14 Nov 2015

Adaptable Housing - a paper I wrote back in 2012...


This 'paper' (now post) pursues the investigation into the current and future position of flexible, adaptive architecture in response to social, environmental and economic factors. It emphasises the overarching need for this shift in architectural design, explores its current position, and lastly demonstrates the technological potential of the built environment becoming humanly responsive. It highlights distinct areas for exploration and welcomes advances in smart technologies for the incorporation in to our architecture.


Buildings have previously generated a pre-conceived notion of being static yet we are currently in a transitional phase towards a more dynamic architectural environment. Buildings are being conceptualised less as concrete, steel and brick elements but more as a series of pro-formative, responsive elements; energy systems, air systems, lighting systems, acoustic systems all with the intention of increasing our comforts as the users and occupiers. (Schwitter, 2008) Flexible architecture is that which can adjust to changing needs and patterns be it social, environmental or economical. It embraces the ability to make changes pre-occupation, yet most importantly has the potential to allow the building to change and adapt over its lifetime (Schneider & Till, 2007).

Recently we have seen ample reasons for incorporating the concept of flexibility and adaptability into our built environment on a worldwide basis. Escalating from the idea of flexibility being used to manage issues caused through social, economic and environmental factors, I decided to explore this further. I have identified from my reading, four significant elements that work in a cyclic motion, two of which act as catalysts: the expanding city and climate change. And two which offer plausible solutions: recycling and reaction.

This Paper will, using a systematic approach, identify and appraise past, current and future urban developments from around the world in order to recognise and challenge limits of adaptability within architecture and the built environment.

The Expanding City

Urbanisation is defined as an increase in urban population faster than the increase in total population; the 21st century is likely to be dominated by urbanisation, kept on the move by expanding cities. Studying data from previous decades, experts have developed growing concerns towards statistics and demographic trends that show urban populations in many cities across the world seem to be rising. (Genske & Ruff, 2006)

At the millennium it was proven that the world’s cities are growing in total by more than 60 million people, the equivalent to the entire UK population, each year and by 2015, the UN predict that there will be 358 ‘million cities’, that is cities with a population of one million or more: worryingly, no less than 153 will be in Asia. It is also predicted that 27 mega-cities of more than 10 million inhabitants will also have been established and by 2025, two thirds of the world’s population, approximately 5 billion people, will be living in cities. (Hall & Pfeiffer, 2000)

The housing demand of an aging society further stimulates excessive urban sprawl and by 2030, it is predicted approximately 16% of the world’s population will be older than 60, with the anticipation that one in three could be over this age in Europe. (Hall & Pfeiffer, 2000) Being equipped to adapt for issues such as an ageing population is vital. Integrated housing refers to multi-generational homes that offer older people an environment that encourages their integration in to society rather than away from it. The idea of “aging in place”, in which elders remain in their own homes and communities is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to specialised senior facilities (Schittich, 2007). Simple design ideas can ultimately result in facilitating a fit between a house’s constraints and the needs of the occupant (Friedman, 2002). A UK government scheme currently being promoted is the lifetime homes concept. Originally an idea developed nearly twenty years ago in an attempt to design a home that offers not gimmicks that people do not need, but features that make the home flexible enough to meet whatever comes along in life. It now sets out sixteen parameters that go above and beyond ‘Part M: Access to and Use of Buildings’ from the building regulations. Though often not even noticed by its occupants (Sopp & Wood, 2001), many of these 16 items do offer the ability for someone to stay in their home for the duration of their life. Standards and conditions will change and develop but with the simple design features introduced in a lifetime home it means making alterations or adapting spaces to suit the user’s needs are easily achievable.

Changing cities also offer opportunities, not only to architects and government schemes but also to new forms of land and resource management. Urbanisation and the growth of cities have been accompanied by the maturation of slums, home to nearly a third of the entire world population. Residents have to choose between health and safety, and a need for shelter. The conditions faced by slum occupants often include poor housing, poor access to clean water and sanitary, overcrowding and building on land that is unsafe and unsuitable for habitation. 
Dharavi, Mumbai is the largest slum in India and one of the biggest in the world. Mumbai is a city with approximately 14 million inhabitants, and Dharavi is located within close proximity to the financial district. It occupies just one square mile yet has a population, officially, of around 600,000 though this is realistically closer to one million. They reside in approx. 100,000 makeshift homes, with one of the world’s highest population densities at more than 18,000 people per acre. (Apte, 2008) Dharavi is however unique and vibrant, it is self-sustaining and has a thriving industrial business resulting in 80% employment across the Slum. The street also is more than just a thoroughfare - it is a space of transaction, dwelling, eating, working, gathering and recreation as well as transition. The same place can change identity many times throughout a day. (Shepard, 2007)

“Every morning this industrious population rolls up its beds and in an instant transforms tens of thousands of living spaces into an informal network of freelance workshops, making and selling almost anything imaginable”  Kevin McCloud, 2011.

The overwhelming density does not allow for any space to be wasted – on trains, under bridges or in between buildings. Nor does Dharavi allow for any material to be wasted, recycling is a way of life, not just to construct their homes but as an income and is an industry that employs 250,000 people right across the Slum. 4,000 tonnes of waste is recycled every day and generates $72 million per year. This along with the potential methods of street proficiency practised both individually and cooperatively by its residents should be something we commend and learn from. With the Slum being positioned in a prime location for development it is constantly under pressure from the rich, however if anything this place should be replicated, not replaced. (Apte, 2008)This flexibility and adaptability is something we just cannot apprehend in the civilised western world where space is gaining premium and unemployment is increasing. The close proximity between jobs and high density, low-rise housing results in an organically developed urban form that is walkable, community-oriented, and network-based something that we are striving to achieve in the UK with ‘Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing’. What does seem to be evident is a lack of preciousness towards the built environment and surrounding areas, perhaps a bold statement, but in turn, practically, this allows it to continue its construction over time, as and when it is required, in effect creating a ‘living city’.


Change always bears opportunities. In the case of transforming cities, these opportunities must relate to the notion of sustainable development. The development of our cities to meet the rising population demands must be carried out in a way that does not impact the world’s resources for our future generations. Dharavi is setting benchmarks for recycling waste, however this chapter looks at recycling more specifically and primarily that of existing spaces and structures for creative re-use. When architecture outlives its purpose in which it was originally designed for, it has in the past been felt that it is time for it to make way and a new building to be put up in its place. This should not be the case and rather than demolishing existing structures we should be looking at inspired ways to re-use them to solve contemporary needs. The definition of regeneration is ‘to renew’ or ‘impart new life to something’. In the context of urban regeneration this includes bringing derelict land and buildings back into use and improving environmental quality.

The United Kingdom’s cities are littered with derelict sites once of industrial activity. The re-use of these sites does not have to be permanent in order to have an impact on the environment and its surroundings. With the Olympic Games heading to East London in 2012, Roger Wade, of designer clothing brand ‘Boxfresh’ felt it was the perfect time to launch his latest idea, Boxpark, a ‘pop-up’ shopping mall located on a brownfield site in Shoreditch. The Bishopsgate Goods Yard site opened its doors in August 2011 as the world’s first shopping mall to be constructed entirely using recycled shipping containers. The idea makes use of a site at a time when all eyes will be on the East of London, not only promoting the area but also the creative re-use of shipping containers. The mall is split in two halves, retail at ground level and a mixed-use area upstairs including cafes, restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries and exhibition space. No high-street brands can be found on site either, encouraging the rise of new independent designers to demonstrate their innovative abilities to a wider audience. Boxpark, described as ‘Shoreditch’s answer to a 2011 shopping mall’ has identity, uniqueness and something that distinguishes itself from any other mall, within which you could quite easily forget where you were sometimes as they all look the same. It also acts as a cultural hub to the area, collating an eclectic mix of ages and tastes to experience these small spaces that have each been tailored individually by their designer. The development displays grand scale recycling on a level that has not been seen in the world today and even better is that next year it will be on show to millions of visitors from all around the world. It makes use of an empty site in an expanding city, enhances the local economy, uses a completely recycled structural element and further still creates a vibrant social core encouraging interaction and life, a fantastic example of what can be achieved through recycling.

The 2012 Olympic Games pose very exciting times for the United Kingdom both on the track and off it. Frequently Olympic hosts spend millions or in the UK’s case, billions, on developing arenas and the necessary infrastructure in order for the event to run smoothly and often more importantly so that the country is shown in the best way to the billions that tune in to watch the games. But my question was ‘what would we do with an 80,000 seat athletic stadium once the games have finished?’… in many cases the stadium and the money it cost to build is surplus to anyone’s needs. However, the Olympic Park Legacy Company has worked tirelessly to develop a plan for what happens to our facilities when the games are over. Firstly it should be noted that 98% of the new facilities to be used for the games have been built by British companies, equating to 1,400 contracts and an estimated £6 billion worth of business (Ruddick, 2011). Secondly, the main Olympic stadium has been designed as ‘two stadiums in one’, essentially a permanent 25,000 seat stadium with a 55,000 seat skyward extension which can be removed when no longer needed (London 2012, 2009). Initially there had been talks with 2016 Olympic host hopefuls, Chicago, whom were looking to buy the additional 55,000 seat extension for use in a similar way. The Stadium has been designed as a series of components in order to create an adaptable structure, which facilitates deconstruction for the purposes of post-Games requirements and re-use. For example, all the steel was bolted rather than welded and the roof structure has been designed in such a way that it can be removed or adapted in legacy for use with the smaller stadium. It is now likely that the stadium, in its reduced size, is to play host to professional football once the games are over. Similar to the previous example, this innovation sends messages to the world, exhibiting sustainability through recycling and adaptable design. It only takes simple measures and a mind set on developing a long lasting environment for future generations to go a long way towards achieving more of a sustainable planet and battling climate change.

Climate Change

Climate change is an issue of global signi´Čücance, since the beginning of the 20th century, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased, but it is impossible to determine how much this increase is due to human activities. That said, in 2004 over a quarter of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions come from the energy that we use to heat, light and run our homes. (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2006) In the last decade, there were three times more weather-related natural catastrophes in the world than in the 1960s, including heat waves, floods, droughts and forest fires. All these types of events have a big human and economic cost. (European Commission for Climate Change, 2011) Avoiding a possible global crisis that may be caused by climate change necessitates us to reduce global warming or greenhouse gas emissions across the world by half by the middle of the current century. By changing patterns and using energy more responsibly, we can reduce the emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that drive climate change. (London 2012, 2009)
Although flexibility and adaptability has been referred to mostly in this paper as an architectural concept, it is also important to understand how the construction industries and a building’s occupant’s  attitude and state of mind is hugely influential in the total embodied energy of a building. This chapter will briefly explain using psychological theories, possible reasons for the current condition of our built environment in the western world and the effect that this is potentially having on the speeding up of climate change.  In 1872, Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher, wrote the book ‘The Birth of Tragedy’, and in this book he talked of two cultural perspectives based on ancient Greek mythology, Apollonian and Dionysian. The Apollonian view requires everything to be crisp, intellectualised and perfect, in construction; plumb, square, level and centred. Whilst the Dionysian belief is open to interpretation, tolerant of the organic and resourceful. The issue lies with the Apollonian need for consistency, every perception we have must tally with the ones we had like it before, when this is not the case, something is wrong and we become disorientated. This is very much the attitude of our modern culture and in turn imposes these demands on the way our environment is constructed, which can result in the process becoming very wasteful when something doesn’t line up with a recognised pattern. A good example of this might be when a wall of glass is being constructed, but one of the window panes has a small crack in it. Instantly this pane of glass would be removed and thrown on the skip to be taken away and dumped with no thought towards any other uses for it, or people who may find uses for it, but because at that point the small crack meant it did not fit perfectly in the Apollonian perspective, it was no good (Phillips, 2010). This has to change if we are to reduce the emissions produced within the construction sector. What may also be necessary is a restructuring of the current state of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Housing has become a commodity and right now for many people self-esteem and vanity is on the same level of significance as basic needs – shelter, water, food etc. (Phillips, 2010) It would be ill-advised to suggest a shift fully towards a Dionysian perspective however, in order to become more sustainable, in order to combat climate change and in order to preserve the natural world for what it is for generations to come then a change in attitudes and behaviour is inescapable. We have the technologies to help aid change and to help us respond to an ever changing and demanding environment, but we must make efforts to design and think in a way that coincides with these technologies and elevates them from merely a standalone, bolt on gadget, and encourages reaction and correspondence with our conscience.


It is believed by many that design has a great influence on people’s quality of life, yet nowadays this influence is unfortunately more often a negative one. A primary motivator for the design of our new buildings needs to focus on creating a design solution that is flexible and adaptive at any scale, and most importantly, responsive and intelligently active with respect to the changing individual and climatic context. (Magnoli, Bonanni, Khalaf, & Fox, 2001) The current built environment in many cities creates segregation and self-segregation, contributing to social exclusion. Neighbourhoods commonly face high unemployment rates and lack space for any creative industry. (King, 2011) Affordable housing alone does not respond to the needs of the environment and just as boarded up shops and vandalised walls weaken an area, creating social diversity and sustaining livelihoods can be achieved through a flexible, responsive architecture.
Reactive, responsive architecture can come in countless forms and be the solution to many different issues however the following example on a very simple level addresses problems of an economic, social and environmental context. Completed in late 2010, the Live Work Home, by Cook + Fox Architects, considers the longevity and livelihood of a shrinking city in the state of New York, affected by the migration of significant industry away from the area throughout the 20th century. Essentially what I would describe as a small modern bungalow, the simple and flexible construction of the Live Work Home was designed to address a range of uses and allows for a lifetime of waste-free adaptation. Constructed using a column-free structure with sliding doors and mobile partitions, the 130 square metre project reconsiders the assumed definition of “home” for a new, urban context. Based on the following quote

“Our beds are empty two-thirds of the time. Our living rooms are empty seven-eighths of the time. Our office buildings are empty one-half of the time. It’s time we gave this some thought.” -Buckminster Fuller, 1970.
An open, linear plan was created to achieve the greatest possible flexibility at the least expense and to allow residents to “age in place,” as mentioned earlier, encouraging long-term residence and intergenerational living. Further to this idea, notions of healthy living concentrating on our innate human need to connect with the natural world are served as a response to the cities climate and ecology. The city’s long, light-starved winters make using natural daylight a top priority, the dwelling is orientated to maximize solar exposure, along with direct and diffused daylight from light-tubes penetrating the roof. A perforated screen wraps the entire building and works along the western and northern facades to bounce daylight into the house, as well as filtering light through adjustable rotating elements. The screen also features a large, garage-type front door, which can fold up to create an opening that doubles as a front porch.  This space creates an ethic of “eyes on the street” to instil residents with a feeling of safety and engagement with the neighbourhood. (King, 2011) This simple, affordable piece of architecture sets precedents as to how adaptable, responsive buildings should be designed. It demonstrates components that react specifically to its locations context in a simple yet innovative manner to which future developments should learn from.
Architecture that is designed to make use of fewer resources and adapt efficiently to challenging site requirements is particularly relevant to an industry that currently, as described earlier, is increasingly aware of its environmental responsibilities. (Magnoli, Bonanni, Khalaf, & Fox, 2001) Right now architectural literature is abundant with buildings that claim to be products with a strong environmental agenda. Yet, with closer inspection, few of these buildings are really as “environmental” as they claim. An environmentally-responsive architecture is not a fixed ideal, but an embryonic concept that must be redefined and re-evaluated with every new project. The formation of environmental responsiveness should like the previous example, relate to its occupants and their activities, to its location, and to varying changes in climate. (Yannas, 2003)
One piece of deployable architecture that responds directly to the needs of disaster victims, and specifically those in Haiti is that of Andres Duany, of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. In January 2010 Haiti was victim to an earthquake that measured 7.0 on the Richter scale. According to official estimates 316,000 people lost their lives with 300,000 injured, over 97,000 homes were destroyed and 188,000 homes damaged in southern Haiti alone. (National Earthquake Information Centre, 2010) The situation was critical, more than 100,000 were left homeless, and it called for radical measures to ensure the health and safety of these people was intact. Many designs for disaster zone shelters have failed in previous years and will no doubt continue into the future, however Duany’s approach to the issue appeared responsive and logical.
The design uses an innovative new structural panel system by ‘Innovida’ that provides a reassuring resistance to both hurricanes and earthquakes. The design also makes use of the skills possessed by the locals in order the construct the units and it is estimated that the average unit should take no longer than half a day to put up. The master plan for the site was produced in a way that accounts for 726 beds per acre; streets divide the development providing semi-public forecourts. Shelter units are in clusters of 4 but each unit has its own private courtyard and outdoor bathroom. For those singles or partners who are not in need of an entire unit, rooms are available to rent. (Joseph, 2010) In order to respond accurately to climate, location and occupant needs, detailed research was carried out.  For these shelters to prove successful and set them apart from previous generic attempts the design had to be tailored specifically for the highly complex cultural and climatic environment. From family structures to the way they like to eat, the development was designed to offer a comfortable dwelling that kept a disruption of habits to a minimum. Designs for deployable structures to be used in disaster zones have for a long time been non-specific and therefore not entirely effective in becoming truly responsive to the issue in hand. Once again, simple measures, extensive research and effective design allowed for Duany’s concept to become successful and change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
Evidence of adaptable architecture being adopted on a bespoke level has been in place for many years, however movements towards larger scale, mass productions have yet to take off. What this paper has highlighted is the enormous effect it can have on our built environment and in turn the way we live, work and play.
Making alterations or adapting spaces to suit occupant’s needs can be easily achievable when designed in to a building. Construction over time, as and when it is required, combined with components that react specifically to a locations context, strive towards creating a ‘living city’. The measures we take do not need to be complex either, simple, innovative design backed up by extensive research and a mind set on preserving our world for future generations can be the difference.

Currently, in physical terms, it should be noted, it is purely effective design driving adaptable architecture, though research is currently exploring dynamic, transformable and intelligent materials and even living matter to be incorporated into our built environment, be it to enhance, sustain or develop the way we have grown to live. Multi-dimensional materials that have the properties capable of controlling elements of a spaces size, heating, lighting and ventilation will allow our cities and buildings to become ever more humanly responsive, influencing ultimately the impact that we have on the world, now and in the future.

27 Mar 2014

SPUD Longlisting + future collaboration

Entering the SPUD competition came about over many'a lunch breaks spent in Subway talking about design and architecture.. for me what has been most reassuring about the whole process is that we actually managed to walk the walk following all the talk.

Architecture in commercial practice is becoming stale, mundane and boring. All this while smaller, design-led, passionate practices develop new business models, new ways of generating work and new ways promoting themselves.. Paul and I sat down with Mark and Ricky of SPUD and got the low-down on how their organisation is growing and gaining momentum everyday, and it was so great to hear them talk so enthusiastically about the industry and the opportunities that are out there if we look hard enough.

The trip came about, as you know, following our design entry for the SPUD competition. Having not made the short-list Mark very kindly passed on some of the judges feedback about our design but we were keen to delve a little deeper! 

Render of the proposed observatory 
The design concept always revolved around this idea of a denial plane, removing views so that they are enhanced when given back... We created this using the vertical posts and through their increased density the consumers sight is removed. The posts eventually merge to create the actual enclosed space. Each post demands space in the landscape encouraging macro observation but the closer they become, the more the visitor views the micro aspects of the site. Once inside the building the visitor experiences a sheltered atmosphere away from the sun, wind and rain and is invited to observe the artist’s products and process.

Inside the intervention a counterpoint to the surrounding landscape is created through removing light from the tower and creating a pinhole camera obscura. This camera obscura projects the light and atmosphere of the artist’s studio above onto a translucent screen below giving a real-time view of the artist at work.

The mirrors work to project a real-time view of the artist at work to visitors

The artist working on the floor above cannot see the people below but can hear visitor’s comments through floor vents. A picnic style work approach is encouraged with a large open space studio floor with outward viewing windows flush to the floor. The artist has the option to use a work table with a horizontal window at eye level and a view of both the sky and topography below using mirrors in the tower.

The 'picnic' style work space for the artist with carefully positioned light interventions
Upon departure from the building the visitor’s eyes takes time adjust from the dark sheltered interior to the bright external exposure. Once in focus the user observes the landscape at a macro level contrasting the internal atmospheres of the building.

I will reveal more on the technical proposals for the project and that invaluable feedback from Mark at SPUD another day, please feel free to leave comments...

10 Mar 2014

Space, Placemaking and Urban Design (SPUD) Competition

We made it!

A fantastic effort all round; Paul Colfer, Artist Casey Williams and myself not only managed to put together a competition entry for the SPUD  but on April 3rd we were published on the long list for the competition! 

We emerged through as one of the 20 teams to be long listed for the exhibition at Winchester Guild Hall where the projects were reviewed by a panel of 7. The judges included some high profile names such as Will Alsop and Bill Woodrow as well as five other distinguished professionals. The project was also mentioned on bdonline and the competition website that can be viewed in the links below:



The brief was an exciting one that asked its competitors to design a structure that would provide shelter for a number of artists to work in in-turns over a period of two years. The structure will move location up to 3 times  so needed to be demountable, easily moved on a lorry and potentially re-configurable to suit the needs and geography of the new site.

The nature of the competition required professionals within the design field to collaborate with an artist.; we worked  with Casey Williams, my little brother, whom has a BA Fine Art degree from University of the Arts London: Chelsea.

With our team of three in place the design process began with an exploration of the meaning of observation and in what ways it could be questioned through architecture. A denial plane that actually obstructs sections of a view was the outcome of a collaborative brainstorming session on how to increase the effects of observation with the following statement forming the concept for our design:

“The beauty of landscape and topography is somewhat elusive to those whom use it often and in a transient manner. Studio Obscura uses the power of denial to remove and distort views so as to render scenes beautiful that have since become ordinary through frequent use”

Over the next week or so I will post about the competition entry in more detail but for now I leave you with the two A2 boards submitted...

13 Jan 2014

The Observatory - a project by SPUD.

It has been on our agenda for a while now but finally myself and Paul Colfer (http://colfer-architecture.blogspot.co.uk/) have finally got round to registering for a competition. The competition in question is..


Its an absolute cracker. It also provides me with the opportunity of collaborating with my little brother, Casey Williams, who is a graduate from Chelsea College of Art with a BA in Fine Art.

We have set out a tight programme of works for the next 7 weeks ahead of the submission on the 28th Febraury so keep your eyes peeled. We won't, unfortunately, be posting too much before this date due to the nature of the topic however will post up what we can along the way and come the 28th Feb we will get it all online!

I think competitions like these are a brilliant way of keeping your design flair alive outside of the restrictions imposed upon us as designers in the industry we are in. I experience it first hand almost everyday, the danger of not partaking in this sort of activity and the effects it can have on architects prone to becoming stagnant in industry and willing to let clients and regulation dictate them.

I am excited already just thinking of what the outcome of this project could possibly be.. Stay tuned.

31 Oct 2013

Rushcliffe Sixth Form Centre...

Further to my post last night I have just extracted a few pages from the Design and Access statement that explains some of the concepts and ideas behind the overall design and massing of the proposal...

An introduction...

A section through the front of the site illustrating the proposed buildings relationship with its residential neighbour. The bottom section shows the proposals positioning in relation to the road, the neighbour and the existing school buildings...

Some of the key design principles best illustrated in plan...

And some more demonstrating the ideas behind the massing...

Key views of the site were identified and quick cgi's produced to give an idea of what the proposal could look like...

A natural palette of materials ...

Just a small insight in to the key design ideas for the Sixth Form Centre...


30 Oct 2013

Major Planning Application...

Once again, apologies for the intermittent posting... I am a busy man!

Just a couple of weeks ago i got to experience my first planning committee meeting..

Location: Rushcliffe Borough Council, Civic Centre, West Bridgford
Reason: My very first major planning application!!
Project: Rushcliffe School Sixth Form Centre

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity at Church Lukas to take on the design of a new sixth form building at Rushcliffe School. The practice, in particular the building consultancy, had done quite a bit of work for the school in the past and our relations with the staff there were good.

When i adopted the brief a site on their grounds had been chosen, following extensive site analysis, and so i had a fresh slate to work with. The brief for the building however was less certain and over the next 3 months changed over and over. From what started life as a building set to be approx.1000sq.m the brief was finally confirmed requiring 12 classrooms sized for 30 pupils each, an IT suite, private study zones, staff room, meeting rooms, mentor rooms, and a social space with kitchenette space... totalling 2000sq.m!

Nonetheless, a fantastic opportunity and the increase in size brought about some really design challenges as the picked originally was to remain the preferred site. It was close to residential neighbours, close to the main road and on a sloping site, something that proved to be in my favour as the design process developed.

Designs, sketches and layouts went backward and forward between the design team and client. A palette of materials was established early.. though so was a £1500/sq.m budget for the entire build, a requirement as part of the Department for Education's Academy Capital Maintenance Fund - something in which the school along with Pulse Associates will be bidding for come December.

Come June/July a frantic rally around saw a public consultation evening held and then the submission of my first ever major planning application! I very proud moment, though the work would no stop there...Several objections were made and further information was submitted, some sacrifices were made but we got there.

At that committee meeting just a couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to see my scheme, my baby, win 14 to 1 in favour of the proposal to grant permission! Fantastic news, a firm handshake with the Headmaster of the school and  their operations manager and it was job done!

The design...
In a little more context...

And just a couple of images lifted from the D&A statement...

Hope you have enjoyed the read.. the full planning application can be found @




6 Apr 2013


I do apologize for such sporadic updates... I am a busy man! I do hope however to resume with regular updates from now on! Apologies out the way, I have a couple of new visuals for ya'll to see.

First come from a small private job that i was working on in West Bridgford. The client was looking for an extension, but really i persuaded her that the space they really wanted was already there and a simple case of switching spaces around inside could create the home they wanted... without spending £40k for an extra 8sq.m.... Maybe bad business on my behalf but honest all the same and id have hated to have seen such lovely people waste their money.

The visual below isnt actually what i proposed to them, though i may once the plans are sorted. But for now i was just having a little play and produced this...

Same old tricks, Google Sketchup into Artlantis and then photoshop. The model took a while to build as i tried to make it super detailed. There are still areas i need to explore with Artlantis, and i know a couple of little errors i made during post production but all in all i think its not a bad little CGI... thoughts pleaseeeee...

Secondly, another private job i have been working on.. refurbishment of a nightclub in the Lace Market area of Nottingham. I produced this visual on behalf of the client to allow them to begin with preparations in marketing and promoting the club. Unfortunately i do have an updated version of this with the chosen name behind the bar but for the life of me cant seem to find it... so you'll have to settle for the initial CGI which just used 'name' haha ... Excuse also the banner...

Well folks, that concludes todays update... as i said i am going to try and start being a little less random with my updates and perhaps start to post some process images too so that you can see what im up to.

Thanks for reading :)