• Unexpected Pockets of Joy

    Unexpected Pockets of Joy

    Time Out’s recent article invited Londoners to nominate great places they’ve enjoyed during lockdown. This is by Ife Akinroyeje – Founder of Wanderers of Colour.‘Mile End Park and its canal became central to so many of the things I did in lockdown. I’d go for strolls that could last up to three hours because the canal just goes on and on.'

    It’s so peaceful but it is also so communal: there’s a community there and you feel it. There was someone playing music on one of the balconies. We dropped out bags and started dancing and all of a sudden, other people around the park did too. We understood that we’d all gone through a tough time but could still find unexpected pockets of joy.’

    December 2020

  • Festive Greetings

    Festive Greetings

    Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy new year from everyone at GSA! 2020 has been a year of enormous change. This year’s artwork (by Bryce Henden) reflects the new ways of working that we have adopted, to keep working throughout the pandemic.

    This year our office is closes on Thursday 24th December, re-opening on Monday January 4th 2021.

    December 2020

  • Let the Festivities Begin!

    Let the Festivities Begin!

    We are starting to feel festive. We have started our virtual office advent calendar today.

    Here’s a gratuitously cute photo of the first grateful recipient!

    December 2020

  • Groundbreaking At Beauchamp Park

    Groundbreaking At Beauchamp Park

    We are delighted to see construction works start at Beauchamp Park, Warwick. To mark the occasion, senior representatives from our client L&Q, gathered for a socially distanced ground-breaking ceremony.

    We produced the Reserved Matters architectural design for Beauchamp Park – consisting of 450 new homes, set around the Castle Vista, looking toward Warwick Castle. There will be a wide range of homes, a large proportion of which will be affordable tenures.

    Read more

    November 2020

  • Regional Finalist - LABC Building Excellence Awards

    Regional Finalist - LABC Building Excellence Awards

    The South Oxhey Initiative is a £150 million mixed-use regeneration project by Three Rivers District Council in partnership with Countryside Properties and Home Group. This Initiative is revitalising the heart of South Oxhey town centre. The project will deliver over 500 new homes, alongside 55,000sft of town centre uses including a food store.

    This project has been an exciting collaboration involving many talented people, working alongside residents, a wide range of community organisations and local businesses. We were delighted to hear that this transformational project has been recognised – as a regional finalist in the LABC Building Excellence Awards.

    November 2020

  • Greener Future - Engie Zero Sustainable Housing

    Greener Future - Engie Zero Sustainable Housing

    We have helped ENGIE to develop a fabric-first, one-stop-shop approach to decentralise, digitalise and decarbonise homes; offering our clients a viable solution to future proof their housing stock and meet the 2050 UK target. We are part of the team behind the delivery. This photo is of our design for MOAT in Maldon, Essex.

    Existing housing stock poses a greater risk to the UK’s net zero carbon targets than new homes or developments, so this programme will contribute to a greener future. ENGIE is committed to supporting clients’ to navigate this ambitious journey through innovative zero carbon turn-key solutions.

    Read more

    October 2020

  • Ely Extension Approved

    Ely Extension Approved

    Phase 3 of Orchards Green, Ely, Cambridgeshire has just been approved at planning committee. The scheme will deliver 258 new homes, inspired by the historic cathedral city of Ely.

    GSA assisted the Taylor Wimpey team with urban design advice and presentation material. The proposals form an attractive extension to the city. Appropriate, locally-inspired housing typologies, streetscape, site-specific materials and planting palette reinforce legibility and identity.

    August 2020

  • Piling Begins At Addiscombe Rd Croydon

    Piling Begins At Addiscombe Rd Croydon

    It’s great to see piling progressing on site at Addiscombe Road in the heart of Croydon Town Centre. It’s an intricate business – given the urban setting and the need to protect this lovely mature oak tree.

    This scheme for L&Q comprises of an 8-storey mansion block onto the street, with a setback 18-storey tower element, containing 137 high quality new homes. A high proportion of which are affordable tenures.

    Read more

    July 2020

  • Zero Carbon Retrofit Gains Approval

    Zero Carbon Retrofit Gains Approval

    We are delighted to receive planning approval for our EnergieSprong retrofit design for 8 affordable homes across a series of sites in the London Borough of Sutton. Our designs will alleviate the cold, damp internal living conditions, and consequently high energy bills, that residents currently experience.

    EnergieSprong is an approach to housing regeneration and refurbishment using sustainable and practical principles for whole-house retrofit to create desirable, warm, affordable & healthy homes for life.

    July 2020

  • Planning Application to Transform Industrial Site

    Planning Application to Transform Industrial Site

    Our designs for the transformation of the Vange Water Works, Fobbing have been submitted to Thurrock Borough Council, for Bellway Homes. The planning application comprises 168 homes inspired by the local Essex vernacular. A mix of 2, 3 & 4 bed family houses, and 1 & 2 bed apartments, including 4 no wheelchair user flats.

    Nearly half the site area is designed as open space, including a new play area, SuDS, and rich habitats themed around the existing water features. The previous use of the site as a water works & covered reservoir have inspired the contouring of the landscape & the new character areas: the ‘Brook’ next to the Village Green, the ‘Island’ & the Lanes.

    June 2020

  • Completion At Oakgrove Village

    Completion At Oakgrove Village

    All 1,015 new homes at Oakgrove Village, Milton Keynes are completed and occupied now. Our designs for Crest Nicholson transformed the residential market. The development has a unique sense of place - from the entrance gateway with a sweeping crescent of contemporary houses, the thriving neighbourhood centre to the distinctive Ouzel Island.

    Our masterplan creates a series of landscape characters – parkland, wildlife corridor (supporting newts and aquatic plants), through to intimate leafy lanes and courtyards. All homes enjoy an attractive, green outlook.

    May 2020

  • Housing Design Awards Shortlisted

    Housing Design Awards Shortlisted

    We were delighted to hear that two of our housing schemes are shortlisted for the Housing Design Awards. They are both set within distinctive and high quality landscaping, delivering a mix of both houses and apartments. They both create a strong sense of place, yet they are quite different in character.

    Beauchamp Park, Warwick (left) sits within view of the historic landscape surrounding Warwick Castle. It combines MMC whilst extending the romantic setting of the castle. Whereas Croxton & Garry, Ebbsfleet (right) forms part of a contemporary garden city, regenerating this former industrial area of Kent.

    April 2020

  • Approval for Sutton town-centre regeneration

    Approval for Sutton town-centre regeneration

    Our design responds to this diverse town centre context, in particular Grade II* Listed St Nicholas Church. The resulting development of 276 homes and town-centre uses - rising to 11 & 18 storeys is considered to be of an exceptional design quality by LB Sutton planners, setting a high benchmark for future development in the town-centre.

    "Our urban design studies explored how the area could evolve over time. It was vital that we enhanced the setting of the church and re-connected it visually and physically back to the High St. The benefits to the wider regeneration of the civic quarter of central Sutton were supported by the planners." - Manoher Matharu, Director

    April 2020

  • Getting Our Daily Exercise

    Getting Our Daily Exercise

    We have been enjoying our daily health walks during this sunny weather. We hope that those who are living in our completed masterplans are enjoying the open spaces and parks that give them a strong sense of place.

    (Clockwise form left - Beaulieu, Chelmsford; Mile End Park, London & Park Central, Birmingham)

    April 2020

  • Futurebuild 2020

    Futurebuild 2020

    We were at Futurebuild in London this week, telling people about our innovative retrofit designs for Mundon Rd, Maldon and Treadgold House, West London.

    Energiesprong is a revolutionary, whole house refurbishment and new build standard and funding approach. We are working with Energiesprong UK - to scale the approach for the UK. An Energiesprong retrofit has the very best energy standard available, it uses the money that would normally be paid on energy bills and maintenance to pay for the works.

    March 2020

  • What’s Next? A Horizon Scan for Young Practitioners in Uncertain Times

    What’s Next? A Horizon Scan for Young Practitioners in Uncertain Times

    We were happy to host this session of the Young Practitioner’s Network. Director Manoher Matharu was the first of a series of diverse and interesting speakers offering perspectives on the challenges facing London in the next 5-50 years.

    This session posed some big questions, provoking a broad range of discussions. There were lots of great ideas for future-proofing the city. The conclusion? This is a critical time – joined-up thinking is required.

    February 2020

  • Innovative Net Zero Win

    Innovative Net Zero Win

    GSA with Bow Tie Construction, Mauer UK and Nilan UK have been announced as a winner of the EnergieSprong UK competition to design net zero energy retrofit apartments. GSA are one of the UK’s leading EnergieSprong architects having delivered a successful pilot project in Maldon, Essex.

    John will be joining Bow Tie and Energiesprong UK at Futurebuild at London’s ExCel on March 4th. If you would like to meet with him – please get in contact.

    February 2020

  • Unanimous Approval - Ebbsfleet Garden City

    Unanimous Approval - Ebbsfleet Garden City

    Ebbsfleet Garden City will get a further 221 homes after plans were approved for our design produced for Bellway Homes. The new scheme is next door to our successful masterplan for Ingress Park.

    Mark Pullin, Chief Planning Officer with Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, said: “Bellway has worked very closely with us to achieve what we believe is a good quality scheme fitting of a 21st Century Garden City as well as going beyond planning requirements as it looks towards a more sustainable future.”

    Read more

    February 2020

  • Celebrating Recent Promotions

    Celebrating Recent Promotions

    We are pleased to announce some recent promotions. John Pratley becomes Associate Director, in recognition of the innovative Passivhaus and Energiesprong schemes that John has brought to the practice. John has 25 years of experience delivering projects from masterplan all the way through to delivery on site.

    Mike Panayi, Jonathan Head and Hannah Shopland will join the Management Group as Associates. In addition Karmjit Sohal, Adam Hewgill and Tora Bickford-Sawkings have been promoted to Senior Architect, recognising their expertise, experience and years of service at the practice.

    February 2020

  • First Time Buyers Awards - Shortlisted

    First Time Buyers Awards - Shortlisted

    Birnam Mews is a collection of 60 family homes in the verdant village of Tiddington, Warwickshire, just outside Stratford-upon-Avon, has been shortlisted for Best Family Home in the First Time Buyer Awards. The eco-friendly development is built around traditional family-friendly street-scenes, interspersed with garden squares.

    the development for L&Q offers 10 different layouts and designs, from one-bedroom quarter houses to detached four-bedroom family homes, Birnam Mews offers the unique mix of housing to create the true community feel that families seek.

    February 2020

  • Beaulieu Shortlisted First Time Buyers Awards

    Beaulieu Shortlisted First Time Buyers Awards

    Beaulieu, Chelmsford, Essex is nominated in the Best Large Development category of the First Time Buyer Readers’ Awards. Set in former hunting grounds of King Henry VIII, the vision for Beaulieu was to create a vibrant new integrated community for the city of Chelmsford, bringing together 3,600 quality new homes.

    The homes are designed around 180 acres of green open spaces, ranging from formal parks, village greens and community gardens to natural meadows plus an orchard. These green open spaces connect the new Beaulieu neighbourhoods and give residents a wealth of choice for outdoor activities, improving their health and well-being.

    February 2020

  • Best Urban Regeneration Nomination

    Best Urban Regeneration Nomination

    South Oxhey Central is nominated as Best Urban Regeneration project in the First Time Buyer Readers’ Awards. A £172m mixed-use regeneration scheme by Countryside and Home Group, in partnership with Three Rivers District Council, that is currently transforming the existing town centre and three unused sites into a modern and vibrant hub.

    A rejuvenated retail area - Station Approach, which is fully let, is bringing local shops and trade back to the area, while Countryside is also creating employment and training opportunities for local people in construction. We created friendly, safe and well-overlooked streets and public spaces, designed according to Secured by Design principles.

    February 2020

  • Industry Takes The Reins

    Industry Takes The Reins

    Good article by Jo Smit in the RIBA Journal. Jo's article looks at ways in which the construction industry is building expertise & finding solutions that promote retrofit. Read about our projects at Wilmcote House & Mundon Road, Maldon, where we are collaborating with Engie.

    The homes in Maldon (owned by Moat Housing) are the first in the UK to use the Energiesprong system to enhance energy performance.

    February 2020

  • A New Chapter in Grays History

    A New Chapter in Grays History

    Our scheme for Bellway at Devonshire Place is progressing well on site. Located next to romantically named open spaces such as Lions Gorge, Chafford Gorges Nature Park & Grays Chalk Quarry Nature Park, recognising the area’s industrial past, the development will transform a former quarrying and industrial area of the town.

    The development delivers 102 new homes - a mix of 2,3 and 4 bedroom houses and 1 and 2 bed flats. We worked hard with the Bellway team to turn around the planning application in just 2 months.

    February 2020

  • His First Quarter Century!

    His First Quarter Century!

    25yrs ago, as a young graduate, Graham Kime began work at the practice, little suspecting that 21yrs later, with 3 colleagues, he would have completed an MBO and be running the company. The year that Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa, a cease-fire was declared in NI, the channel tunnel opened, & Sony introduced the playstation.

    “Back then I had long hair, big dreams and the youthful naivety that I could make a difference. The architectural profession has changed so much in the past 25 years. My hair has receded from 3ft long to a mere stubble… but I still like to think that we are making a difference!”

    January 2020

  • Happy New Year

    Happy New Year

    2020 marks the beginning of a new decade – a time of great change, but full of possibilities. We are looking forward to the opportunities and design challenges that lie ahead.

    Looking Back On 2019 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.

    January 2020