News

  • A Look Back at 2016

    A Look Back at 2016

    Looking back at 2016, it was an eventful year. We worked on a wide range of design projects - covering town centres, community buildings, housing and public spaces. This encompassed projects of all sizes, in urban and rural contexts.

    We are increasingly able to offer a sustainability perspective for our clients - we are now able to provide Passivhaus design services. We have greatly enjoyed the richness and variety of these projects and we look forward to what the new year will bring. We wish everyone a successful and happy new year in 2017.

    December 2016

  • Seasons Greetings From Us All

    Seasons Greetings From Us All

    Our festive image this year is of our office near Waterloo. The image was drawn by architect Marcel Maag, who was a full-time member of the practice for many years. Now he helps us out with beautiful artwork like this.

    It has been an important year for us. Thanks to everyone for your support in 2016. Seasons greetings and best wishes for 2017 from everyone at GSA.

    December 2016

  • Park Central is a new DCLG Regeneration Case Study

    Park Central is a new DCLG Regeneration Case Study

    Our work at Park Central, Birmingham is a case study in the new DCLG Estate Regeneration National Strategy Case Studies. Over 1,600 new mixed tenure homes, centred around a new park, have been built. And retained, refurbished tower blocks provide a further 400 affordable homes.

    Residents, the wider community, the local authority and other stakeholders have been closely involved throughout the estate renewal process. The project was based on a strong and flexible masterplan that has created a sense of place and responded to market fluctuations throughout the 10-year programme.

    Read more

    December 2016

  • Groundbreaking at South Oxhey

    Groundbreaking at South Oxhey

    The town centre regeneration scheme at South Oxhey has reached an important milestone - the groundbreaking at Central South Oxhey.

    The scheme will deliver over 500 homes and approximately 5,000 sqm of retail space and town centre uses.

    Read more

    December 2016

  • Passivhaus Estate Regeneration

    Passivhaus Estate Regeneration

    Sometimes demolition isn't the most sustainable way to achieve estate regeneration. GSA associate John Pratley led the tour of Wilmcote House, Portsmouth.

    John explained the construction principles of this large scale Passivhaus retrofit project - showing all stages of construction through to completion.

    November 2016

  • Unanimous Approval for Stevenage Regeneration

    Unanimous Approval for Stevenage Regeneration

    Our design for 202 new homes, and 2,000sqm of retail space in the centre of Stevenage has just received unanimous planning approval at committee. Park Place is set to deliver much needed mixed-use regeneration in this part of the town centre, and heralds wider urban renewal in the area.

    Aspirational, open plan apartments overlooking the Town Centre Gardens, above an attractive, contemporary retail environment at ground level, offers a positive urban lifestyle choice in Stevenage. The scheme partly converts existing buildings, and extends them upwards and outwards to maximise their potential.

    November 2016

  • International Passivhaus Open Day

    International Passivhaus Open Day

    GSA hosted tours of our Passivhaus EnerPHit social housing retrofit of Wilmcote House in Portsmouth on Friday 11th November 2016 as part of the International Passivhaus Open Days event. CEPH Designer and GSA Associate John Pratley provided tours of the completed dwellings.

    The event offered the chance to see different parts of this complex retrofit at different refurbishment stages under construction - all with residents in-situ.

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    November 2016

  • RNIB Redhill features at MIPIM

    RNIB Redhill features at MIPIM

    Our design for RNIB, Redhill, Surrey appeared in the prestigious AJ Architecture Tomorrow Exhibition at Olympia on the Wed 19th – Fri 21st October, as part of the MIPIM UK event at Olympia, London.

    The project was also shortlisted for the overall winner of the AJ Architecture Tomorrow award.

    Read more

    October 2016

  • The New Station Square Submitted for Planning

    The New Station Square Submitted for Planning

    Our design for a new public square and retail space that creates an attractive new arrival experience for Carpenders Park Station, has been submitted for planning. It is part of the first phase of The South Oxhey Initiative - a town centre revival scheme in partnership with Three Rivers District Council, Home Group & Countryside.

    The design overcomes major challenges – from existing underground services, overhead power cables and reorganising modes of transport to create a more inviting and pedestrian-friendly space. It injects a new energy through a series of new buildings, and a high quality public realm.

    Read more

    October 2016

  • RNIB Redhill - AJ Architecture Tomorrow

    RNIB Redhill - AJ Architecture Tomorrow

    RNIB, Redhill, Surrey features in the AJ. Our scheme was selected to appear in the prestigious AJ Architecture Tomorrow Exhibition at Olympia on the Wed 19th – Fri 21st October, as part of MIPIM UK.

    The exhibition selects schemes that will shape the the future of the built environment in the months and years to come.

    Read more

    October 2016

  • Ultimate Oakgrove Submitted for Planning

    Ultimate Oakgrove Submitted for Planning

    The final phase of the highly successful Oakgrove Village development in Milton Keynes has just been submitted for planning.

    This phase will provide 73 distinctive new homes - 25 houses and 48 apartments. The new homes are located in the north of the site adjacent to the Ouzel Valley Country Park – enjoying close proximity to the new neighbourhood centre and acres of green, open space.

    Read more

    October 2016

  • Ruth and Christine become Fellows of the RSA

    Ruth and Christine become Fellows of the RSA

    Directors Ruth Staneby and Christine Goldsmith have been elected as fellows of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

    A core value of the RSA is that all human beings have creative capacities that, when understood and supported, can be mobilised to deliver a 21st century enlightenment.

    October 2016

  • Visiting Our Completed Projects

    Visiting Our Completed Projects

    We have enjoyed a visit to our completed projects in Milton Keynes and Birmingham. We met our clients to find out how things are going and to see the transformations that have taken place. It's great to walk around our built designs and to know that the projects have been successful. We can learn a lot for our future projects.

    Afterwards it was time for a fast paced treasure hunt around Central Birmingham - we are still not sure which team won! All gathering together at the final destination on Birmingham's Walk of Fame for a delicious meal.

    September 2016

  • RNIB Redhill Shortlisted for BHA Housing Award

    RNIB Redhill Shortlisted for BHA Housing Award

    We are delighted that our design for RNIB Redhill in partnership with the RNIB and Countryside is shortlisted for best Housing Project in the Sunday Times British housing Awards.

    The Sensory Trail links through the whole community - helping to provide an integrated environment that can be enjoyed by all - regardless of whether they are visually impaired or not!

    Read more

    August 2016

  • Outline Approval for 350 new homes in Milton Keynes

    Outline Approval for 350 new homes in Milton Keynes

    Our masterplan for up to 350 new homes at Church Farm, Wavendon, Milton Keynes has been granted outline planning approval. The new homes will be set within a landscaped framework which sensitively creates a transition from ‘town’ to ‘countryside’ at the edge of Milton Keynes.

    The masterplan draws upon the unique site features to create a strong sense of place, and a network of distinctive character areas: • The Gateways • The Northern Village • Parkside • Wildlife Corridor

    August 2016

  • Nine Ashes Submitted for Planning

    Nine Ashes Submitted for Planning

    Our richly landscaped rural housing scheme for Nine Ashes has just been submitted for planning. The scheme is for 12 high quality houses that derive their character from the historic buildings in the area.

    We developed an animated wall concept - drawing upon references from local agricultural buildings. The buildings form a pair of courtyards defined by red brick walls with black weatherboarded, pitched roofs peeping over the top.

    August 2016

  • Three estates transformed in £71m scheme

    Three estates transformed in £71m scheme

    Our competition winning masterplan for the regeneration of 3 estates in Harlow will replace outdated post-war bungalows that no longer meet Decent Homes standards. The development, a partnership between Countryside, Home Group and Harlow Council is coming out of the ground on site.

    “This major regeneration programme, when completed, will meet our promises to residents to provide more and better housing and to regenerate Harlow. Providing new housing opportunities, improving local people's quality of life and transforming areas like this are all vital to building a better Harlow.” - Cllr Tony Durcan

    Read more

    August 2016

  • Corio, Grange Walk - Areas of Growth

    Corio, Grange Walk - Areas of Growth

    Corio Bermondsey providing 167 news homes is progressing swiftly on site.

    This is the article from Evening Standard Homes & Property last night.

    Read more

    August 2016

  • Station Square is Full Steam Ahead

    Station Square is Full Steam Ahead

    We are delighted to be appointed to design the first retail phase of the South Oxhey Initiative. This is a town centre regeneration scheme, near Watford, for Three Rivers District Council, Home Group and Countryside.

    The design for Station Square will create an attractive new arrival space, including new shops and offices, and new public square and transport interchange.

    July 2016

  • Largest Passivhaus Refurbishment in UK

    Largest Passivhaus Refurbishment in UK

    Sometimes the most sustainable regeneration option is to refurbish existing buildings and extend their lifespan, whilst keeping the existing community together by allowing residents to remain in their homes during the works. This is the case for 107 social housing dwellings at Wilmcote House, Portsmouth - currently receiving a new lease of life.

    The building is being retrofitted to the Passivhaus EnerPHit energy efficiency standard; improving the performance of the existing building fabric & ventilation to provide a more comfortable internal living environment for the residents - and reducing their future energy bills. Associate John Pratley is currently taking forward the project on site.

    July 2016

  • Aspirational Houses for Milton Keynes

    Aspirational Houses for Milton Keynes

    The Ouzel Island house designs for Crest Nicholson at Oakgrove Village, Milton Keynes are shortlisted for the Housebuilder Awards 2016. Ouzel Island enjoys a delightful setting with views over the Ouzel Valley Park. ‬

    We have created exciting, aspirational and contemporary new homes for Milton Keynes. The houses are light, airy and spacious - with infinity gardens overlooking the parkland. We hope that people really enjoy living in their new homes.

    Read more

    July 2016

  • Beaulieu - House Design Finalist

    Beaulieu - House Design Finalist

    Our contemporary design for The Gardino at Beaulieu, Chelmsford has been chosen as a finalist for Best Design for 3 Storeys or Fewer at the House Builder Awards.

    A series of themed ‘Gardens’ create a landscape focus to the scheme, contrasting the urban terraced frontages with a leafy, green outlook.

    Read more

    July 2016

  • Associate with Town Centre Design Flair

    Associate with Town Centre Design Flair

    Associate Andrew Needham has been leading many of our successful mixed-use, residential, retail & commercial schemes. He demonstrated his design flair and a cool head for problem solving on RNIB Redhill (recently shortlisted for the Housing Design Awards 2016) – a site with a challenging brief and topography.

    Since then he has driven forward Beaulieu Square, Chelmsford and Broadbridge Heath, Horsham – delivering vibrant neighbourhood centres for significant new housing schemes. He is now taking forward the designs for Station Square town centre regeneration at South Oxhey near Watford.

    June 2016

  • Beaulieu - Community-Based Living

    Beaulieu - Community-Based Living

    Our Beaulieu masterplan featured in the Daily Mail this week “It’s as if suburbs are having their day in the sun again". Beaulieu, Chelmsford is leading the way. It is a large-scale project on 604 acres. Along with a planned 3,600 homes, there will be schools, community centre, plaza, nursery, shops and a new train station.

    ‘We see it as the power of community,’ says Graham Cherry, chief executive of Countryside, which is behind Beaulieu. ‘Residents want facilities and services where they live and factoring them into the development at the start takes the pressure off the local area.’”

    Read more

    June 2016

  • RNIB Redhill Pioneering Case Study

    RNIB Redhill Pioneering Case Study

    Our project at for ‪the RNIB‬‬ and Countryside Properties at Redhill is a best practice case study for Pioneering Enabling Development.

    Director Manoher Matharu presented the scheme to delegates from the HCA & ‪Design For Homes‬‬ to explain our successful process.

    Read more

    June 2016

  • GSA’s New Sustainability Champion

    GSA’s New Sustainability Champion

    Associate John Pratley has recently rejoined GSA where he will become our sustainability champion.

    His skills in the fields of environmental consultancy, refurbishment and Passivhaus greatly widens the range of specialist services that GSA can offer.

    June 2016

  • Oakgrove Village - Transforming Milton Keynes

    Oakgrove Village - Transforming Milton Keynes

    GSA have begun designing the final phase at Oakgrove Village - a new mixed-use district for Milton Keynes incorporating residential, retail and education uses in a generous landscaped setting. It has transformed the Milton Keynes property market - offering new types of homes not previously available.

    Following a successful Outline Planning approval, GSA has designed the subsequent Reserved Matters applications including the Neighbourhood Centre. The highly successful ‘Ouzel Island’ concept is being developed for this phase - with an iconic collection of 4 & 5 bedroom detached homes, maximizing views across the Ouzel Valley.

    June 2016

  • Aspirational Alternatives to Home Ownership

    Aspirational Alternatives to Home Ownership

    GSA are designing up to 400 new ‘build to rent’ homes for Dorchester Group and Taylor Wimpey as part of a new town centre in Hampshire.

    GSA are developing a new model of medium density PRS, which could be replicated across other town centres. These aspirational homes and facilities offer households a new lifestyle choice as a real alternative to home ownership.

    May 2016

  • Innovative Scheme for RNIB Shortlisted for Housing Design Award

    Innovative Scheme for RNIB Shortlisted for Housing Design Award

    We are delighted that our pioneering scheme for an integrated community at RNIB Redhill has been shortlisted for the Housing Design Awards 2016.

    Contemporary homes cascade and rise with the natural topography, whilst the public realm is designed as an exciting sensory experience for all residents – be they visually impaired or sighted.

    Read more

    May 2016

  • Arborfield Green Phase 1 Goes on Sale

    Arborfield Green Phase 1 Goes on Sale

    Work on the phase 1 of Arborfield Garrison is continuing, and the first dwellings will be released for sale at the end of May. The proposals include 113 dwellings – 65 houses and 48 apartments - within a beautifully landscaped lakeside setting, setting the benchmark for other phases moving forward.

    This image is of the ‘gateway’ apartment buildings - which have large floor-to-ceiling windows offering spacious rooms that are bathed with natural light. All dwellings are designed using ‘Garden Village Principles’.

    Read more

    May 2016

  • Do More, Stress Less Seminar

    Do More, Stress Less Seminar

    The next WISH Breakfast Briefing will be entitled 'Do More, Stress Less' by speaker Hazel McCallum, Moving On Up Coaching.

    Wednesday 1 June 2016 8:00 am - 10:00 am at our London Office.

    Read more

    May 2016

  • Park Central Wins Placemaking Prize

    Park Central Wins Placemaking Prize

    Park Central has been awarded the Placemaking Award at the National Property Awards. Our project with Crest Nicholson Regeneration, BCC & WM Housing Group delivers innovative and sustainable buildings and spaces with a genuine mix of uses, tenures and character areas.

    Regeneration on a large scale needs to satisfy housing needs whilst creating design that delights and lifts the spirits. This once troubled area of Birmingham has been transformed into a highly desirable place to live.

    Read more

    April 2016

  • Design - The Key To A Better Place

    Design - The Key To A Better Place

    Our design for Oakgrove Village, Milton Keynes, features in ‘Design. The Key to a Better Place’ published by The Sunday Times and the British Homes Awards.

    The feature makes reference to the generous, light and flexible space created within these house designs. The layout also provides high quality green space and landscaping as a setting for the new homes.

    Read more

    April 2016

  • Ground-breaking at Beaulieu

    Ground-breaking at Beaulieu

    A ground-breaking service marking the start of construction on site of the new Community Centre at Beaulieu, Chelmsford, was conducted by the Bishop of Bradwell. It will be the place of worship for Beaulieu Church - a new congregation of the Church of England.

    The centre will serve the people of Beaulieu Park and Beaulieu, and will be managed by Beaulieu Community Trust. It will be the most accessible centre for those with mobility difficulties in the city of Chelmsford.

    Read more

    April 2016

  • Planning Consent for South Oxhey

    Planning Consent for South Oxhey

    The planning committee at Three Rivers District Council has voted unanimously in favour to grant planning consent for our scheme at South Oxhey. This regeneration project, with Home Group and Countryside, will deliver 514 new homes, approximately 5,000 sqm of town centre uses, and a new market place and public square.

    South Oxhey has previously caught national attention when it featured in Gareth Malone’s TV series ‘The Choir III: Unsung Town’. The choir has brought about a positive transformation. The masterplan will do the same for the physical environment.

    Read more

    March 2016

  • Phase 1 of Arborfield Green Starts on Site

    Phase 1 of Arborfield Green Starts on Site

    Work on the first phase of the Arborfield Green development has started on site. The proposals include 113 dwellings – 65 houses and 48 apartments - within a beautifully landscaped lakeside setting, setting the benchmark for other phases moving forward.

    This image is of the attractive new homes, designed to Garden Village principles, overlooking parkland to the east - which have large floor-to-ceiling windows offering spacious rooms that are bathed with natural light.

    March 2016

  • Broadbridge Heath Planning Approval

    Broadbridge Heath Planning Approval

    We have just gained a planning approval for the neighbourhood centre at Broadbridge Heath, Horsham.

    The scheme will provide 7,400sqft of retail space including a food store, plus a nursery and new parish office facilities.

    February 2016

  • On The March

    On The March

    In early Spring every year, great crested newts journey to their traditional breeding ponds. This happens at Oakgrove Village, Milton Keynes. To help them we have created a Wildlife Corridor - a wide linear park extending through the development, from the Ouzel Valley to their ponds in Middleton.

    This Wildlife Corridor supports a rich biodiverse habitat; incorporates a network of footpaths; and provides valuable visual amenity. A range of building types creates an animated frontage to the park. Dwellings will rise in scale from two and three storey houses up to four - six storey apartments at key focal points.

    Read more

    February 2016

  • Fit for a King!

    Fit for a King!

    The Beaulieu Park master plan provides a generously landscaped setting for Henry VIII's former palace at New Hall, Chelmsford. Beaulieu Chase is one of the first character areas to be built of the 3,600 home masterplan.

    The linear park provides the opportunity for a bold parkside frontage of repeated gables and generous roof terraces. Earlier this week we went to site. Here is a progress photo of the first parkside houses on site. (photo credit Countryside)

    Read more

    February 2016

  • Corio, Bermondsey – in Evening Standard Homes & Property

    Corio, Bermondsey – in Evening Standard Homes & Property

    Our courtyard housing design at Grange Walk, Bermondsey has just appeared in the Homes and Property section of the Evening Standard. The scheme delivers a high density urban scheme, without the need for high rise. It therefore fits in well with the streetscape and townscape of its surroundings.

    The development is named 'Corio' – reflecting the area's past as a centre of the leather trade. This part of Bermondsey has recently undergone a renaissance – as part of the Bermondsey Spa masterplan.

    Read more

    January 2016

  • South Oxhey Town Centre Regeneration Submitted

    South Oxhey Town Centre Regeneration Submitted

    Countryside, Home Group and Three Rivers District Council are working in partnership to regenerate the town centre at South Oxhey, near Watford. Our design has been submitted for hybrid planning. It will create 514 new homes and 5,000 sqm of shops, with a new square and better links to Carpenders Park station.

    Richard Cherry, chief executive of Countryside’s partnerships division, said: “Our vision is to create an integrated and well-designed new neighbourhood with high-quality housing for South Oxhey and we will do that in close partnership with the local community.”

    Read more

    January 2016

  • New Homes for Neighbourhoods

    New Homes for Neighbourhoods

    The long list of selected schemes for the RIBA competition ‘New Homes for Neighbourhoods’ has been announced. The competition supports Brighton & Hove City Council’s Small Site Strategy initiative – calling for innovative housing solutions for small development sites.

    Our design for Rotherfield Crescent, Hollingbury has been long-listed. We designed a courtyard scheme of affordable homes facing onto a communal productive garden. The innovative house designs allowed focused, long views of the city, between existing houses.

    January 2016

  • New lease of life for RNIB Tudor House

    New lease of life for RNIB Tudor House

    We are currently working on the beautiful Grade II Listed Tudor House, at RNIB Redhill. It will be fully restored and converted as a Community Hub comprising offices, training facilities, café and multi-purpose spaces.

    This building fits within the ‘sensory landscape’ masterplan for the 6 ha RNIB Redhill site. The design employs best practice sensory design principles to ensure that both sighted and visually impaired people can fully enjoy their surroundings.

    Read more

    January 2016

  • 2015 – A Fruitful Year for GSA

    2015 – A Fruitful Year for GSA

    Reflecting upon 2015, it was a fruitful year for GSA. We worked on some great projects – gaining detailed planning permission for 1,500 new homes and 1,355 sqm of retail, community and education space.

    We hope that 2016 will be an even more successful one for everyone we work with!

    January 2016