The bigger picture – housing development
We have a passion for applying our design skills to creating communities and beautiful homes for people who perhaps do not have a choice, bringing the experience of matching careful design and detailing with low energy, low carbon and low maintenance builds to our work in mass- and social housing. It is the spaces between the buildings – the public realm, the gardens, the landscaping – that define the quality of place and we strive to create a convivial environment people will enjoy.
The 'Build-Build-Build' mantra of the government cannot just mean anything, anywhere: it has to place emphasis on quality of environment, social justice and carbon-negative building. This is not difficult or expensive in the longer term - you just have to want to achieve it and actually think about the consequences of your actions, both environmentally and socially, rather than just the bottom line. We know we can build 'ordinary' houses, using materials from any builder's merchant, in a responsible, sustainable and affordable way, and arrange them in a landscape that creates a real sense of place, which responds to local character without mimicking it and enables us to create somewhere people will love. However, it takes time, effort and ambition though, on the part of the designer, the client and the end user, and also on the governance, financiers and policy makers. Consultation with stakeholders and the wider community is key.
Our basic model, that works with the emotional needs of people, works with and enhances the local landscape, and is carbon-negative, provides a blueprint that could be implemented across the country (and globe) to create sustainable, beautiful, and walkable but connected communities that address the major issues of our time - climate change, social justice and conservation of the natural environment - simply by building much-needed houses well. What could be a bigger ambition and impact than that?