LIVING Homes & housing scheme design Designscape 2019 Edition
Working with Us
Specialists in Design
Working Together 8 Collaboration 9 Technology
Local Practice, National Outlook
02 Shared Spaces
03 Rural and Urban
04 Design Quality
05 Houses for Older People
06 One Off Houses
07 Housing Schemes
08 Existing Buildings and Historic Context
09 Creativity and Innovation
10 Sustainability and Construction Technology
We are Designscape, a design-led architecture practice with a wealth of experience designing residential homes and commercial housing schemes throughout the UK. From interesting contemporary new-builds to schemes that bring new life and identity to historic and listed buildings, our goal is to design elegant solutions from our clients brief. From areas of outstanding natural beauty and greenbelt sites to creative re-use in inner city locations our starting point is always the same. We listen carefully to the needs of each client to create buildings and spaces that sit perfectly in the context of their environment. We are proud to share some of our principal residential projects here, demonstrating our potential and outlining our approach within the commercial housing sector.
We are Designscape
Working with us Good design is at the very core of what we do. Good design comes out of a logical process and results in a solution that feels inevitable, and never forced or contrived. Knowing that the best design always results in a more successful financial outcome for our clients, we combine our ingenuity, sensitivity and expertise to determine the right solution for your site and budget.
Specialists in Design There is a common perception that architects are specialists, devoting themselves to a particular type of building or working within a specific industry sector. At Designscape, we are specialists. We are specialists in design. We do not to limit ourselves by project type, but we bring our considerable experience to each brief afresh. We pride ourselves in approaching each new architectural challenge with critical thinking, and equal insight, energy and conviction. Another misconception is that design is synonymous with style. While designing great looking buildings is important to us, it is not our only motivation. For us, good design means creating buildings where people enjoy spending time, that are fit for purpose and that are inherently sustainable. Often clients come with only an outline idea of what they want. They have a need for a house or residential building scheme on a specific site but need architectural insight to bring a project to life. This is where we begin to add significant value. We help our clients explore and refine their needs before responding with concept ideas. Not only does this help both parties ensure they are on the right path to an architectural solution but also, that every part of the brief is being met.
- Philip Mansfield, MRICS, Building Control, Bath and North East Somerset Council
I have always found Designscape to be an innovative and forward looking company . They always strive to achieve the best results for their clients and have produced some very high quality architectural designs in and around our district in the time we have been working with them.
Bannerdown Houses, Bath
When a client commissions us, we are embarking on a journey together. We take the time to get to know you, meeting on site to understand your requirement in its context. After identifying your priorities, we hope before long, to build your trust in us and develop a close working relationship that you find enjoyable and rewarding. One of Designscape’s Principals will lead your project throughout. With a breadth of experience brought with them from early careers in larger
practices, both are closely supported by a dedicated team of project architects. Designscape practices a flat office structure enabling decisions to be made quickly. This means our clients’ designs can progress smoothly and seamlessly from concept to implementation. We strive to ensure that all of our clients find the experience of working with us, and living in a Designscape building, both gratifying and fulfilling.
Designscape’s incredible attention to detail coupled with their personable approach, meant that we have experienced exceptional journeys through our projects together, resulting in superb finished buildings. - Paul Hipkins, Commercial Client in charge of Global Real Estate
Cedar House, Bristol
Collaboration With relationships built from past collaborations and our construction industry network, we are well placed to help clients appoint other professionals whose expertise may be required in a project. We enjoy collaborating with like-minded companies that are inventive, innovative and creative. We particularly enjoy working with companies that are leaders in their field. Adopting a team approach with structural engineers, cost advisers and construction contractors Designscape can guide your project through an often complex and demanding process to a successful completion.
Designscape are exceptional and possess a spirit of adventure with a practical rigour and a love of detail. We greatly enjoy working with them. From an open culture of debate and mutual respect often arises something different and buildings to be proud of. - Stephen Melville, Structural Engineer & company owner
Ongoing investment in new technology allows Designscape to offer a continually improving product and excellent service. The ability to more accurately represent the built reality has been found to add real value before, during and after construction.
We believe in using your resources to maximum effect and while this may sometimes mean being realistic about what is possible, we will be able to advise on budgetary restraints and give direction on what a project may cost to build during the early stages of the design process.
Using the modelling tools we now have at our disposal, clients can experience a virtual reality walk of their project from the very early stages of design. All of Designscape’s work is created in a 3D BIM model environment, so that we are able to produce information in a way that is most useful to developers, contractors and end-clients alike. By using parametric digital design tools, we are also able to optimise the design performance of components. Parametric design software also facilitates the accurate digital manufacture of bespoke parts and components at no additional cost. As well as greater economy of materials and speed of construction, this has the potential to make previously rejected sites more feasible to develop.
Sustainability Designscape have long been champions of more sustainable design and this is embedded into our design process - from the siting and orientation of a building, the materials which make up its fabric and the energy it uses. We believe that a sustainable building is a long lasting, low energy, low maintenance structure, that should benefit the owner throughout the building’s entire lifetime.
Fees In line with industry standards, we usually work on a fixed fees basis. This is tailored to the requirements of your project and is based on estimates of time. However, each new relationship is important to us, so we are flexible in our approach to negotiating an arrangement that suits a client’s needs.
Local Practice, National Outlook Having designed buildings in the UK, across Europe and further afield in Indonesia, we are not constrained by our location. From our base in Bath, we service clients from the wider geographical area who enjoy the benefit of our practice not being subject to big London overheads. Through experience we have found that close connection with a site isn’t always necessary and that beginning each new design with a fresh set of eyes can be a positive advantage when designing successful residential schemes and private homes.
what is absolutely necessary. - Rob Gregory, Teaching Fellow, Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, University of Bath
Of course Designscape care greatly about architecture, and believe in its potential to make positive differences to our world. They work extremely hard to get the most out of every project. Environmental stability is at their core, starting with careful efficient planning, that in pursuit of spatial delight and organisational effectiveness, ensures that they only build
01 Housing Whether a single house or a larger development, and whether for a private individual, public or private developer, the occupiers and their needs are always at the heart of our design thinking. Designscape recognises that our clients are not just the people who pay us, but that many may also occupy the buildings we design. Our overriding aim is to design high-quality homes that have enduring value, that bring value to our clients and most importantly, that people enjoy living in. The pressure on land and housing supply in the UK presents significant challenges, and innovation in housing design is the only way to meet them. As such, the notion of a standard type of house no longer exists. We actively seek out opportunities to add value to each new project. Always inventing and developing bespoke solutions to make the best of a site, we never simply rely on standard solutions. For individual homeowners and larger developers alike, the long-term value generated by our service comes from our problem-solving culture and smart design decisions. 12
Winterbourne Down, Bristol 13
Winterbourne Down, Bristol 14
02 Shared Spaces As a society, we are beginning to recognise the need for different forms of tenure and home ownership. Housing design is constantly evolving in order to meet todayâ€™s varying needs. Designscape understands that there are a number of important factors that determine the long-term success of a housing project. From high-quality living environments to shared spaces and the wider landscape setting, we take a human-centric approach to design, allowing the needs of residents to drive our conceptual thinking. With this in mind, our work often extends well beyond the footprint of the buildings themselves. Site planning and master-planning can make a vital difference to delivering a scheme which creates a positive community, rather than simply a series of units providing shelter.
Springfield Farm, Somerset
03 Rural / Urban Houses in rural settings, urban environments and all contexts in between, each present their own design challenges. Underlying these however, are an occupiersâ€™ basic needs and desires, so in each of our projects we strive to deliver: - - - - - - - -
Shelter and security Privacy and ease of access A considered internal environment Well-designed external spaces Good daylight and ventilation Physical and acoustic comfort Long life and low running cost A sense of community and neighbourhood
With these needs and desires as a starting point, we believe that intelligent design solutions come from a thorough understanding of the physical and social context. In many instances, we find ourselves working with local communities and planning authorities to find the best design solutions for houses in sensitive and challenging locations.
Squash House, Bath
- Nick Ash, client, sustainable energy sector
Above all, Designscape are nice people to work with, challenging our preconceptions and helping us to lift the quality of the design to give us a practical, buildable and elegant solution which we are very excited about.
Frankley Building, Bath
The use of the art gallery as a precedent has taken this idea to a new level. The proposal will be good for the landscape and ecology of the site and represents a creative way of managing a piece of land that is otherwise hard to manage.
- South East Design Review Panel 2016
Mayfield Farm, Windsor
04 Design Quality Design quality is not just about aesthetics or style, we believe it is primarily about creating buildings and places that work really well on a number of levels, such as flexibility, functionality and buildability. These are the things that will determine how a building will look. It should not simply be about style or about spending more money. To determine a set style at the outset of a project simply limits the possibilities of what Designscape can achieve. In other words, design is a process which should not be pre-determined or cut short because to do so diminishes the quality of the outcome.
Squash House, Bath
Hawkerâ€™s Meadow, Bath Easton
05 Housing for Older People People are living longer, their housing needs and aspirations are changing, and there is a growing need to design specifically for older people. This can mean housing designed to support active and independent lifestyles, but with a real sense of community, and future support available when required. In our work in the retirement housing sector, we look for innovative ways to design buildings which help to address important issues such as isolation, adaptability, daylight, and the domestic requirements of older people. We also incorporate technology which can help older people in their daily lives, as well as the people who care for them.
06 One-off houses Designscape has considerable experience in designing oneoff houses for individual clients. These projects offer us the opportunity to innovate and push the boundaries of both materials and construction techniques. As well as giving us detailed knowledge of what our individual clients are looking for, it is through our work with residential clients that we are able to expand our knowledge and bring our expertise to housing generally. 22
Springfield Farm, Somerset
- James & Nicola Smith, private clients, South West
The team worked tirelessly through the project, accommodating and resolving all the challenges which the brief gave them. The resulting house has exceeded expectations. Not only a wonderful house to live in, with flexible and practical living spaces and minimal running costs, the design makes superb use of the site and views, and the house is filled with daylight.
07 Housing Schemes Whether in economy of planning or construction to make housing affordable, or the requirement to meet sustainability objectives, our experience in designing architectural solutions can be applied to housing schemes and larger scale developments. We all desire a connection with the outside world yet want shelter from it. We all want security and privacy and yet enjoy a sense of community. We need daylight and comfort, want our homes to work well and have a good flow of space and efficient storage. We believe that housing should respond to the same universal human needs and desires, regardless of location, size and setting.
* Chris Mackenzie working @ FCB studios ** Spencer Back working @ Angus Meek
Accordia, Cambridge, 2008 Stirling Prize *
The Praedium, Bristol, â€˜Highly Commendedâ€™ National Home Builders Design Awards 2006 **
Sydney Buildings, Bath
08 Existing Buildings Historic Context The majority of houses that will be standing at the turn of the next century already exist. Existing housing stock, and redundant buildings with different original uses, will have to be adapted and upgraded to meet the needs of the future, whilst continuing to respect our architectural and natural heritage. Housing must be made fit for the future and homes need to be more flexible to reflect the demographic changes in the population. Added to this, we need to make housing that uses less energy, lasts longer and provides a higher quality of environment. Creative re-use and renovation of existing and historic buildings will always be a big part of our work. These buildings are an important cultural link to our past and continue to enrich our lives today. Our designs re-purpose buildings to suit the needs of todayâ€™s world and renovate old buildings to return them to beneficial use. We try to recognise the full potential of existing structures and make them fit for new purposes. At Designscape, we believe that this is a vital contribution to a sustainable future.
09 Creativity and Innovation Designscape commonly deal with sensitive and challenging sites. There may be constraints such as flood risk or unstable ground, conservation areas or wildlife habitat considerations. We consider ourselves architectural problem solvers and enjoy finding the opportunity within such challenges. We relish the occasion to use our knowledge and apply our creativity to rewrite the housing design rulebook. We thrive on creating solutions not constrained by conventional thinking. And the result is often a much better outcome: making better use of a difficult site, better use of materials for increased sustainability or better internal space arrangement benefiting the occupants.
- Private Client, Langridge 28
The building’s listed status restricted our options for conversion, but Designscape’s strategic approach was invaluable in clarifying our options. This included prioritising a green heating system which now serves not only the barn but also the rest of the farm.
10 Sustainability and Construction Technology The world is beginning to understand the need for a low carbon society, and the regulations we work to are starting to reflect this. Designscape have always been at the leading edge of sustainability and demonstrate genuine expertise in sustainable building design. Adopting a holistic approach and considering the entire range of issues from energy use and embodied energy to materials and toxicity, we also understand the costs and benefits of more sustainable buildings for our clients.
At Designscape we adopt a â€˜fabric firstâ€™ approach in all of our designs. We prioritise the choice of materials used in the buildingâ€™s fabric to minimise the need for energy consumption while extending its lifespan and reducing routine maintenance. Added to this, our skill in construction detailing recognises the unique properties of the materials we use, and demonstrates a thorough understanding of how to use them to their best advantage, resulting in buildings that not only function well but that look good and are a pleasure to live in.
Designscape Architects Bath Brewery Toll Bridge Road Bath BA1 7DE
e: email@example.com w: www.dscape.co.uk
Designscape 2019 Edition Designscape Architects