There were many challenges and opportunities considered throughout design development: varying typography across the site; buried relics and other associated items due to the site being a former shipyard; the river location – maximising views and aspects, placemaking; the site’s rich history; the site being adjacent to a conservation area; and balancing cost with quality - the area has some of the lowest property prices in the country, this did not however detract from providing high quality, well designed homes.
The masterplan development process was highly collaborative. Work commenced with a placemaking event designed to give everyone a real opportunity to kick-start the re-planning of the site and to involve the local community and other key stakeholders in generating ideas and options. The information gleaned from this helped us establish design principles that have been maintained and developed into the delivery phases of the masterplan. During the development we also worked closely with the local authority, CABE and the North-East Design Review and Enabling service to establish the outline development proposals for the site.
To ensure our proposals articulated a clear design vision, we broke the site down into character areas and developed parameters for each, flexible enough to change but robust enough to be meaningful, and easily adopted. In this areas we considered economies of scale and density and responded to site issues, such as foundation design.
We have been a committed partner in the last 10 years of development of the masterplan, being both agile and consistent in our approach. We updated the masterplan in response to economic and client structure changes - Places for People entered into a joint venture partnership with Urban Splash. We continue to be involved in the implementation of the masterplan both in terms of delivering projects and as design guardians, working with other practices to understand to help implement their particular housing models.