Archive for November, 2011

Places for the Seven Ages of Man

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Rob Hopkins, the inspirational co-founder of Transition Network, recently blogged on the idea of ‘The Seven Ages of Transition’, an idea based on Shakespeares famous poem. See It is an interesting concept for those of us who design places. Start your own Seven Age Places Checklist. It applies as much to a house as to a neighbourhood, we should all be designing places for every stage of life. If ‘All the worlds a stage’, how well are our places providing for all stages of life? Please have a read and pass on your comments:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. As, first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Buy the Hampshire Chronicle this Thursday

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

The Chronicle are publishing an article on our Vision for Winchester. Subject to journailistic spin this could really start moving the debate to the next level and most importantly out into the public realm – both scary and exciting, ultimately necesary and right. Let the people consider and decide.

The Nano House

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

The Nano Car


What can housing design learn from the Tata Nano. This is the worlds cheapest mass produced car. The Indian car manufacturer set themselves the challenge of producing a car that could retail at 100,000 Rupees, around £1,500.00. We like a challenge like that. Everyone said it was impossible and that just spurred them on to do and see things differently.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Nano is that having succeeded in releasing the car to the market the people didn’t want it. It is not that the emerging middle classes of India wouldn’t like an affordable car. Its that having bought one, everyone else would know that you were poor. It seems we buy cars more for their status than practical use. This is a shame. It suggests a whole lot of people are wasting money on a more expensive car just so they can be seen to be in a more expensive car. Amazingly the answer to selling more Nano’s is to put the price up. Adam Smith was wrong about the value of production. He had not appreciated the fickle nature of mankind. Form it seems is Function.

I wonder what lessons this can teach us in the challenge of creating the first Nano House.

The worlds snugest material

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Now that is an amazing image. The worlds lightest material. 100 times lighter than Styrofoam. How long before we are cost effectively installing that into buildings?

The material is a light because of its architecture.  Its 99.99% air and is formed from a lattice of hollow tubes. This is nano engineering that applies the same approach to structures as the space frame of geodisic dome. There is nothing new under the sun after all.

Perhaps Snug projects should be focusing on our first nano house. That really would deal with the density challenge…if of course we can find the first nano client!

A Vision for Winchester

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Last night Snug Projects architects presented their vision for the future of new housing in Winchester, Hampshire. The presentation was to councillors and officers from Winchester City Council. It was well received with positive comments coming in this morning, ‘Congratulations, your presentation last night was excellent and it gets better and better! It also seemed to get a good reception which is excellent and gives us more to build on’. That is what we now need to do, see it built. We are passionate about the potential of these ideas to transform the city and want to see them realised. The next challenge is how to maintain this momentum. We will now be working with WINACC, City of Winchester Trust and other architects in the city to continue promoting the ideas, building wider public support and a  strategy for delivery. To see the full presentation please go to:

RIBA consults on it’s vision for the next 5 years.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

The RIBA are consulting on their vision and aims for the next 5 years. As chair of the RIBA South Planning Group, Snug Projects director Paul Bulkeley attended a half day workshop at Wolfson College Oxford to discuss what the institutes priorities should be. There was a sense that in this age of localism the regions should be taking a greater role in promoting design quality. Specific ideas included extending Open House London to the regions and the expansion of Design Review at a local level. We voiced the need for the RIBA to take the lead in showing greater respect for the design talent based outside London and believe the decentralisation of Design Review would help. Our experience on the Winchester and Eastleigh Design Review Panel is that design quality in the region is raised and relationships with the local planning authority are improved. In the end this can only be good for the reputation of architects amongst both clients and communities.

Marwell Wildlife Energy Centre

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Marwell Wildlife have plans to construct a new Energy Centre providing renewable energy to the zoo and a visitor centre displaying energy cycles in nature. Snug Projects were shortlisted to the last two architects following a competitive interview. Great shame we didn’t win it.

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