Archive for March, 2012

Our Place – Community Workshops

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

As part of Design for Localism, Snug Projects  have been working with the parish of St Barnabas and Harestock in Winchester to help develop and communicate their vision for a sustainable community. We helped run a workshop this week with key stakeholders to refine the vision. We will now be developing the key themes in a series of spatial masterplans for key sites and streets across the neeghbourhood.

 

Local Design Review

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
In response to the requirement in the NPPF  Snug Projects are working with the RIBA South to develop a new pilot for Local Design Review. The NPPF states:
62. Local planning authorities should have local design review arrangements in place to provide assessment and support to ensure high standards of design.
This is a significant opportunity for architects to proactively engage in promoting and imporving the quality of design.

National Planning Policy Framework is good news for Snug Projects

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The long awaited NPPF is finally published and its good news for those who care about high quality design. This is what it says:

63. In determining applications, great weight should be given to outstanding or innovative designs which help raise the standard of design more generally in the area.

64. Permission should be refused for development of poor design that fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area and the way it functions.

This is what we have been waiting for.

An Architects Mind

Monday, March 12th, 2012

When an architect designs a building they focus on the whole, the gestalt. In order to create something as complex as a building they must take the whole, break it down into its constituent parts and ensure that all the ingredients are accounted for. They must hold the whole and the parts in their mind simultaneously. The skill is to put all the pieces back together again, and, having done that, for the end result to work like clockwork.

Site Responsive Design

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

The site of a building really matters to us. We agree with this seminal quote from Steven Holl:

‘The site of a building is more than a mere ingredient of its conception. It is its physical and metaphysical foundation. Building transcends physical and functional requirements by fusing with a place, by gathering the meaning of a situation. Architecture does not so much intrude on the landscape as it serves to explain it. Architecture and site should have an experiential connection, a metaphysical link, a poetic link. ‘(Steven Holl, Anchoring, 1988)

When we design we must have our eyes and our hearts open. We must listen as well as look. We must smell, feel and remember. All of our senses must be alive if we are to create designs that bring ongoing life to the places in which we work. There is no status quo. Places, like the cells in our own body, are always being renewed. The challenge is to maintain our identity and character whilst  striving towards maturity. For the buildings we design to succeed in this task we must develop a deep understanding and respect for site. The result will not however be a pastiche of past responses. It will be something new, something befitting our era and the needs of our age.

 

We never like the smell of other peoples f….!

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Yesterday I attended a breakfast presentation on emerging planning policy hosted by planning consultants, WYG. Esteemed barrister Christopher Hughes was eloquently setting out the why and what for’s of the Localism Bill when he came out with a brilliant analogy for the way the public so often view new housing. It certainly caught the audiences attention – People feel the same way about housing as they do about farts..that’s right, the esteemed barrister said fart. More precisely, people like the smell of their own but can’t stand other peoples. Same goes for housing. We all love our own executive noddybox but can’t stand everyone else’s’. How right he is. Housing is indeed like farts!

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