Archive for July, 2017

Snug work placements 2017

Friday, July 28th, 2017
Over the last 2 weeks and earlier in the year Snug has played host to four work experience students; Matthew, Dan, Jonah and Anna, all from different schools and at different points in their education – GCSE and AS Level.    Each student was given the same ‘lose’ brief of creating a small off grid living pod for a quarry site in Cornwall.  The brief came from SPUD Youth Group, a local architectural youth group which a member of our team helps out with regularly.
The project allowed the students to form their own project briefs from a rough client brief presented to them at the start of the week, then work through the initial project stages and produce their own proposals, all in a week.  Each student was mentored through the week they spent with us but effectively worked independently to research, analysis, and create their designs.  A final deadline was given to the students for the end of the week to present their designs and research to a few of the Snug team, including one of our Directors – as a mock ‘crit’ or client presentation.
Each student produced brilliantly creative designs and very impressive bodies of work for the short time they had.  Most are going forward and seeking to progress with a career in architecture and we are greatly excited to see what these impressive young people come up with in the future!
Anna presenting to Amy and Matt

Planning won for Winchester’s largest social housing scheme

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Snug have just won planning permission for Winchester City Council’s largest affordable housing scheme. The project consists of 76 new affordable homes at The Valley in Stanmore and forms part the council’s ambitious New Homes Delivery programme. The scheme was unanimously approved at Committee with councillors commending both the innovative design and the consultation process.

The scheme provid​​​​​​es a mixture of 2 and 3 bedroom houses and 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats. The site nestles into the steeply sloping topography of The Valley and creates a new edge to the existing park landscape. The buildings are positioned in response to existing and proposed patterns of movement through the site, serving to reinforce views and vistas. The design utilises Snug’s theory of Shrink Wrapped Function to reduce the perceived scale of the buildings, soften their impact on the landscape and relate well to the human scale. The approach to the buildings form and appearance is derived from a contextual analysis of the existing Stanmore estate’s arts and crafts vernacular and results in a significant new development that sits comfortably in its setting.

The application was developed through a comprehensive process of public engagement with the local commun​​ity and will deliver much needed affordable housing for the city by realising the potential of an under-utilised open space.

This is going to be an exciting new addition to an established estate that balances design innovation with contextual sensitivity. It is great to have been part of a development that delivers housing whilst also making meaningful enhancements to the landscape in which it sits.

We are Prior Approval experts

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

One has to be cautious saying one is an expert. With some caution we do however feel we have built up considerable expertise in Prior Approval projects.

We have come to both enjoy and believe in the Prior Approval system. It was not always that way. In the early days Prior Approval looked like it was going to be a race to the bottom. There seemed to be no limitations, no rules, no standards that had to be upheld. It was supposed to be very simple. Cram them in, stack them up and flog them quickly. Of course life is never quite that simple. In the end a market is only as good as its product. Units that no one wants to buy, no matter what the spreadsheet says they are worth per square foot, won’t last long.

Property development is not a cost focused industry. It is always a customer focused one. No matter how we enter property development the outcome must always be the same. We must create a product that people want to buy that can be created at a margin.

By its very nature Prior Approval requires a bespoke approach to design, in order to realise the maximum development potential of each site. No two office buildings are ever the same and with a fixed structural grid and external envelope it can be much harder to achieve a quality product than traditional new build products. This requires creativity and experience. Tried and tested typologies cannot just be regurgitated. Units must be created from first principles every time. It takes experience to do this efficiently.

We have now worked on over 20 projects and designed in excess of 500 units over the past 3 years. Projects that vary in scale and size from 9 units to 90. This has given us a host of experience to build on.

We have come to believe that Prior Approval is a good thing, when it is done well. It is bringing truly affordable housing to the market and it is making efficient use of redundant office buildings. It is also side tracking an often slow and frustrating planning system, bring housing to the market quickly and efficiently. Prior Approval has also allowed a new generation of developers to enter the market. This can only be good for competition and delivery. Prior Approval may yet prove to be one of the best things that happened to the housing market.

South Coast Property Awards

Friday, July 14th, 2017

We had an enjoyable, if largely disappointing evening at the @SCPA2017 last night. The saving grace was some great networking and seeing our logo pop up on the screens more times than any other practice. Having been shortlisted for Best Housing Development, Best Regeneration Project and Architectural Practice of the Year we had hoped to come away with something. Oh well….three shortlistings is not bad.

Central Winchester SPD goes live

Friday, July 14th, 2017

We are proud to announce that the vision for the central Winchester masterplan has now been presented to the public.

Working with JTP Architects and involving extensive public engagement we have developed a vision for a pedestrian friendly quarter in central Winchester. This includes:

  • a new mixed-use quarter, including retail, market, commercial, cultural, housing and community uses to complement the city centre and serve the whole community
  • plans for attractive buildings, streets and places, designed and laid out with a Winchester character and scale – described as “Winchesterness”.
  • a range of active and restful spaces in the heart of the city, including the opening up of the brook to the east of the site
  • developing a footprint for the way the public realm will be developed across the whole area
  • creating a new bus hub and routing buses away from The Broadway and High Street to allow for environmental improvements to accommodate markets and other street based activities.

These proposals will now inform the development of a Supplementary Planning Document for the future development of the site.

  • You are currently browsing the Snug Architects blog archives for July, 2017.