a cool head for problem solving on RNIB Redhill (recently shortlisted for the Housing Design Awards 2016) – a site with a challenging brief and topography.
Since then he has driven forward Beaulieu Square, Chelmsford and Broadbridge Heath, Horsham – delivering vibrant neighbourhood centres for significant new housing schemes. He is now taking forward the designs for Station Square town centre regeneration at South Oxhey near Watford.
Our Beaulieu masterplan featured in the Daily Mail this week “It’s as if suburbs are having their day in the sun again". Beaulieu, Chelmsford is leading the way. It is a large-scale project on 604 acres. Along with a planned 3,600 homes, there will be schools, community centre, plaza, nursery, shops and a new train station.
‘We see it as the power of community,’ says Graham Cherry, chief executive of Countryside, which is behind Beaulieu. ‘Residents want facilities and services where they live and factoring them into the development at the start takes the pressure off the local area.’”
Our project at for the RNIB and Countryside Properties at Redhill is a best practice case study for Pioneering Enabling Development.
Director Manoher Matharu presented the scheme to delegates from the HCA & Design For Homes to explain our successful process.
Associate John Pratley has recently rejoined GSA where he will become our sustainability champion.
His skills in the fields of environmental consultancy, refurbishment and Passivhaus greatly widens the range of specialist services that GSA can offer.
GSA have begun designing the final phase at Oakgrove Village - a new mixed-use district for Milton Keynes incorporating residential, retail and education uses in a generous landscaped setting. It has transformed the Milton Keynes property market - offering new types of homes not previously available.
Following a successful Outline Planning approval, GSA has designed the subsequent Reserved Matters applications including the Neighbourhood Centre. The highly successful ‘Ouzel Island’ concept is being developed for this phase - with an iconic collection of 4 & 5 bedroom detached homes, maximizing views across the Ouzel Valley.
GSA are designing up to 400 new ‘build to rent’ homes for Dorchester Group and Taylor Wimpey as part of a new town centre in Hampshire.
GSA are developing a new model of medium density PRS, which could be replicated across other town centres. These aspirational homes and facilities offer households a new lifestyle choice as a real alternative to home ownership.
We are delighted that our pioneering scheme for an integrated community at RNIB Redhill has been shortlisted for the Housing Design Awards 2016.
Contemporary homes cascade and rise with the natural topography, whilst the public realm is designed as an exciting sensory experience for all residents – be they visually impaired or sighted.
Work on the phase 1 of Arborfield Garrison is continuing, and the first dwellings will be released for sale at the end of May. The proposals include 113 dwellings – 65 houses and 48 apartments - within a beautifully landscaped lakeside setting, setting the benchmark for other phases moving forward.
This image is of the ‘gateway’ apartment buildings - which have large floor-to-ceiling windows offering spacious rooms that are bathed with natural light. All dwellings are designed using ‘Garden Village Principles’.
The next WISH Breakfast Briefing will be entitled 'Do More, Stress Less' by speaker Hazel McCallum, Moving On Up Coaching.
Wednesday 1 June 2016 8:00 am - 10:00 am at our London Office.
Park Central has been awarded the Placemaking Award at the National Property Awards. Our project with Crest Nicholson Regeneration, BCC & WM Housing Group delivers innovative and sustainable buildings and spaces with a genuine mix of uses, tenures and character areas.
Regeneration on a large scale needs to satisfy housing needs whilst creating design that delights and lifts the spirits. This once troubled area of Birmingham has been transformed into a highly desirable place to live.
Our design for Oakgrove Village, Milton Keynes, features in ‘Design. The Key to a Better Place’ published by The Sunday Times and the British Homes Awards.
The feature makes reference to the generous, light and flexible space created within these house designs. The layout also provides high quality green space and landscaping as a setting for the new homes.