News

  • One Show Goes To Beaulieu!

    One Show Goes To Beaulieu!

    Great to see Beaulieu Square featuring on primetime TV. It appeared on the One Show last week. This view is of the new Community Centre that we designed, facing onto a public square (designed by Randall Thorp).

    The Neighbourhood Centre forms the main entrance gateway for a mixed-use development containing 3,500 new homes, on the edge of Chelmsford.

    Read more

    October 2019

  • We’re In The National Design Guide

    We’re In The National Design Guide

    The National Design Guide has just been published. It illustrates how well-designed places that are beautiful, enduring and successful can be achieved in practice. The aim is “to end ugly development”.

    The design guide would be a material consideration in planning applications and appeals, with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to be updated to reflect this ‘at the first opportunity’. On page 32 our design for Beaulieu, Chelmsford is shown as a positive example.

    Read more

    October 2019

  • Award-winning Net Zero Carbon Innovation

    Award-winning Net Zero Carbon Innovation

    Mundon Road, Maldon has just picked up another award! It was a winner at the National Energy Efficiency Awards – a celebration of building innovations and initiatives to create greener, smarter homes.

    The project involved working in partnership with Moat Homes and Engie. It has transformed the energy efficiency of existing homes by developing the Energiesprong low carbon retrofit system to suit the UK.

    September 2019

  • Appointment to L&Q Architecture Framework

    Appointment to L&Q Architecture Framework

    We are delighted to be named as one of the successful practices to reach the London and Quadrant (L&Q) Housing Trust architecture framework. The framework will run from 2019 to 2021 and is expected to involve £10-£50 million worth of housing projects, including new builds, refurbishments, masterplanning and mixed-use developments.

    This illustration is of the scheme for Addiscombe Rd, Croydon – which will deliver 137 new homes, at least half of which will be affordable. We have successfully gained planning approval, and we are currently working on the technical packages with L&Q.

    Read more

    September 2019

  • Cambridge Study Visit

    Cambridge Study Visit

    We couldn’t have asked for better weather and a better setting for our annual practice visit. This year we went to Cambridge.

    Our tour conducted by foot and by punt, covered distinctive architecture from historic to contemporary. It should inspire us in our forthcoming work.

    September 2019

  • Hidden Treasure

    Hidden Treasure

    Director Graham Kime found some hidden treasure when tidying up recently – an urban sketchbook featuring hand drawings by our founder Francis Tibbalds. Drawn between 1977 – 88. The sketches feature vibrant cities from across the world.

    This is an aerial view of Trafalgar Square, London. Which also contains our former office on Charing Cross Road. The sketches were done primarily for enjoyment. We definitely enjoy viewing them!

    August 2019

  • Sustainable Ecology Pavilion

    Sustainable Ecology Pavilion

    We love to see buildings we designed in use. At Mile End Park, East London, the Ecology Pavilion has been in use for community events for two decades.

    Here is a photo from a recruitment event to attract people interested in working in construction, held in partnership with TFL, the Mayor of London and several housing associations including Swan, Clarion, Peabody, L&Q, Southern Housing Group, One Housing, Gateway Housing Association, Spittalfields Housing Association & Notting Hill Genesis.

    August 2019

  • Helping Hedgehogs

    Helping Hedgehogs

    L&Q has joined forces with environmental campaigners to boost local wildlife at Birnam Mews, Tiddington. Co-founders of Hedgehog Friendly Town and the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, visited the site to give their specialist hedgehog support and advice to L&Q’s site team.

    L&Q has pledged to maintain hoardings and a green buffer around the site, to ensure the safety and protection of the existing wildlife habitat during the construction phase. Once work has been completed, they will install hedgehog friendly fencing to allow local hedgehogs safe passage through the development by avoiding the roads.

    August 2019

  • Innovation and Inclusivity in Redhill

    Innovation and Inclusivity in Redhill

    Our masterplan & architectural design for 102 homes & community hub at Royal Hill Park, Redhill features in The Developer. This is a joint venture between RNIB & Countryside on a greenbelt site with challenging topography. We worked closely with the client and stakeholders to achieve successful planning approval across 2 local authorities.

    Our design features a range of specialist & open market homes, with a generous public realm incorporating a sensory trail that assists wayfinding & creates a rich sensory experience for visually impaired and sighted residents. The sensitively restored listed Tudor House will be transformed into a community hub.

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    July 2019

  • Homes for L&Q Approved Under Delegated Powers at St. Neots

    Homes for L&Q Approved Under Delegated Powers at St. Neots

    GSA’s design proposals for the latest phase of Loves Farm, St. Neots, Cambridgeshire have received reserved matters planning approval under delegated powers. GSA were the lead consultant working with L&Q, one of the UK’s leading housing associations and residential developers. The plans are for 41 new homes.

    Our design creates a strong frontage onto Cambridge Rd, of linked pairs of 3 storey townhouses, finished off by 3 storey apartment blocks at either corner. On the other side of the site is a row of family houses fronting onto the Fox Brook green space, create a softer edge. In the centre of the site is an attractive, contemporary mews.

    July 2019

  • South Oxhey - Honouring Local Heroes

    South Oxhey - Honouring Local Heroes

    A naming ceremony, honouring three much-loved local figures, has taken place at South Oxhey Central. The apartment blocks are located within the 1st phase of the town centre regeneration, consisting of 514 new homes & 55,000 sqft+ of commercial space.

    "While we look to the future, we always celebrate the past and recognising these people that have done so much for the area is extremely important in achieving this.” - Mike Woolliscroft, Managing Director, Partnerships South (West), Countryside

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    July 2019

  • Stewartby Fun Fest

    Stewartby Fun Fest

    The annual Stewartby Fest Fun Day was held at the Stewartby Village Hall and the Village Green. We went along – part of the Bedford Brickworks team, to tend the stall where local residents could stop by for an informal progress update on current planning application for Stewartby Brickworks.

    We encouraged suggestions for what community and commercial uses should be included within the future District Centre. Alongside shops, cafes & health centre, a swimming pool or lido was a popular suggestion! The event was a great success. We estimate well in excess of 100 people stopped by to discuss the proposals throughout the day.

    July 2019

  • Net Zero Homes Win Prestigious Ashden Award

    Net Zero Homes Win Prestigious Ashden Award

    The pioneering Energiesprong approach to get UK homes up to net zero energy standard has won a 1st prize in the UK Sustainable Buildings category of the 2019 Ashden Awards. Asssessors applauded Energiesprong’s potential to radically cut carbon from the UK’s housing stock by refurbishing older hard to heat homes, both faster and in higher numbers.

    They also noted Energiesprong’s progress including the rollout of Energiesprong retrofit to homes including our project in Maldon, Essex for Moat Homes. Ashden commented: “Energiesprong holds huge promise because it can scale. With industrialisation, costs come down, retrofits get faster & further quality gains become possible."

    June 2019

  • Energiesprong - Sustainability Awards Finalist

    Energiesprong - Sustainability Awards Finalist

    Here are progress photos of our Energiesprong retrofit pilot project at Mundon Road in Maldon, Essex, for Moat Homes / Engie. This project demonstrates that the external envelope of the existing housing stock can be upgraded to achieve significantly better energy performance.

    Energiesprong is a finalist at two prestigious Awards events this summer: the Ashden Awards in London and the EU Sustainable Energy Week Awards in Brussels.

    June 2019

  • A Vision of Inclusivity

    A Vision of Inclusivity

    Royal Hill Park, Redhill for the RNIB & Countryside appears in this month’s ADF magazine. The article describes how the redevelopment of the site has allowed the RNIB upgrade their facilities and gives their clients opportunities to live more independently within an integrated community, creating an attractive and inclusive environment.

    “Our aim is to create a stimulating sensory environment for all residents. At the end of the day people are going to live here – it’s got to feel like home.” – Manoher Matharu, GSA Director. Image credit – Countryside Properties

    Read more

    June 2019

  • Oakgrove Village - Urban Design Tour

    Oakgrove Village - Urban Design Tour

    We were delighted to see this photo of Oakgrove Village, Milton Keynes appear on Twitter – part of a Milton Keynes Council and the Academy of Urbanism cycle tour.

    To find out more about our masterplan design….

    Read more

    May 2019

  • Evening Standard Feature - South Oxhey Central

    Evening Standard Feature - South Oxhey Central

    Take a look in today’s Evening Standard Homes & Property section. Our design for Phase 2 of the South Oxhey Central development was included in a feature on homes located near London Overground stations.

    It’s well located next to Carpenders Park Station with access to Euston Station in less than 40 minutes. Plus good local shops and amenities. The new Station Square is already open for business. Image credit - Countryside.

    May 2019

  • Evening Standard New Homes Awards Shortlisted

    Evening Standard New Homes Awards Shortlisted

    Beaulieu, Chelmsford has been shortlisted by the Evening Standard New Homes Awards, under the Best Large Development category. GSA produced the outline stage masterplan, and have designed two of the initial phases - Beaulieu Chase and Beaulieu Square (the neighbourhood centre).

    Combining attractive contemporary architecture and beautiful landscape, to create great placemaking! Photo Credit - Countryside

    Read more

    April 2019

  • Unanimous Approval For L&Q’s East Croydon Housing

    Unanimous Approval For L&Q’s East Croydon Housing

    Croydon councillors have approved a GSA designed 137-home apartment scheme for L&Q on a long-term vacant site in the heart of Croydon. With a generous round of applause, the Planning Committee unanimously voted to grant planning permission for this part-8 and 18-storey housing scheme, which includes 53% affordable housing.

    Over 80% of homes are dual / triple aspect, with an outlook over high quality landscape also designed by GSA. This includes a generous communal garden & play area for all residents, focused around an existing protected oak tree. An active and well-defined street presence enhances the public realm.

    Read more

    April 2019

  • Retail Renaissance

    Retail Renaissance

    A retail renaissance is taking place at Station Square, South Oxhey. The square has been redesigned to provide a better approach and public square in front of Carpenders Park Station, as well as providing upgraded retail space.

    This is phase 1 of the wider town centre masterplan to regenerate urban housing in South Oxhey and to intensify and revitialise the retail provision. Find out more about the masterplan...

    Read more

    March 2019

  • Northstowe Planning Approval

    Northstowe Planning Approval

    Parcel H10 at Northstowe has just received planning permission. The proposals will bring forward 76 new homes, in a series of courtyards and orchards, facing onto the Southern Greenway.

    GSA provided urban design advice to the TW team. The proposals form a strong urban structure and townscape, and will have a rich, site-specific materials and planting palette reinforce its legibility and identity.

    March 2019

  • Futurebuild Best Practice Case Study

    Futurebuild Best Practice Case Study

    Here is a photo from the site visit to Mundon Road, Maldon – it was a best practice case study site visit, as part of Futurebuild. This is a pilot scheme for Moat Homes housing association. The aim is to vastly improve the energy performance of existing homes.

    This is done by developing insulated over-cladding through the EnergieSprong whole-house retrofit model – to suit the UK’s existing housing stock. This is a really worthwhile innovation – it will have huge benefits for both the residents and the planet!

    March 2019

  • 450 New Homes Approved Under Delegated Powers

    450 New Homes Approved Under Delegated Powers

    GSA’s designs for Beauchamp Park have received reserved matters planning approval under delegated powers. GSA were the lead consultant working with the L&Q team to provide 450 homes – from 1-bed apartments to 5-bedroom family houses, with 40% affordable homes spread throughout the site.

    All the homes are designed using MMCs, while incorporating attractive, site-specific local vernacular features. The scheme creates distinctive character areas formed around existing and proposed areas of landscape – centred on a 0.5km long tree-lined green corridor, providing long views to historic Warwick.

    Read more

    March 2019

  • Featured At Futurebuild

    Featured At Futurebuild

    Associate John Pratley attended Futurebuild on 7th March, where he was promoting our EnergieSprong retrofit pilot project for Moat Homes - currently on site in Maldon, Essex. The Dutch-inspired EnergieSprong concept is a model that enables the deep whole-house, net-zero energy retrofit of poorly performing existing homes -by utilising the money

    that would have been spent over the next 30 years on fossil-fuel guzzling energy bills and repetitive, low-level building maintenance cycles. In the afternoon, Moat Homes and ENGIE UK gave a tour of the Maldon site to other potential EnergieSprong customers from Germany, The Netherlands, France and the UK to check on the build progress.

    March 2019

  • Moving Into Beaulieu Square

    Moving Into Beaulieu Square

    We are always interested to hear about the people who move into the homes that we design.

    So we liked the article on Beaulieu Square, Chelmsford in last night’s Evening Standard Homes & Property.

    Read more

    February 2019

  • Better Design For Better Places

    Better Design For Better Places

    We have heard that Beaulieu, Chelmsford has been used as a best practice case study at the Better Design For Better Places Conference held by the government (MHCLG).

    We designed and co-ordinated the masterplan, one of the first residential phases and the neighbourhood centre for the joint venture between Countryside and L&Q. Photo Credit - Countryside

    Read more

    February 2019

  • Are you in the driving seat?

    Are you in the driving seat?

    We really enjoyed hosting the February WISH (Women in Social Housing) event at our offices. It was an uplifting and frank panel discussion entitled “Managing your career strategy - Are you in the driving seat when it comes to managing your career?”

    We benefitted from hearing about shared experiences and looking at ways of taking forward your own career path in the direction that you want to. Thanks to the panel and the audience for a lively, honest and helpful discussion.

    February 2019

  • Net-Zero EnergieSprong Retrofit Pilot

    Net-Zero EnergieSprong Retrofit Pilot

    GSA associate John Pratley gave a presentation at the Institute of Engineering & Technology in London this week; talking about the latest progress of our net-zero EnergieSprong pilot retrofit for Moat Homes in Essex. We have been working closely with ENGIE UK contractors & their suppliers to co-ordinate the design of the pre-fabricated components

    for the external wall & roof insulated over-cladding & ‘plug-in’ energy-pod – containing heat pump, hot water storage, MVHR heating & ventilation kit – all to minimise the disruption to residents who will be living in their homes during the retrofit works. GSA will be providing further updates at the EnergieSprong stand at Futurebuild 5-7 March.

    February 2019

  • Beaulieu is a Planning Excellence Finalist

    Beaulieu is a Planning Excellence Finalist

    Beaulieu Phase 1, Chelmsford has been named as a finalist in the Excellence in Planning for Homes (large schemes – 50 or more homes) at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2019.

    In Phase 1 GSA designed beautiful homes overlooking gardens and a linear park, and also a thriving new neighbourhood centre with attractive homes above shops, cafes and community buildings. The winners will be announced on 24 April 2019.

    Read more

    February 2019

  • Station Square Pavilion

    Station Square Pavilion

    We were delighted to see that the Station Square pavilion is nearing completion at South Oxhey. The building was designed to sit between major services easements beneath the square. Can't wait to see who will move in!

    This is part of the wider regeneration of the town centre - a joint venture between Three Rivers District Council, Countryside and Home Group. The square provides a new arrival space from Carpenters Park Station.

    January 2019

  • The Homes England Framework

    The Homes England Framework

    A joint venture between Tibbalds Planning & Urban Design & CampbellReith has been selected by Homes England for its 2019-2023 Multidisciplinary Panel. It is one of 20 specialist teams joining the panel set up via the OJEU process to provide Homes England and other public sector bodies with rapid and cost effective access to housing professionals.

    The Tibbalds CampbellReith JV stands out for bringing together smaller & mid-sized firms, including architecture, planning, engineering, project management, and landscape architecture practices, to provide the technical coverage of a large organisation with the responsiveness and flexibility of SMEs. GSA is pleased to be part of the team.

    January 2019

  • Planning Approval at Arborfield Green

    Planning Approval at Arborfield Green

    Our design for 110 new homes and a small neighbourhood centre at Arborfield Green has received unanimous approval at planning committee. This is part of the wider regeneration scheme to transform the former Arborfield Garrison near Wokingham into a garden village.

    The new homes will enjoy views over landscaped, green spaces and a convenient location next to the proposed new primary school. The design reconciles complex constraints, including flood protection, SuDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage System), an existing stream, mature protected trees and the location of the new bus route.

    January 2019

  • Stevenage Regeneration Nearly Complete

    Stevenage Regeneration Nearly Complete

    Photos from the site visit for the Park Place, Stevenage team. This regeneration scheme will provide 202 new homes in the town centre.

    The South Block (Mulberry House) is almost complete, but the ground floor is still under construction. 80% of the homes in the South Block are now occupied. The whole project including the North Block (Boston House) is due to be complete in the next couple of months.

    January 2019

  • Review of 2018

    Review of 2018

    Looking Back On 2018 we have been privileged to work on some very exciting and rewarding projects. Thank you to everyone who worked with us and supported us throughout the year.

    We are determined to make 2019 even better!

    January 2019

  • Seasons Greetings

    Seasons Greetings

    We are a creative and talented bunch at GSA. This year our Christmas image was created by our staff, through a competition. The winning entry was this image designed by Mauro Mosca – Christmas at Arborfield Green, Wokingham.

    The wider proposals will include 2,000 new homes, 2 schools, a District Centre, and generous areas of open space. New homes are spacious, light-filled and open plan for modern family living, all within a high quality landscaped setting.

    December 2018

  • Planning Submission At Beauchamp Park, Warwick

    Planning Submission At Beauchamp Park, Warwick

    Our design for 450 new homes at Gallows Hill has been submitted for RM planning approval. This is a key strategic site in L&Q’s expansion into the Midlands.The new layout and architectural language create a series of distinctive, local character areas formed around the existing & proposed landscape – centred on a 0.5km long view to Warwick Castle.

    The design provides a wide range of homes across the development – from 1-bed apartments to 5-bed family houses, with 40% affordable housing spread throughout the site. All these new homes are designed to utilise L&Q's pre-fabricated construction methodology, while incorporating local, site-specific vernacular features.

    December 2018

  • Tudor House Conversion Starts On Site

    Tudor House Conversion Starts On Site

    Work has started on the next phase of RNIB Redhill - the conversion of the Grade II Listed Tudor House into the RNIB community hub.

    This part of a joint venture with between Countryside and the RNIB will result in specialised accommodation for up 50 residents and 77 new luxury homes on the site, which will be sold on the open market.

    Read more

    December 2018

  • Northern Gateway Design Code Approved

    Northern Gateway Design Code Approved

    Our Design Code for the Northern Gateway at Arborfield Green for Crest Nicholson Regeneration has been approved by Wokingham Borough Council.

    This is the 4th Design Code GSA have produced for Arborfield and focuses on a key part of the Garrison site that incorporates 3 residential parcels, a primary school and neighbourhood centre. We are continuing our work with Crest to secure reserved matters planning approvals at Arborfield Green into 2019.

    December 2018

  • International Property Winner

    International Property Winner

    Congratulations to all the team led by Countryside and L&Q, at Beaulieu, Chelmsford, for winning two International Property Awards.

    Beaulieu triumphed in two categories – Best Residential Development and Best Mixed-Use Development. Photo Credit – Countryside.

    Read more

    December 2018

  • Tiddington Approval

    Tiddington Approval

    We are delighted that Oak Road in Tiddington, near Stratford-Upon-Avon was unanimously approved at planning committee last night. The scheme will provide 60 new homes with a community focus, clustered around a series of 3 attractive new greens. This will make a handsome addition to the village.

    The client, L&Q Counties, provide high quality homes accessible to local communities outside London, across a range of tenures. The buildings will progress rapidly on site – through the use of a timber-framed panel system. The factory techniques are so efficient that the structural frame for a house can be fabricated in 45 minutes!

    November 2018

  • Welcome to Chelmsford

    Welcome to Chelmsford

    Chelmsford has been a popular place to live since Roman times. In 2012 it became a city – as part of the celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

    We were pleased to see a photo of our house designs at Beaulieu within the Evening Standard Homes & Property this week.

    November 2018

  • Bright Horizons At Beaulieu

    Bright Horizons At Beaulieu

    We are delighted that the Bright Horizons Day Nursery and the Kip McGrath Education Centre at Beaulieu, Chelmsford have opened their doors now, welcoming children of all ages, from babies to teens.

    This will be a great asset for the wider community. Image credit - Countryside.

    October 2018

  • Groundbreaking at South Oxhey

    Groundbreaking at South Oxhey

    Yesterday we attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Phase 2 of the South Oxhey town centre regeneration. It was a good opportunity to see all the progress that has been made so far, and to celebrate the success of the partnership between TRDC, Countryside & Home Group.

    Phase 2 will deliver 174 new homes, 7,857sqft of retail space and a new market place.

    October 2018

  • Arborfield Green - Submitted For Planning

    Arborfield Green - Submitted For Planning

    The latest phase of Arborfield Green Garden Village has been submitted for planning. Our designs for Crest Nicholson include 110 new homes – a mix of apartments and houses - and a small neighbourhood centre to the north of Biggs Lane.

    The wider proposals include up to 2000 new homes, 2 schools, a District Centre, SANGs, allotments and sports facilities. New homes are spacious, light-filled and open plan for modern family living, all within a high quality landscaped setting.

    October 2018

  • Beaulieu - Backdrop for Placemaking Debate

    Beaulieu - Backdrop for Placemaking Debate

    At the Countryside Alan Cherry Debate. Nice to see our project Beaulieu, Chelmsford feature as the backdrop for the discussions today!

    Among the topics for debate - How can councils and home builders work together to combat potential nimbyism in areas of high housing demand?

    October 2018

  • A New Setting For Historic Kingsfield

    A New Setting For Historic Kingsfield

    Our scheme for Bellway to develop part of the North Kent College campus has been submitted for planning. The site has an interesting place in history. In 1895, Martina Bergman-Österberg located her women’s Physical Training College here (then a house called Kingsfield). The game of netball is credited as being developed here.

    The proposals include 156 new homes – a mix of houses and apartments, inspired by the architecture of Kingsfield House. The development is centred around The Green - a large landscaped area providing a new setting for Kingsfield, which will be sensitively converted into apartments.

    September 2018

  • Planning Success At Devonshire Place, Grays

    Planning Success At Devonshire Place, Grays

    We have achieved planning consent for 102 new homes in Grays, for our client Bellway Homes. The proposals include a mix of apartments and houses and transform the site that sits within a former quarrying area of the town, close to the NuStar fuel storage facility.

    Grays in Essex is a town with great potential, close to scenic country parks and the River Thames, yet within convenient commuting distance of London. We worked closely with the Bellway team to turn around the planning application in 2 months!

    September 2018

  • Ready To Take On Anything!

    Ready To Take On Anything!

    This year we went to Warwick Castle for our team building event. It was an enjoyable day, in a wonderful historic setting.

    We had training in archery and the art of sword fighting. And now the team is ready for anything!

    September 2018

  • British Homes Awards Finalist

    British Homes Awards Finalist

    We are pleased that Beaulieu is a finalist in the Best Placemaking category at the British Homes Awards.

    The character of the architecture and landscape, working together, give a strong sense of place. The first phases - including the neighbourhood centre are now complete.

    Read more

    September 2018

  • Harlow Architectural Design Awards - Shortlisted

    Harlow Architectural Design Awards - Shortlisted

    We are delighted that our design for 2 Iceni Square has been nominated – a group of three-storey, four-bedroom houses in the Atelier neighbourhood where a mix of interesting contemporary designs, which include terraces and flats, have been composed to provide both a distinctive architectural flavour and a sense of integration.

    The awards team describe the townhouse as “This house has both pleasing overall proportions and a combination of details that complement each other nicely so that the design works well whether you are looking at it standing back or close up.”

    Read more

    September 2018

  • Station Square Takes Shape

    Station Square Takes Shape

    It’s great to see the first businesses moving into Station Square, Carpenders Park. This retail area and public square form part of the first phase of the South Oxhey Initiative.

    This is a joint venture between Countryside, Home Group and Three Rivers District Council to regenerate the town centre. At the same time the first 84 town centre apartments are under construction.

    Read more

    August 2018

  • Beaulieu Community Centre Opens

    Beaulieu Community Centre Opens

    We are delighted that the Community Centre at Beaulieu is now open. It is an important element of our mixed-use neighbourhood centre design.

    The community centre has a wonderful double height space - which can be used for lots of purposes. We can't wait to see the programme of events coming up! (Photo credit - Countryside)

    July 2018

  • BHA Best Placemaking Shortlisted

    BHA Best Placemaking Shortlisted

    We are delighted to see that Beaulieu has been shortlisted in the Best Placemaking category for the 2018 British Homes Awards. Further to the development of our design for the wider masterplan for 3,600 homes to the north of Chelmsford, we have designed two of the initial detailed phases of the Development – Beaulieu Chase and Beaulieu Square.

    Now completed, these initial phases of the scheme are setting the tone for further phases of the development and have created a place with a real sense of character. New build homes are set within generously landscaped avenues, linear parks and public garden spaces - alongside private amenity space including both gardens and external terrace space.

    July 2018

  • Zero Energy Retrofit Pilot For Social Housing Provider

    Zero Energy Retrofit Pilot For Social Housing Provider

    GSA have been working with ENGIE Regeneration - developing the EnergieSprong near net-zero energy retrofit pilot for social housing provider Moat Homes in Maldon, Essex. GSA associate John Pratley gave a presentation to prospective residents as part of a customer engagement workshop at the local community centre.

    We have submitted a planning application for 6 homes. GSA designed the holistic proposals using our in-house Passivhaus modelling capabilities to energy-prove the design process. “The project is exciting and the finished result looks really smart but the best bit has to be the expected savings on energy costs” - Ms Edwards - Resident

    July 2018

  • Beaulieu Success At Planning Awards

    Beaulieu Success At Planning Awards

    Congratulations to the Beaulieu team for the win in the Infrastructure Planning category of the Planning Awards. It was a successful night -also scooping highly commended awards for Partnership Working and Best Housing Scheme (500 homes or more).

    Picture credit – Countryside.

    Read more

    June 2018

  • Access All Areas

    Access All Areas

    “When it comes to designing for adults, young adults in this case, you have to make sure it reflects somewhere they want to live in. It’s not a nursery or a school — you want it to feel like home so you have to be using colours that reflect that kind of environment.” – Manoher Matharu, director

    Manoher was talking about our design at Redhill for RNIB. Find out more about inclusive design in George Kafka’s article for Blueprint this month.

    May 2018

  • Wilmcote House Passivhaus Case Study

    Wilmcote House Passivhaus Case Study

    “Estate regeneration was already a thorny issue before the Grenfell Tower fire, involving complex debates around whether to refurbish or demolish. Tragic events at Grenfell almost a year ago further complicated the issue, leaving many questioning the future of some of the UK’s mid-twentieth century estates, specifically those constructed using the

    non-traditional materials and designs of the public housing boom.” – Josephine Smit We are helping to address this. At Wilmcote House, Portsmouth we have been upgrading the external fabric performance to achieve Passivhaus EnerPHit. Read more about our refurbishment project in Josephine’s article.

    Read more

    May 2018

  • Osterberg’s Legacy At The Heart Of New Development

    Osterberg’s Legacy At The Heart Of New Development

    Part of the North Kent College campus is being sold for residential development (to raise funds for a new teaching building). The site has an interesting place in history. In 1895, Martina Bergman-Österberg located her women’s Physical Training College here (then a house called Kingsfield). The game of netball is credited as being developed here.

    Our proposals include new houses and apartments, centred around The Green - a large landscaped area which lies at the heart of the development. It also provides a new setting for Kingsfield, which will be sensitively converted into apartments. A public exhibition has been held to consult upon the proposals.

    May 2018

  • Double Celebration - Planning Success in Stevenage

    Double Celebration - Planning Success in Stevenage

    We are delighted to receive two planning approvals in one week for our designs at Park Place, Stevenage. Here are some site photos of our town centre regeneration work currently on site. The recent approvals relate to:

    12 Park Place - a 9 home scheme for MBU Capital adjacent to our current Park Place project which responds sensitively and adds to the modernist conservation area. St George's Car Park cladding scheme - creating a visual screen for the benefit of the new residents of Park Place that will look towards the car park, utilising perforated metal panels.

    May 2018

  • Devonshire Place Submitted for Planning

    Devonshire Place Submitted for Planning

    Grays in Essex is a town with great potential, close to scenic country parks and the River Thames, yet within convenient commuting distance of London. So we were delighted to be appointed to transform this development site within a former quarrying area of the town.

    We have just submitted a planning application for 102 new homes (a mix of houses and apartments) at Devonshire Place. We worked closely with the Bellway team to turn around the planning application in 2 months!

    May 2018

  • Westway Beacons - Performance Evaluation

    Westway Beacons - Performance Evaluation

    Congratulations to Paddi Clark who graduated with Distinction in her MSc in Environmental Strategy from the University of Surrey. Her dissertation explored the potential for using Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) in UK social housing using GSA's Westway Beacons as a case study.

    Westway Beacons was the first U.K. Housing project to incorporate ATES which uses the heat naturally stored in the aquifer to provide low cost heating and cooling, thereby minimising residents’ fuel bills and helping people out of fuel poverty.

    May 2018

  • Not The Back End Of A Bus

    Not The Back End Of A Bus

    We noticed an advert for our apartment scheme at Grange Walk in Bermondsey on the back of a London bus in Greenwich.

    Far from looking like ‘the back end of a bus’ - the scheme is an elegant courtyard design that strongly addresses the urban context and surrounding streets.

    Read more

    April 2018

  • The Changing Face of Stevenage

    The Changing Face of Stevenage

    Our twin mixed-use buildings at Park Place, Stevenage, town centre regeneration are progressing well on site. The scaffolding has been taken down revealing the profiled aluminium cladded façade.

    Projecting window frames and flat aluminium panel inserts are being installed, as balconies are clad, awaiting glass balustrade inserts to the sides. The “bookends” are finished with Corium brick slips whose lustrous finish changes throughout the day and in differing light conditions!

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    April 2018

  • South Oxhey Residents Move in

    South Oxhey Residents Move in

    Residents are moving into their new homes at Hallowes Crescent and Maylands Road, South Oxhey. This is part of the South Oxhey Initiative – to regenerate the town centre, achieved through a partnership between Countryside, Home Group and Three Rivers District Council.

    Construction of Phase 2 will start in Spring 2019 - providing a further 174 homes. With completion on these properties expected by spring 2020.

    April 2018

  • Raising Density Without Raising The Height

    Raising Density Without Raising The Height

    Recently there has been increasing interest in the alternatives to tall buildings. We thought that you might like to see progress photos of Grange Walk (Corio) in Bermondsey – which is currently on site.

    This scheme for Linden Homes and Wandle housing association provides 167 mixed-tenure apartments (including wheelchair homes) in a mid rise courtyard scheme. Although it is only 4-7 storeys high, responding to its context, it achieves 305 dwellings / HA or 859 habitable rooms / HA.

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    April 2018

  • A Bold New Quarter For Central Milton Keynes

    A Bold New Quarter For Central Milton Keynes

    GSA with Crest Nicholson have been selected by MKDP to design a prestigious new mixed use quarter overlooking Campbell Park and the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes.

    Campbell Park Northside will be developed jointly with Urban Splash and Places for People and will contain up to 1,500 new homes, together with retail, restaurants, offices, a hotel and community space. GSA's winning design incorporates existing trees and hedgerows in a linear park connecting the town centre with the Grand Union Canal.

    March 2018

  • Passivhaus Proof - Addressing Fuel Poverty

    Passivhaus Proof - Addressing Fuel Poverty

    The MHCLG held their "Addressing Fuel Poverty" Workshop in Portsmouth this week, using our Wilmcote House Passivhaus EnerPhit social housing retrofit as a case study. We heard presentations from Portsmouth, Exeter and Southampton City Councils sharing their experiences of providing energy-efficient homes and refurbishing existing housing.

    After the Workshop, GSA Associate John Pratley helped lead the building tour - including a look inside one of the recently refurbished maisonettes, where we witnessed first hand the thermal benefit of a Passivhaus home:- a pleasant, draft-free internal temperature of 20C (with the outside a chilly, windy –1C). All achieved without the heating on!

    March 2018

  • Progress At Beaulieu

    Progress At Beaulieu

    Beaulieu will provide a vibrant new district for Chelmsford offering inspirational architecture and landscape. The design is inspired by the area’s rich heritage – set around the majestic New Hall School, formerly King Henry VIII’s Tudor palace, and its estate parkland. The development is conceived as a series of individually designed neighbourhood

    Chelmsford's MP Vicky Ford has been on a tour of the latest updates to Beaulieu. Here she is shown visiting Beaulieu Square - our design for the neighbourhood centre.

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    February 2018

  • Unanimous Approval For Mindenhurst

    Unanimous Approval For Mindenhurst

    The first phase at Mindenhurst was unanimously approved at Committee last night - great news for CALA Homes and GSA. The scheme for 215 new homes, ranging from 1 & 2 bed flats up to 5 bed detached homes, sets the bar high for the redevelopment of the Princess Royal Barracks in Deepcut.

    This is part of a wider plan to deliver 1,200 new homes, a school & village centre. Work will now start on site to deliver much-needed homes sitting within a beautiful woodland setting, with many enjoying views across the Village Green or parkland.

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    February 2018

  • 100% Approval Rate At Arborfield

    100% Approval Rate At Arborfield

    Our Design Code for Parcel M at Arborfield Green for Crest Nicholson Regeneration has just been approved. We have a 3 out of 3 success rate at Arborfield!

    This code focuses on the Cricket Green character area, right in the centre of the masterplan, close to the new Park and District Centre. The document guides the design of the intimate courtyards and lanes forming a sensitive transition to the existing houses next to the site.

    February 2018

  • Beaulieu Is Open For Business

    Beaulieu Is Open For Business

    Our design for the community hub at Beaulieu, Chelmsford is reaching completion on site. The supermarket and shops are now open for business.

    The hub will also provide a new health centre, community centre and with new homes above. Photo courtesy of Countryside.

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    February 2018

  • Arborfield Green District Centre Exhibition

    Arborfield Green District Centre Exhibition

    Thank you to everyone who supported the public exhibition showcasing the proposals for the new District Centre at Arborfield Green. We are currently working with Crest Nicholson to produce a Development Brief. This was our chance to share initial ideas with the public.

    The centre will be located alongside the new school, and will bring together a vibrant mix of amenities for the community including a food store, shops, food & drink outlets, community and leisure facilities.

    January 2018

  • Making People-Friendly Towns

    Making People-Friendly Towns

    This year it is 40 years since Francis Tibbalds founded our practice. His holistic approach to placemaking is still enshrined in our practice today. Director Christine Goldsmith is rediscovering his work through his wonderfully illustrated book ‘Making People-Friendly Towns’.

    Through the course of this year she intends to visit locations featured in the book, and photograph them. Seeing if the qualities that he valued have survived and how change has affected these places. Starting with London!

    January 2018

  • Wilmcote House Features In RIBA Journal

    Wilmcote House Features In RIBA Journal

    In refurbishment projects, squeezed budgets are often torn between the demand for better fire safety measures and improving energy efficiency in tower blocks.

    But Wilmcote House, Portsmouth shows that needn’t be the case. GSA associate John Pratley recently spoke to RIBA Journal about his experience.

    Read more

    January 2018

  • A Spectacular Start to 2018

    A Spectacular Start to 2018

    Happy New Year from everyone at GSA! We wish you a happy and successful new year in 2018.

    This is the spectacular new years fireworks display from our office on Blackfriars Road.

    January 2018

  • Looking Back On 2017

    Looking Back On 2017

    We have been privileged to work on some very exciting and rewarding projects in 2017.

    Thank you to everyone who worked with us and supported us throughout the year.

    December 2017

  • Seasons Greetings!

    Seasons Greetings!

    It’s been another busy year for GSA with our portfolio of diverse projects continuing to grow. This includes South Oxhey where we received unanimous planning approval for Phase 2 of our Masterplan (comprising 500+ homes, 50k+ sqft retail, along with the new Market Place and Station Square).

    Construction is progressing rapidly - so it won’t be too long before everyone can enjoy a cup of mulled wine at the real Christmas Market!

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    December 2017

  • Progress At Beaulieu Square

    Progress At Beaulieu Square

    The design team braved the winter weather to visit Beaulieu Square, being built by Kier contractors just outside Chelmsford. The mixed-use Neighbourhood Centre containing shops, apartments, a nursery & community centre provides the communal facilities for the 200 new homes at Beaulieu Chase for Countryside and L&Q.

    Our taxi driver from Chelmsford station has already used the new Sainsbury’s Local store, and we all sampled the delights of the Churchills Fish & Chip shop for a well-earned hot lunch. The first residents will be moving in to their new contemporary apartments early next year - all with generous balconies overlooking the parkland.

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    December 2017

  • Mindenhurst - Scenes At The Exhibition

    Mindenhurst - Scenes At The Exhibition

    Ruth Stanesby and Hannah Shopland joined the CALA team to explain the scheme for 215 new homes, ranging from 1 & 2 bed flats up to 5 bed detached homes, at the Mindenhurst public exhibition. This is the first phase of the redevelopment of the Princess Royal Barracks in Deepcut.

    This is part of a wider plan to deliver 1,200 new homes, a school & village centre. The new homes will sit within a beautiful woodland setting, with many enjoying views across the Village Green or parkland. Retention of many mature trees with additional high quality planting sets a high benchmark!

    Read more

    November 2017

  • Taking The Stage At World Architecture Festival In Berlin

    Taking The Stage At World Architecture Festival In Berlin

    RNIB Redhill was shortlisted for the Health Future Projects Category of the World Architecture Festival Awards. Director Manoher Matharu presented the scheme in Berlin 15-17 Nov. It is a really uplifting story - RNIB in partnership with Countryside are creating a truly inclusive & pioneering residential environment.

    The scheme will deliver housing for people with visual impairments side by side with open market sale homes. All homes are linked by the sensory trail to The Hub where the RNIB staff are based. This allows RNIB clients varying degrees of independence and a chance to fully participate in the community.

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    November 2017

  • Community Initiative Success At Park Central

    Community Initiative Success At Park Central

    We built a great relationship working with the residents, Optima, and Crest Nicholson at Park Central. We worked together to regenerate the Lee Bank Estate in Birmingham over a period of roughly 15 years.

    It was a very positive design and development process – leaving all parties feeling very proud of what had been achieved through partnership and collaboration together. The most recent accolade is Finalist for Best Community Initiative in the Housebuilder Awards.

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    November 2017

  • High Performance Housing Retrofit

    High Performance Housing Retrofit

    Associate John Pratley took part in a very informative 2-day study tour in the Netherlands looking at the innovative Dutch Energiesprong zero-energy, housing retrofit approach.

    GSA are currently looking at a number of potential Energiesprong pilots for UK Housing Associations with our Wilmcote House Passivhaus Retrofit clients Keepmoat Regeneration, part of the ENGIE energy and services group.

    November 2017

  • Unlock Your Network with WISH

    Unlock Your Network with WISH

    We had an inspiring WISH (Women in Social Housing) London RegionBreakfast Briefing at our offices this week. The topic was Effective Utilisation of Social Media presented by Paul Monteath, Director at the Digital Co.

    Paul specialises in digital strategy, where he has delivered a number of pioneering integrated campaigns. He was able to inspire us to tell our stories...interestingly!

    November 2017

  • Topping Out At Park Place

    Topping Out At Park Place

    Thanks to MBU and Ashe Construction for inviting us to the topping out ceremony at Park Place, Stevenage. The final steel was successfully craned into place. Now work on the external envelope can start.

    The practice of "topping out" a new building can be traced to the ancient Scandinavian religious rite of placing a tree atop a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits displaced in its construction. Fortunately this is a town centre regeneration project!

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    October 2017

  • Unanimous Approval For South Oxhey Town Centre

    Unanimous Approval For South Oxhey Town Centre

    South Oxhey is no longer the Unsung Town – as it was named when it appeared in the BBC series The Choir. The process to revitalize the town centre is well under way – the first housing sites are nearing completion and the new shops and public square at Carpenders Park Station are progressing on site – whilst maintaining public access at all times.

    The planning application for the second phase has just been granted planning permission. This gives the green light for 174 mixed tenure homes, shops and a new market place.

    Read more

    October 2017

  • Residents Move In At Harlow

    Residents Move In At Harlow

    We are delighted to see that our work at The Briars (BAC), Harlow, now called Atelier, is coming to fruition. This week the first Home Group tenants moved in. We wish them a very happy future in their new homes.

    Working with Harlow Council, Countryside & Home Group we designed a low rise scheme based on a traditional network of street and squares. Consultation with the community told us that this was what was wanted. The challenge was to design an attractive high density scheme at low rise. This was the first of Harlow's priority estates to reach viability

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    October 2017

  • Transforming Barracks To Woodland Homes

    Transforming Barracks To Woodland Homes

    We are delighted to have been selected by CALA Homes to design the first phase of the redevelopment of the Princess Royal Barracks in Deepcut – now known as Mindenhurst. This first phase contains 215 new homes, ranging from 1 & 2 bed flats up to 5 bed detached homes. This is part of a wider plan to deliver 1200 new homes, school & village centre.

    A reserved matters planning application will be submitted imminently, with construction potentially starting early in 2018. The new homes will sit within a beautiful woodland setting, with many enjoying views across the Village Green or parkland. Retention of many mature trees with additional high quality planting sets a high benchmark!

    October 2017

  • Future of London Diversity Pledge

    Future of London Diversity Pledge

    We have joined an impressive list of companies and organisations that have signed up to the Future of London Diversity Pledge.

    “London’s diversity is its biggest asset”, according to the GLA, offering a competitive edge internationally and among industry peers. New voices can also bring fresh ideas and perspectives - just what is needed now!

    October 2017

  • Completions At Hayling Place

    Completions At Hayling Place

    The first residents at Hayling Place have moved into their new homes. These family homes neatly infill the vacant site of the former Jet Pub.

    This site is the is the first part of the wider South Oxhey town centre regeneration in partnership with Three Rivers District Council, Countryside and Home Group.

    Read more

    September 2017

  • International Refurbishment Conference

    International Refurbishment Conference

    John Pratley and Alex Baines will be talking about Wilmcote House, Portsmouth at The International Refurbishment Symposium at The IET, London on Friday 15 September.

    They will be explaining the design process and delivery on site of this large scale Passivhaus retrofit project.

    Read more

    September 2017

  • Unanimous Approval for Arborfield Green

    Unanimous Approval for Arborfield Green

    Our scheme for 79 new homes in Parcel U2 of Arborfield Green has received unanimous approval at planning committee. This is part of the wider regeneration scheme to transform the former Arborfield Garrison near Wokingham into a garden village.

    Many homes will enjoy views over the Lake, and the retention of mature trees, with additional planting adds to the attractive landscaped setting. The design reconciles complex constraints, including flood protection, SuDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage System), an existing sewer, mature protected trees (TPO), and the location of the new bus route.

    August 2017

  • Appointment At Arborfield Green District Centre

    Appointment At Arborfield Green District Centre

    We are delighted to be appointed by Crest Nicholson on the district centre at Arborfield Green near Wokingham. This is part of an overall masterplan to redevelop this former garrison into a garden village.

    It is anticipated that the new district centre will contain a mixture of town centre uses including an Early Years Centre or nursery, community centre, health centre, apartments, office / employment space and retail space including a food store.

    July 2017

  • A New Market Place for South Oxhey

    A New Market Place for South Oxhey

    We have just completed the architectural design of Phase 2 of the town centre regeneration at South Oxhey (phase 1, including the Station Square is currently on site). This will deliver 174 new homes across a mixture of tenures and 730sqm / 7,850sqft of retail space facing onto a new Market Square (designed by Philip Cave).

    The masterplan relocates the existing market place closer to local transport links and Carpenders Park Station, which should help to revitalize the market by encouraging more footfall, and making it sustainable in the long term. The space is also a gathering space that will be used for the annual summer fair and Christmas event.

    July 2017

  • From Garrison To Garden Village

    From Garrison To Garden Village

    Great to see the first houses at Arborfield Green completed. They set the bar high for the further 2,000 homes that will transform this former garrison site into an attractive garden village centred around lakes and mature trees.

    The design promotes wellbeing, with many homes enjoying views over naturalistic parkland – providing a rich habitat for humans and wildlife alike!

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    July 2017

  • Making an Entrance

    Making an Entrance

    Here is a preview of the new entrance to Beaulieu urban extension in Chelmsford, it is now peeping over the hoarding. It will create an attractive entrance into the new masterplan, as well as catering for the needs of the local community. This block contains spacious duplex apartments above a row of new shops and a food store.

    We will keep you updated as the mixed-use buildings in the neighbourhood centre reach completion.

    Read more

    June 2017

  • Speedy Planning Approval In Ockendon

    Speedy Planning Approval In Ockendon

    Phase 3 of Arisdale Avenue, South Ockendon (on the Former Ford Works), has just got planning permission. This includes 113 new homes (a roughly equal mix of houses and apartments) arranged around a new central park and play area. A wide range of house types and apartment blocks creates a diverse and sustainable neighbourhood, providing choice.

    The design work was developed in a very short 8 week programme. Our team were able to provide the intense effort and focus needed to make this project a success. So much so - the entire application was determined in 5 weeks!

    June 2017

  • Keeping in touch

    Keeping in touch

    At South Oxhey, town centre regeneration project, there is a process in place to engage with the community. There is a Community Board, regular updates can be found in the newsletter and on the project website. At the weekend the public exhibition to update everyone on progress was attended by over 150 people.

    Even the hoarding has been designed to give the public viewing areas so that the progress can be seen - it makes a real difference. On the central site, the structure for the first residential apartment buildings are going in at the moment, and work is just starting on the new Station Square.

    June 2017

  • Arborfield Green – Parcel U2 Submitted for Planning

    Arborfield Green – Parcel U2 Submitted for Planning

    A planning application for 79 new homes in Parcel U2 of Arborfield Green has been submitted. This is part of the wider regeneration of Arborfield Garrison. Many homes will enjoy views over the Lake, and the retention of mature trees, with additional planting adds to the attractive landscaped Garden Village setting that new residents will enjoy.

    The design reconciles complex constraints, including flood protection, SuDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage System), an existing sewer, mature protected trees (TPO), and the location of the new bus route for residents.

    May 2017

  • At The Centre Of The Community

    At The Centre Of The Community

    The Community Centre at Beaulieu will be a thriving multi-purpose resource providing a wide range of services, activities and meeting spaces for people of all ages. The building has been designed to be flexible to support all these uses.

    The Community Centre forms part of the wider Beaulieu Square neighbourhood centre – which is currently under construction on site. We are delighted to see it all taking shape. Not long to wait!

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    May 2017

  • What a Transformation!

    What a Transformation!

    Our award-winning estate regeneration project at Park Central, Birmingham is nearing completion on site. The Sales Suite is being converted back to an apartment.

    So we were really delighted when Crest Nicholson gave us the model. It now has pride of place in our conference room. Please click the link below to see photos of the finished buildings.

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    May 2017