Housing

Best known for creating homes and neighbourhoods, we are passionate about housing and what it takes to make a great place to live. We have many years of experience doing this and understand the detail evidence-based design, policy, and technical issues of quality.

Working with developers, housebuilders, housing associations and local authorities on new and adapted buildings. We have experience across every typology and tenure with an increasing focus on specialist housing such as build to rent, apart-hotels, student housing, communal housing and homes for older households.

We are proud of our housing work and take pleasure in being involved with long lasting developments that foster positive communities. Housing is both urban and architectural discipline for us. How residents experience their journey from neighbourhood to home is fundamental to our architecture, this means well considered plans to organise flats into buildings and neighbourhoods.

Our housing work began in the Netherlands, where we created quality homes with the wider spirit of the place in mind, something we aspire to in all our projects. The homes we designed for Accordia in Cambridge won a RIBA Stirling Prize, now over ten years old, they have evolved with age and are still being enjoyed.

Urbanism

We believe urbanism is a transformative practice contributing to the evolution of the city. We build upon existing environments to bring greater opportunity and create sustainable and equitable urban neighbourhoods.

We must work collectively to establish a future vision and build on an area’s existing or projected qualities. Communities are the custodians of places. It is the collective reading of a neighbourhood that informs considered urbanism.

We value design as a medium to empower culture and economy and deliver visionary solutions. The public realm forms the primary means to activate shared and social terrains and enshrine civic character. Our approach emphasizes on tailored urban strategies to redefine sustainable eco-systems locally and globally.

Places for Learning

We enjoy creating inspiring learning environments that nurture development and social interaction. Our education projects range from single classrooms to postgraduate accommodation; at all scales we seek to enhance learning outcomes and make positive civic contributions.

Our work in the sector is built on strong relationships. We recognise the talented knowledge-base that support places of learning – staff, students, governors, parents and the local community – and work hard to draw on this resource to get the best result. We tailor our communication to ensure a fruitful and long-lasting dialogue with stakeholders.

By taking time to understand the whole of a site, we relish the opportunity to unlock its potential, ensuring the spaces between buildings work just as hard as those within them. We are driven to deliver learning environments that are thoughtful, calm, uplifting; and that are fundamentally practical and built to last.

Sustainability

We take a holistic approach to sustainability at every scale. We are not interested in sustainability as a form of expression but as a measure of quality and building performance. We’re drawn to environmental strategies that resonate with our architectural approach – calm, considered, carefully made.

Our approach is centred around quality and longevity to consider whole-life costs. We have completed a number of Passivhaus projects and value certified performances over theoretical predictions. We actively engage in research, teaching and policy production to attain high environmental standards and employ innovative sustainable construction methods and materials. 

Our design invests in robustly detailed buildings that weather well and demonstrates flexibility in layout to accommodate for evolving times. Most importantly, we believe a building must be thought and remembered of positively by those who experience it to stand the test of time.

Our values

Our greatest direct impact in achieving social, environmental and economic success is through our project development and delivery of exemplar masterplans and mixed-use housing developments. Our teams explore and engage with communities and clients to better understand neighbourhood assets and deliver social value outcomes in creative ways. We want to use best practice in creating cohesive, enjoyable, high quality and well-planned places to live and work, full of possibility and opportunity to lead productive and happy lives.

Education is the lynch pin in the future of our profession, and is something we really want to improve. Making architecture available to all, not simply to the privileged – to help awareness and invest in training for a new more ‘rounded’ diverse generation of innovators. We do this by supporting charities and organisations such as  Blueprint for all, Accelerate and the W-Campaign.

We support architectural students and provide an opportunity to explore the various routes to a career in architecture through a stimulating work experience training programme.

Addressing the climate emergency is a practice priority supported by our environmental task group. We are founding signatories of the Architect’s Declare movement and Urban Studio Director, Kevin Logan sits on its main steering group. We advocate for improvements in building and material efficiency with clients and our design teams and our work is assessed against ‘RIBA 2030 Challenge’ and ‘LETI’ climate emergency targets for embodied carbon.