• Festive Greetings

    Festive Greetings

    Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy new year from everyone at GSA! Our festive artwork is designed by Bryce Henden and Mauro Mosca, showing our office on Blackfriars Road.

    This year our office is closes at 5.30pm on Friday 20th December, re-opening on Thursday January 2nd 2020.

    December 2019

  • The Secret To Flourishing Places

    The Secret To Flourishing Places

    Philip Lyons, chief executive at Countryside discusses how to provide successful environments for flourishing communities in this month’s edition of Housebuilder. He uses Beaulieu, Chelmsford as one of his best practice case studies. He describes how public art has been used to create character and identity, & foster a sense of community pride.

    The landscape-led masterplan for Beaulieu surrounds one of King Henry VIII’s former palaces. The public art strategy draws upon this theme. Image Credits – Countryside.

    December 2019

  • Placemaking Framework Success

    Placemaking Framework Success

    We are delighted to be successfully admitted to the Places For People Consultants Framework DPS. Places For People’s vision is to create places that work for everyone. Places that work now and in the future. It’s their mission to build sustainable communities that are for everyone, whatever their background and whatever their needs.

    Places For People have been placemaking for over 50 years. We have also been have been placemakers for nearly as long – over 40 years.

    December 2019

  • Seeing The Fruits Of Our Labours

    Seeing The Fruits Of Our Labours

    Our Mindenhurst team enjoyed a site visit this week to see the fruits of their labours – the award winning first phase of the Deepcut Barracks redevelopment for CALA Homes.

    A bit of a grey day but the buildings are beautifully finished and it’s all coming together to create a fantastic place to live. Parcel M1 is now nearly complete (79 homes, all sold) and work continues on M2 to the east (136 homes).

    Read more

    December 2019

  • Wilmcote House EnerPHit Case Study

    Wilmcote House EnerPHit Case Study

    Associate John Pratley attended the book launch at the RIBA of EnerPHit: A Step by Step Guide to Low Energy Retrofit by James Traynor.

    John led the detail design and delivery stage of Wilmcote House, Portsmouth for Portsmouth City Council. This is an Enerphit Passivhaus retrofit project featured in the book.

    December 2019

  • Approval Under Delegated Powers in Milton Keynes

    Approval Under Delegated Powers in Milton Keynes

    Our design for Tattenhoe Park Phase 3 in Milton Keynes, for Crest Nicholson, has received planning approval under delegated powers. The scheme will deliver 117 new homes in the south-west of the town, in the last of the Grid Squares forming the original town plan.

    The design process involved meeting with both Milton Keynes Council and Homes England (the landowners), to ensure that the design meets both current and the future needs of the town. The scheme was designed to enable MMC delivery.

    November 2019

  • A little project, with a BIG influence!

    A little project, with a BIG influence!

    It’s a little project, with a BIG influence! Last week our energy-saving Energiesprong retrofit project with Moat Homes & Engie‬ at Mundon Road, Maldon won another award – Energy Awards – Residential Project of the year.

    This scheme offers is a whole house retrofit - so that heat demand is massivley reduced, and guaranteed for 30 years - which tackles fuel poverty. Mundon Rd is one of the 1st examples in the UK.

    November 2019

  • Property Award Win for Mindenhurst

    Property Award Win for Mindenhurst

    Our design for CALA Homes at Mindenhurst has won the Best New Homes Development for 13+ Homes at the Surrey Property Awards. Parcel 2B is the 1st residential phase of the masterplan for the redevelopment of the Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut. It delivers 215 homes from 1 - 2 bedroom apartments to 5 bedroom houses.

    This is a landscape led layout, incorporating attractive existing mature trees, creating a strong sense of place and providing a setting that is appropriate to the woodland character. The open spaces in this phase form part of a strong framework of green infrastructure that runs throughout the masterplan.

    Read more

    November 2019

  • Opening Time at Carpenders Park!

    Opening Time at Carpenders Park!

    We are pleased to see the new coffee shop opening in Station Square, South Oxhey, Hertfordshire. It really animates the space leading down to Carpenders Park Overground Station. This little building is triangular in shape because it sits between the lines of major infrastructure (such as power cables and sewers) that lie beneath the square itself.

    This is part of our competition-winning masterplan to regenerate the town centre, produced for Countryside, Home Group and Three Rivers District Council.

    Read more

    November 2019

  • We Back AJ Retro First

    We Back AJ Retro First

    We have given our backing to AJ (Architects Journal) Retro First. The campaign calls on the government to promote and incentivise the reuse of existing buildings in the face of the climate emergency. It asks for government action to encourage greater use of retrofit and refurbishment in three key areas: tax, procurement and policy.

    We have recently been working on a number of residential and commercial retrofit and refurbishment projects in London, Stevenage, Dartford and Maldon, Essex.

    Read more

    November 2019

  • Another Framework Success

    Another Framework Success

    Following on from our success in joining the L&Q London framework, we are pleased to also be named as one of the successful practices to reach the London and Quadrant (L&Q) Counties architecture framework. The framework will run from 2019 to 2021 – delivering high quality homes outside London.

    This is Beauchamp Park, Warwick – which will deliver 450 new homes, set around a linear garden with views to Warwick Castle. At least half of the homes will be affordable. We have successfully gained planning approval under delegated powers.

    Read more

    November 2019

  • The Future of Virtual Reality in Architecture

    The Future of Virtual Reality in Architecture

    Our team having lots of fun trying out Virtual & Augmented Reality software with ACTIU. A very enjoyable CPD looking at different presentation techniques that can help our clients to visualize the projects whilst they are at the ‘drawing board’ stage (and yes - we do still do some hand drawings on drawing boards!).

    We hope there is a virtual caretaker to tidy up the furniture within the model we used. It looks like we had a party - lots of furniture scattered all over the place! The team are exciting about the prospect of bringing this technology to our projects.

    October 2019

  • Mundon Road - Building Innovation Finalist

    Mundon Road - Building Innovation Finalist

    We're over the moon to hear of another ‪awards‬ nomination for our energy-saving retrofit project with Moat Homes & Engie‬. This retrofit project led by Associate John Pratley is really making a difference to the residents whose homes have been refurbished.

    It's been shortlisted for the Building Innovation Awards -‬ Most Innovative Building Project.

    Read more

    October 2019

  • One Show Goes To Beautiful Beaulieu!

    One Show Goes To Beautiful Beaulieu!

    Great to see Beaulieu Square featuring on primetime TV. It appeared on the One Show last week. This view is of the new Community Centre that we designed, facing onto a public square (designed by Randall Thorp).

    The Neighbourhood Centre forms the main entrance gateway for a mixed-use development containing 3,500 new homes, on the edge of Chelmsford.

    Read more

    October 2019

  • We’re In The National Design Guide

    We’re In The National Design Guide

    The National Design Guide has just been published. It illustrates how well-designed places that are beautiful, enduring and successful can be achieved in practice. The aim is “to end ugly development”.

    The design guide would be a material consideration in planning applications and appeals, with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to be updated to reflect this ‘at the first opportunity’. On page 32 our design for Beaulieu, Chelmsford is shown as a positive example.

    Read more

    October 2019

  • Award-winning Net Zero Carbon Innovation

    Award-winning Net Zero Carbon Innovation

    Mundon Road, Maldon has just picked up another award! It was a winner at the National Energy Efficiency Awards – a celebration of building innovations and initiatives to create greener, smarter homes.

    The project involved working in partnership with Moat Homes and Engie. It has transformed the energy efficiency of existing homes by developing the Energiesprong low carbon retrofit system to suit the UK.

    September 2019

  • Appointment to L&Q Architecture Framework

    Appointment to L&Q Architecture Framework

    We are delighted to be named as one of the successful practices to reach the London and Quadrant (L&Q) Housing Trust architecture framework. The framework will run from 2019 to 2021 and is expected to involve £10-£50 million worth of housing projects, including new builds, refurbishments, masterplanning and mixed-use developments.

    This illustration is of the scheme for Addiscombe Rd, Croydon – which will deliver 137 new homes, at least half of which will be affordable. We have successfully gained planning approval, and we are currently working on the technical packages with L&Q.

    Read more

    September 2019

  • All Aboard - Cambridge Study Visit

    All Aboard - Cambridge Study Visit

    It's September but we really couldn’t have asked for better weather and a better setting for our annual practice visit. This year we enjoyed the sights of Cambridge.

    Our tour conducted by foot and by punt, covered distinctive architecture from historic to contemporary. It should inspire us in our forthcoming work.

    September 2019

  • Hidden Treasure

    Hidden Treasure

    Director Graham Kime found some hidden treasure when tidying up recently – an urban sketchbook featuring hand drawings by our founder Francis Tibbalds. Drawn between 1977 – 88. The sketches feature vibrant cities from across the world.

    This is an aerial view of Trafalgar Square, London. Which also contains our former office on Charing Cross Road. The sketches were done primarily for enjoyment. We definitely enjoy viewing them!

    August 2019

  • Sustainable Ecology Pavilion

    Sustainable Ecology Pavilion

    We love to see buildings we designed in use. At Mile End Park, East London, the Ecology Pavilion has been in use for community events for two decades.

    Here is a photo from a recruitment event to attract people interested in working in construction, held in partnership with TFL, the Mayor of London and several housing associations including Swan, Clarion, Peabody, L&Q, Southern Housing Group, One Housing, Gateway Housing Association, Spittalfields Housing Association & Notting Hill Genesis.

    August 2019

  • Helping Hedgehogs

    Helping Hedgehogs

    L&Q has joined forces with environmental campaigners to boost local wildlife at Birnam Mews, Tiddington. Co-founders of Hedgehog Friendly Town and the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, visited the site to give their specialist hedgehog support and advice to L&Q’s site team.

    L&Q has pledged to maintain hoardings and a green buffer around the site, to ensure the safety and protection of the existing wildlife habitat during the construction phase. Once work has been completed, they will install hedgehog friendly fencing to allow local hedgehogs safe passage through the development by avoiding the roads.

    August 2019

  • Innovation and Inclusivity in Redhill

    Innovation and Inclusivity in Redhill

    Our masterplan & architectural design for 102 homes & community hub at Royal Hill Park, Redhill features in The Developer. This is a joint venture between RNIB & Countryside on a greenbelt site with challenging topography. We worked closely with the client and stakeholders to achieve successful planning approval across 2 local authorities.

    Our design features a range of specialist & open market homes, with a generous public realm incorporating a sensory trail that assists wayfinding & creates a rich sensory experience for visually impaired and sighted residents. The sensitively restored listed Tudor House will be transformed into a community hub.

    Read more

    July 2019

  • Homes for L&Q Approved Under Delegated Powers at St. Neots

    Homes for L&Q Approved Under Delegated Powers at St. Neots

    GSA’s design proposals for the latest phase of Loves Farm, St. Neots, Cambridgeshire have received reserved matters planning approval under delegated powers. GSA were the lead consultant working with L&Q, one of the UK’s leading housing associations and residential developers. The plans are for 41 new homes.

    Our design creates a strong frontage onto Cambridge Rd, of linked pairs of 3 storey townhouses, finished off by 3 storey apartment blocks at either corner. On the other side of the site is a row of family houses fronting onto the Fox Brook green space, create a softer edge. In the centre of the site is an attractive, contemporary mews.

    July 2019

  • South Oxhey - Honouring Local Heroes

    South Oxhey - Honouring Local Heroes

    A naming ceremony, honouring three much-loved local figures, has taken place at South Oxhey Central. The apartment blocks are located within the 1st phase of the town centre regeneration, consisting of 514 new homes & 55,000 sqft+ of commercial space.

    "While we look to the future, we always celebrate the past and recognising these people that have done so much for the area is extremely important in achieving this.” - Mike Woolliscroft, Managing Director, Partnerships South (West), Countryside

    Read more

    July 2019

  • Joining In The Fun Fest

    Joining In The Fun Fest

    The annual Stewartby Fest Fun Day was held at the Stewartby Village Hall and the Village Green. We went along – part of the Bedford Brickworks team, to tend the stall where local residents could stop by for an informal progress update on current planning application for Stewartby Brickworks.

    We encouraged suggestions for what community and commercial uses should be included within the future District Centre. Alongside shops, cafes & health centre, a swimming pool or lido was a popular suggestion! The event was a great success. We estimate well in excess of 100 people stopped by to discuss the proposals throughout the day.

    July 2019

  • Net Zero Homes Win Prestigious Ashden Award

    Net Zero Homes Win Prestigious Ashden Award

    The pioneering Energiesprong approach to get UK homes up to net zero energy standard has won a 1st prize in the UK Sustainable Buildings category of the 2019 Ashden Awards. Asssessors applauded Energiesprong’s potential to radically cut carbon from the UK’s housing stock by refurbishing older hard to heat homes, both faster and in higher numbers.

    They also noted Energiesprong’s progress including the rollout of Energiesprong retrofit to homes including our project in Maldon, Essex for Moat Homes. Ashden commented: “Energiesprong holds huge promise because it can scale. With industrialisation, costs come down, retrofits get faster & further quality gains become possible."

    June 2019

  • Energiesprong - Sustainability Awards Finalist

    Energiesprong - Sustainability Awards Finalist

    Here are progress photos of our Energiesprong retrofit pilot project at Mundon Road in Maldon, Essex, for Moat Homes / Engie. This project demonstrates that the external envelope of the existing housing stock can be upgraded to achieve significantly better energy performance.

    Energiesprong is a finalist at two prestigious Awards events this summer: the Ashden Awards in London and the EU Sustainable Energy Week Awards in Brussels.

    June 2019

  • A Vision of Inclusivity

    A Vision of Inclusivity

    Royal Hill Park, Redhill for the RNIB & Countryside appears in this month’s ADF magazine. The article describes how the redevelopment of the site has allowed the RNIB upgrade their facilities and gives their clients opportunities to live more independently within an integrated community, creating an attractive and inclusive environment.

    “Our aim is to create a stimulating sensory environment for all residents. At the end of the day people are going to live here – it’s got to feel like home.” – Manoher Matharu, GSA Director. Image credit – Countryside Properties

    Read more

    June 2019

  • Oakgrove Village - Urban Design Tour

    Oakgrove Village - Urban Design Tour

    We were delighted to see this photo of Oakgrove Village, Milton Keynes appear on Twitter – part of a Milton Keynes Council and the Academy of Urbanism cycle tour.

    To find out more about our masterplan design….

    Read more

    May 2019

  • Evening Standard Feature - South Oxhey Central

    Evening Standard Feature - South Oxhey Central

    Take a look in today’s Evening Standard Homes & Property section. Our design for Phase 2 of the South Oxhey Central development was included in a feature on homes located near London Overground stations.

    It’s well located next to Carpenders Park Station with access to Euston Station in less than 40 minutes. Plus good local shops and amenities. The new Station Square is already open for business. Image credit - Countryside.

    May 2019

  • Evening Standard New Homes Awards Shortlisted

    Evening Standard New Homes Awards Shortlisted

    Beaulieu, Chelmsford has been shortlisted by the Evening Standard New Homes Awards, under the Best Large Development category. GSA produced the outline stage masterplan, and have designed two of the initial phases - Beaulieu Chase and Beaulieu Square (the neighbourhood centre).

    Combining attractive contemporary architecture and beautiful landscape, to create great placemaking! Photo Credit - Countryside

    Read more

    April 2019

  • Unanimous Approval For L&Q’s East Croydon Housing

    Unanimous Approval For L&Q’s East Croydon Housing

    Croydon councillors have approved a GSA designed 137-home apartment scheme for L&Q on a long-term vacant site in the heart of Croydon. With a generous round of applause, the Planning Committee unanimously voted to grant planning permission for this part-8 and 18-storey housing scheme, which includes 53% affordable housing.

    Over 80% of homes are dual / triple aspect, with an outlook over high quality landscape also designed by GSA. This includes a generous communal garden & play area for all residents, focused around an existing protected oak tree. An active and well-defined street presence enhances the public realm.

    Read more

    April 2019

  • Retail Renaissance

    Retail Renaissance

    A retail renaissance is taking place at Station Square, South Oxhey. The square has been redesigned to provide a better approach and public square in front of Carpenders Park Station, as well as providing upgraded retail space.

    This is phase 1 of the wider town centre masterplan to regenerate urban housing in South Oxhey and to intensify and revitialise the retail provision. Find out more about the masterplan...

    Read more

    March 2019

  • Northstowe Planning Approval

    Northstowe Planning Approval

    Parcel H10 at Northstowe has just received planning permission. The proposals will bring forward 76 new homes, in a series of courtyards and orchards, facing onto the Southern Greenway.

    GSA provided urban design advice to the TW team. The proposals form a strong urban structure and townscape, and will have a rich, site-specific materials and planting palette reinforce its legibility and identity.

    March 2019

  • Futurebuild Best Practice Case Study

    Futurebuild Best Practice Case Study

    Here is a photo from the site visit to Mundon Road, Maldon – it was a best practice case study site visit, as part of Futurebuild. This is a pilot scheme for Moat Homes housing association. The aim is to vastly improve the energy performance of existing homes.

    This is done by developing insulated over-cladding through the EnergieSprong whole-house retrofit model – to suit the UK’s existing housing stock. This is a really worthwhile innovation – it will have huge benefits for both the residents and the planet!

    March 2019

  • 450 New Homes Approved Under Delegated Powers

    450 New Homes Approved Under Delegated Powers

    GSA’s designs for Beauchamp Park have received reserved matters planning approval under delegated powers. GSA were the lead consultant working with the L&Q team to provide 450 homes – from 1-bed apartments to 5-bedroom family houses, with 40% affordable homes spread throughout the site.

    All the homes are designed using MMCs, while incorporating attractive, site-specific local vernacular features. The scheme creates distinctive character areas formed around existing and proposed areas of landscape – centred on a 0.5km long tree-lined green corridor, providing long views to historic Warwick.

    Read more

    March 2019

  • Featured At Futurebuild

    Featured At Futurebuild

    Associate John Pratley attended Futurebuild on 7th March, where he was promoting our EnergieSprong retrofit pilot project for Moat Homes - currently on site in Maldon, Essex. The Dutch-inspired EnergieSprong concept is a model that enables the deep whole-house, net-zero energy retrofit of poorly performing existing homes -by utilising the money

    that would have been spent over the next 30 years on fossil-fuel guzzling energy bills and repetitive, low-level building maintenance cycles. In the afternoon, Moat Homes and ENGIE UK gave a tour of the Maldon site to other potential EnergieSprong customers from Germany, The Netherlands, France and the UK to check on the build progress.

    March 2019

  • Moving Into Beaulieu Square

    Moving Into Beaulieu Square

    We are always interested to hear about the people who move into the homes that we design.

    So we liked the article on Beaulieu Square, Chelmsford in last night’s Evening Standard Homes & Property.

    Read more

    February 2019

  • Better Design For Better Places

    Better Design For Better Places

    We have heard that Beaulieu, Chelmsford has been used as a best practice case study at the Better Design For Better Places Conference held by the government (MHCLG).

    We designed and co-ordinated the masterplan, one of the first residential phases and the neighbourhood centre for the joint venture between Countryside and L&Q. Photo Credit - Countryside

    Read more

    February 2019

  • Are you in the driving seat?

    Are you in the driving seat?

    We really enjoyed hosting the February WISH (Women in Social Housing) event at our offices. It was an uplifting and frank panel discussion entitled “Managing your career strategy - Are you in the driving seat when it comes to managing your career?”

    We benefitted from hearing about shared experiences and looking at ways of taking forward your own career path in the direction that you want to. Thanks to the panel and the audience for a lively, honest and helpful discussion.

    February 2019

  • Net-Zero EnergieSprong Retrofit Pilot

    Net-Zero EnergieSprong Retrofit Pilot

    GSA associate John Pratley gave a presentation at the Institute of Engineering & Technology in London this week; talking about the latest progress of our net-zero EnergieSprong pilot retrofit for Moat Homes in Essex. We have been working closely with ENGIE UK contractors & their suppliers to co-ordinate the design of the pre-fabricated components

    for the external wall & roof insulated over-cladding & ‘plug-in’ energy-pod – containing heat pump, hot water storage, MVHR heating & ventilation kit – all to minimise the disruption to residents who will be living in their homes during the retrofit works. GSA will be providing further updates at the EnergieSprong stand at Futurebuild 5-7 March.

    February 2019

  • Beaulieu is a Planning Excellence Finalist

    Beaulieu is a Planning Excellence Finalist

    Beaulieu Phase 1, Chelmsford has been named as a finalist in the Excellence in Planning for Homes (large schemes – 50 or more homes) at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2019.

    In Phase 1 GSA designed beautiful homes overlooking gardens and a linear park, and also a thriving new neighbourhood centre with attractive homes above shops, cafes and community buildings. The winners will be announced on 24 April 2019.

    Read more

    February 2019

  • Station Square Pavilion

    Station Square Pavilion

    We were delighted to see that the Station Square pavilion is nearing completion at South Oxhey. The building was designed to sit between major services easements beneath the square. Can't wait to see who will move in!

    This is part of the wider regeneration of the town centre - a joint venture between Three Rivers District Council, Countryside and Home Group. The square provides a new arrival space from Carpenters Park Station.

    January 2019

  • The Homes England Framework

    The Homes England Framework

    A joint venture between Tibbalds Planning & Urban Design & CampbellReith has been selected by Homes England for its 2019-2023 Multidisciplinary Panel. It is one of 20 specialist teams joining the panel set up via the OJEU process to provide Homes England and other public sector bodies with rapid and cost effective access to housing professionals.

    The Tibbalds CampbellReith JV stands out for bringing together smaller & mid-sized firms, including architecture, planning, engineering, project management, and landscape architecture practices, to provide the technical coverage of a large organisation with the responsiveness and flexibility of SMEs. GSA is pleased to be part of the team.

    January 2019

  • Planning Approval at Arborfield Green

    Planning Approval at Arborfield Green

    Our design for 110 new homes and a small neighbourhood centre at 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.

    The new homes will enjoy views over landscaped, green spaces and a convenient location next to the proposed new primary school. The design reconciles complex constraints, including flood protection, SuDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage System), an existing stream, mature protected trees and the location of the new bus route.

    January 2019

  • Stevenage Regeneration Nearly Complete

    Stevenage Regeneration Nearly Complete

    Photos from the site visit for the Park Place, Stevenage team. This regeneration scheme will provide 202 new homes in the town centre.

    The South Block (Mulberry House) is almost complete, but the ground floor is still under construction. 80% of the homes in the South Block are now occupied. The whole project including the North Block (Boston House) is due to be complete in the next couple of months.

    January 2019

  • Review of 2018

    Review of 2018

    Looking Back On 2018 we have been privileged to work on some very exciting and rewarding projects. Thank you to everyone who worked with us and supported us throughout the year.

    We are determined to make 2019 even better!

    January 2019