Successful completion of a decade-long engagement
For almost a decade, Hunters successfully provided Employer’s Agent services to the Aldwyck Housing Group in Bedford, assisting in delivering both affordable rent and shared ownership for all the social housing developments.
This included a mix of 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses, amounting to 535 units in total. As part of a larger development of 2,500 houses, it represents a highly integrated and comprehensive development including the provision of a Lower School, community facilities, district centre, country park, open space, playing fields, footpaths and cycle routes. A Park and Ride scheme as well as a new road link across the River Great Ouse connecting the A421 has also been provided, benefitting both residents as well as the wider community.
With Bedfordshire ranking second to London, as the most densely populated county in England, the developments will assist in addressing housing concerns within the region. Properties benefit from large windows and doorways, assisting with natural lighting, complemented by the adjacent vast green open spaces.
Hunters overcame several challenges, including negotiating with five separate developers to achieve consistency within the specification across the phases at pre-contract stage, ensuring this was carried out to completion. Hunters were also tasked with resourcing mass handovers across 29 separate phases to comply with stringent client deadlines.
Vanessa Dockerill, Deputy Director of Development at Aldwyck Housing Group commented:
“Our positive relationships with Hunters, development partners and the local communities have made the development at West of Bedford extremely successful for Aldwyck Housing Group. Working closely with Hunters and our development partners on this project has ensured timely delivery of much needed affordable housing, to a high-quality standard. We look forward to working on future projects in the Bedfordshire region, continuing to deliver great quality homes in areas people want to live.”
Sixty new homes designed by Hunters
Hunters Architects designed an attractive urban design with emphasis on external spaces for Master Gunners - a 1.16-hectare site originally acquired from the Ministry of Defence.
Hunters masterplan outlined the the potential for a mix of size of homes to accommodate different life stages and needs. It is located within the London Borough of Greenwich - triangulated between Woolwich Common to the East, Queen Elizabeth Hospital to the North and Horns Fair Recreation Park to the West. The majority of these contemporary homes will be apartments in three four-storey blocks, a fifth as two and three storey housing - reminiscent of traditional London mews housing - with car parking provided for around 75% of the homes.
A belt of mature trees shields the site from Shooters Hill traffic with the surrounding area of land currently holding restrictive covenants in place, precluding any developments.
Delivering twenty storey Western Gateway for Mount Anvil
A stone’s throw away from the ExCeL London Centre will stand Western Gateway at Royal Victoria Dock.
This new development is built on existing, unused foundations, originally planned for a twenty storey Hotel .
This is Mount Anvils’ latest residential development at the heart of the Docklands and will provide 105 apartments plus a ground floor commercial unit. The building will sit adjacent to an existing apartment structure and provide a focal point at the end of Western Gateway.
Hunters dealt with a number of challenges on site including ensuring building height/construction did not contravene on strict Aviation Authority restrictions (it's very near to City Airport) whilst coordinating mechanical and structural information within BIM.
Gregory Deakin Promoted to Associate Director
Greg Deakin, in our Architectural team, has been promoted to Associate Director.
Greg leads on many of Hunters project delivery programmes, meticulously coordinating the design team through working drawing packages, ensuring every facet is managed carefully. Liaising with contractors and the client, his technical knowledge and team management experience ensure a smooth delivery process. He has worked on major health, care, regeneration, commercial and residential schemes.
Susan Pasint-Magyar, MD of Architecture at Hunters said 'Greg is a really strong project manager and is part of our highly respected team that leads on working drawing packages. It is key architects deliver ideas as much as they create them and Hunters is an industry leader in this - bringing our design ideas to completion.'
Greg studied at Birmingham University and worked at Mountford Pigott on their commercial schemes before joining Hunters.
Sold at Limehouse Exchange
Hunters Employer’s Agents team has completed Limehouse Exchange a mixed tenure housing development for Tower Hamlets Community Housing.
Originally a former petrol station site, adjacent to the Red Route in Limehouse, the limited size, dense surroundings and restrictive location all proved challenging from both a design and delivery perspective.
The finish and specification of the private sale units were well received with all 18 private sale units being sold within a couple months. Hunters worked closely with the client from pre-contract stage to achieve a viable tender price with the preferred contractor.
What distinguishes this project is the wide mix of tenures; the ground floor houses a commercial office unit, the 1st floor is comprised of 7 affordable rent and shared ownership residential apartments and the upper 3 floors provide 18 high specification private sale apartments.
Its close proximity to Rectory Garden was part of wider regeneration initiative for the area as a whole. Interesting aspects included the use of a Lumistry privacy film product to preclude overlooking of the adjacent development and avoid the need for extensive (and costly) external cladding to the rear elevation.
Take a go at our VR of Copley Castle Bar
Hunters recently held a public exhibition of the pre-application proposals for Copley Castle Bar in Hanwell. It provided an invaluable insight into the proposals and provided local residents, retailers, Ward Councillors and other stakeholders a first-hand experience of the designs.
Experience has shown us that opinions and points raised from these exhibitions can often prove to be an inspiration for projects. On this occasion, Hunters decided to opt for a more futuristic approach to public and stakeholder engagement by means of VR headsets. As the technology is becoming more accessible and affordable, so too has its applications in the real world. Could this become the norm for future public exhibitions?
As a new approach to engaging the local community and allowing them to visualise and experience the proposals in a way that ordinary 2D drawings could not have, the plans were mapped out in a 3D environment to enable observers to be placed right at the centre of the scene. This proved extremely popular, especially with younger participants. Future technological advancements may one day enable us to walk through these environments.
Copley Castle Bar is a residential led mixed-use development in Hanwell, London. The scheme is for some 204 dwellings, 5,000 ft2 of retail and 1,500 ft2 of community floor space.
Click on the link below to view the VR environment sphere:
Andrew Warman made Associate
Hunters promote Andrew Warman to head up the CDM and Principal Designer teams.
Hunters CDM and Principal designer services have successfully grown since they became mandatory in the building industry over a year ago. Andrew is heading up the team working with our clients to deliver outstanding service. He has extensive building surveying and project management experience and was previously the Chair of the Norfolk CIOB.
Graham Acus, Director of Building Consultancy commented ‘Andrew brings professionalism and a really strong client focus to this role – CDM / Principal Designer is a new role in this industry which Hunters is in the forefront of delivering,’
Brayards Road Improvement Zone – Group Repair Scheme
It takes a lot to convince homeowners and landlords that they should repair their homes when their neighbouring properties are being modernised. This is exactly what happened on Brayards Road in Southwark London, which has created a thoughtful and secure scheme for the street.
The Hunters' Building Consultancy team worked on behalf of our clients (Southwark Council) to deliver an attractive proposal which would refurbish around 65 properties on a Victorian residential street. Appointed as both Contract Administrator and Principal Designers for the scheme and responsible for overseeing the works carried out on site, it included undertaking condition surveys and producing a specification of works. Around 70% of the properties were restored, not all of them owned by the Council.
Brayards Road falls within the ‘Nunhead Renewal Region’, earmarked as one of two renewal areas declared by the Council back in 2005. The decision was made as a result of the neighbouring and award-winning Meeting House successfully completing a similar Group Repair Scheme.
Multiple aspects of the homes were reviewed, such as much needed repairs to brickwork and masonry front boundary walls. New roofs including the installation of several solar thermal panels, front and rear new secure doors and sash windows, that complemented the heritage, were fitted.
Charlotte Reed, Building Surveyor at Hunters said: “the Resident Liaison role was a complicated and lengthy process which spanned several weeks. With a means tested implementation and execution plan, our Hunters team wouldn’t have managed to achieve such a strong adoption rate for the repair works carried out on the properties”.
Aylesbury Waterside Regeneration Approved
Outline planning consent was originally agreed in 2014 which included proposals for an enticing new town square. The Hunters design is setting a new standard for the town centre development and compliments the public space, creating a new heart for Aylesbury. The ground floor will have four family-friendly restaurants facing the new square, flexible workspace and new homes above.
The new five-storey brick scheme sits directly adjacent to the County Court and Judges' Lodgings, and is designed to complement these Grade II listed buildings.
This is Aylesbury town centre's first purpose-built mixed restaurant and residential development which will inject more life into the town.
Hunters' design is deliberately simple and elegant, with crisp and uncluttered facades. Red brick predominates and is very much in keeping with the intimacy and charm of this market town. Detailing around the deep windows reveals combine with recessed balconies and new colonnade to create a discreet rhythm to the façade.
The 47 one and two bedroom flats are all placed on the second floor or above, with food and drink, and three additional commercial units on the ground floor. The design mirrored the core strategy for the larger Aylesbury Town Centre vision to:
...be a high profile, sub-regional centre for entertainment and the arts, which has added a distinctive edge to its market town heritage.
...be a distinctive, 'best in class', modern market town, which is attractive, safe, sustainable and accessible.
...provide a quality day and evening environment in terms of leisure, retail and food and drink, which attracts and brings together people of all ages and communities from within its enviable catchment.
Teresa Lane, Commercial Property and Regeneration Lead at AVDC, explained, "The Town Centre Plan sets out very clearly a vision to improve Aylesbury by providing all the ingredients a modern town centre needs to thrive. Over the last few years, the town has benefited from significant investment by both the private and public sector – nearly £100m by AVDC alone. But there is more to do and this scheme is an important next step in the town's regeneration. It's fantastic to be partnering with Durkan and their architects, Hunters, who have done a great job in taking the outline design to detailed stage."
Now the proposals have been given the green light from planners the scheme is expected to start on site in early 2017 with contractors Durkans.
Homing in on the UK
Hunters Surveys – one of the most comprehensive UK wide surveys ever?
Our surveying team have just completed the final on-site residential property assessments of 35,000 units as part of a two-year commission on behalf of Home Group. This extensive project has seen our surveyors as far North as Northumberland and down South as Portsmouth, with thousands of locations in-between. So how did they achieve it?
The key to managing a portfolio of this magnitude and diversity is with a flexible team of surveyors, who are able to react quickly and skilfully to the numerous survey challenges in multiple locations around the UK. The project encompassed bedsits to large listed buildings and substantial blocks of flats. A bespoke survey was designed collaboratively with Home Group, and data collected remotely on an in-house App "Hunters Collect". The intuitive App, validated initial key inputs and photographs before being uploaded via the cloud and stored on secure servers.
The in-house team validated the surveys within our unique database "Hunters collect" and provided regular Quality Assurance spot checks to ensure data was consistent and high quality. The final reported information to Home Group was placed within the client's internal Asset Management System to produce effective business plans, improve and create cost effective capital Works programmes and maintain records of Energy Efficiency.
The Hunters Survey team comprised of 26 Surveyors providing flexible coverage to allow Home Group customers the opportunity to request surveys at convenient times, minimising the need to take time out of work and their daily routines.
As part of our assessment, our surveyors included HHSRS, aids and adaptations, environmental measures, new technology and existing accessibility audits, making this possibly the most comprehensive survey requirement carried out nationwide to date.
Bob Forrest, Associate Director at Hunters said 'This was a collaborative project with our clients and we have developed a really good level of communication between surveyors and the back-up team here in Hammersmith. Our "Hunters Collect" system is a flexible means of Data Capture and fully bespoke to each project, formats are available to meet specific client's requirements and reporting through an industry standard MS Access database – it's a great tool for our clients.'
Planning Win for Major Regeneration at Pollards Hill
The final stamp of approval has been issued for the complex and challenging application to London Borough of Merton for the Pollards Hill development and regeneration scheme. The extensive masterplan by Hunters architectural team has now achieved a major step towards realisation – regenerating both rented and private homes in this part of South West London.
The scheme encompasses over 900 homes, including 90 new houses and flats and the refurbishment / upgrade of 800 existing homes. It is part of a wider regeneration of over 1,500 homes. The new tenure mix is anticipated to be a mixture of affordable and intermediate housing. The project has been divided into two main phases, the first entailing refurbishment of existing dwellings with the second encompassing new buildings.
Hunters' design is centred around a revamped open public space known as Donnelly Green. Much of the concept focused on improving accessibility with the creation of new safe routes across the site and closing off existing unsafe routes.
A major triumph for the project will be for residents to remain living within their homes whilst the regeneration works are carried out. A vast number of the properties were purchased through the Right to Buy scheme and as a result, the architectural team utilised their skills and experience to steer a comprehensive masterplan through extensive consultation. Construction is projected to start within the next couple of weeks.
Hunters' client for this project Moat Homes, a Housing Association established for over 50 years, who work across London and the South East of England. Moat build an average of 500-600 homes every year, owning and managing around 20,000 homes.
Paul Wellings-Longmore, Director at Hunters commented 'It's great that this project will be realised now and that sub-standard homes can be refurbished and an area made safer and more attractive. Suburban estates have not had the investment in the last twenty years with a concentration on city centres, and Hunters are at the forefront of working on this type of scheme. This project has similar characteristics to the masterplans and regeneration work we have implemented at Copley Close in Ealing, Evenlode in Maidenhead and Brenley Park in Merton.
Excelling with Mount Anvil
Hunters is driving forward the completion of a new 20-storey residential block in Newham for Mount Anvil.
It’s the first time Hunters have worked as architects with Mount Anvil, which is both developer and contractor for the scheme.
The elegant building has an exceptional location with views towards ExCeL and Royal Victoria Square on the east and towards central London on the west.
The new building will serve as a focal point for the local area and sets a new standard in design quality.
The new block will have 105 residential apartments, 21 of which are shared ownership and have been designed tenure blind to sit alongside private sale apartments. Sixteen have three bedrooms, contributing to LB Newham’s ambition to deliver family homes.
Director Mark Baines said: “This project follows other work by our colleagues in Hunters with Mount Anvil. We have a great executive team to deliver the project to completion on this landmark building.”
Hunters are taking the scheme from RIBA Stage 3 onwards and it starts on site in July 2016, with an expected completion in 2018.
Joint Venture Team Partnering
On the back of Erith Park, Seward Street and other successful Joint Venture schemes, the EA team is introducing developers and contractors to RPs’ inspiring new schemes.
Hunters know the market, especially the London residential market, and this regional insight differentiates us from global players. Our market intelligence makes sure we deliver commercially viable projects to improve Gross Development Value for clients.
We nurture personal relationships between funders and housing associations and provide services to underpin the commercial viability (and therefore reducing the risk) of development. This service is robust, transparent and intelligent making sure clients get the most from their assets.
Director Toby Jay commented: “We are providing a unique service which helps reduce risk and improves funding streams and partnerships for Joint Ventures. We act as a trusted partner, providing an honest and intelligent service – a catalyst for forward-thinking development.”
If you want to have a chat, call Toby on 020 8237 8200.
Quadruple Planning Win
Four care homes designed by Hunters have successfully won planning, emphasising the continuing expansion of our work in this important sector.
Two of the homes are for the London Borough of Hillingdon and two are for The Orders of St John Care Trust. They all incorporate our award-winning dementia care principles into their designs to enable better places to live as we grow older.
The home at Cribbs Causeway near Bristol will be a centre of excellence for dementia care, with 72 beds and an emphasis on high quality accommodation.
Other homes are Grassy Meadow in London Borough of Hillingdon with 88 beds and a dementia resource centre; Park View extra care also in Hillingdon with 60 apartments; and Bedford Road in Wixams, with 72 beds broken down into a series of 8 or 16 bed households.
"Winning planning for these four schemes demonstrates how our thoughtful designs for care homes respond to changing needs in older age,” said Managing Director, Architecture, Susan Pasint-Magyar. "Our team of dementia and senior living experts continues to develop ways to improve elderly care for both patients and staff."
Hunters Surveys Spread All Over the UK
Our surveying team is in the final phase of working on 35,000 onsite reviews of properties around the UK for Home Group. The audit summarises the capital works needed for the properties and their energy efficiency through a tailor-made database.
The unique database was designed jointly by Hunters' database team and building surveyors in conjunction with our clients to create a smooth and simple process of information from surveyor to client desktop.
Greg Morris, Database Manager at Hunters, said: "Our Hunters Collect system has enabled what can be a complex, time consuming process to be an efficient and robust data collecting process.
"Working closely with our clients, we are able to transfer data into their asset management systems quickly and clearly.
"With around 8.5 million rows of asset data so far, this is potentially the largest data set ever collected as a single project in the UK. It's certainly been a geographically challenging spread of assets with us attempting to achieve as close as possible 100% access."
The project has recently undergone scrutiny from the HCA and has also been greenlit by Home Group on the robustness of the data. It is due to finish in August.
EAs' The Scene Gets Gold
Our EA teams’ scheme in Walthamstow has won three WhatHouse? Awards, including two golds.
The Scene, which has previously been awarded overall winner at the National Housing Awards, has now added three awards from one of the most prestigious events in the housebuilding calendar.
The scheme was awarded gold in Best Development and Best Brownfield Development, and silver in Best Partnership Scheme.
The judges called the scheme "iconic" and an "exemplar of town centre regeneration" and they particularly praised the way the team had managed a number of strict deadlines.
"As the retail and cinema elements neared completion, extremely tight deadlines had to be met, and the project manager had to deal with the additional responsibilities of the cinema and restaurants chains fitting out their new premises.
"At its busiest point, the development had 565 subcontractors onsite daily, but these large-scale logistics were tackled by a supportive partnership at every stage."
The Scene is located at one end of Europe's longest street market in Walthamstow. Hunters’ EA team worked on the affordable part of this scheme for Islington and Shoreditch Housing, which includes a nine-screen cinema and five new commercial units.
The scheme was a joint venture between Hill, Waltham Forest Council and Islington & Shoreditch Housing Association, and offers 48 homes for private sale and 73 affordable homes both rented and shared ownership.
Toby Jay, EA Director at Hunters, commented: "It is an extraordinary scheme and deserves to be recognised as such. We are really proud to have been part of such a strong and versatile team."
BBH Win for Dementia Care Scheme
Flagship dementia care scheme Fremantle Court has won a Building Better Healthcare Award at a ceremony hosted by TV presenter Gethin Jones.
The annual awards celebrate innovation, architecture, people, products and services that are helping to transform patient care in the UK.
Judges were drawn mainly from the healthcare sector and included Roy Lilley, a founder member of the NHS Trust Federation, and Sarah Waller, who led the King's Fund's Enhancing the Healing Environment programme for 14 years.
Fremantle Court in Stoke Mandeville, which Hunters designed for The Fremantle Trust and Castleoak, won best Dementia Care Development.
It beat schemes from architects Robert Potter, David Wilson, Pozzoni, and Gilling Dod.
Fremantle Court was described by the judges as “non-institutional, with nice gardens and a light, bright, domestic feel”.
The 90-bed care home has a country hotel feel and is arranged around households of 15 split into groups of seven or eight residents.
Working with Tudor Williams, Fremantle Trust’s specialist dementia guru, the scheme achieved the coveted Gold Standard from the University of Stirling for dementia care design.
Architecture Director James Wallace picked up the award for Hunters. He said: “Fremantle Court is a high specification nursing home scheme that responds to the complex needs of people living with dementia, using technology and carefully integrated spaces in a way that challenges traditional architecture and raises the bar in dementia care design.”
Steve Flanagan, Chief Executive of The Fremantle Trust, said: “We’re thrilled to receive this recognition and are extremely proud of Fremantle Court as a pioneering development, drawing on the latest innovation and creating a high quality home environment which provides tailored support while enabling independent living.”
Pictured above are (L-R): Simon Greenstreet, Customer Partnerships Director, Castleoak; Tudor Williams, Property Manager, The Fremantle Trust; Carole Sawyers, Chief Executive, Brendon Care; and James Wallace, Director, Hunters
Architect Paul Stephens Promoted to Associate Director
We are pleased to announce the promotion of Paul Stephens to Associate Director.
Paul has been at Hunters for 15 years, having come to us from the Welsh School of Architecture. He has been Senior Architect for the last two years, working on a variety of schemes including refurbs and new build within complex urban sites.
Among many others, Paul has worked on the recently completed Eagle House in Hackney, A2Dominion’s exemplary new office on Uxbridge Road, St George’s University library and Notting Hill Housing’s mixed tenure apartment block on Hammersmith Grove, near the Hunters office.
Susan Pasint-Magyar, Director at Hunters, said: “Paul has contributed to some of our most challenging schemes and we are very happy that will be going forward with us as Associate Director. He’s very popular with our clients and staff so we hope he’ll be with us for another 15 years.”
Paul is also known in the Hunters office for organising company sports and social events, including a long-running five-a-side football team, and outings to various exhibitions and film screenings.
Paul Stephens said: “I’m happy that I’ve progressed to Associate Director – something I never would have expected at the start of my career. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into the next batch of projects, which I’m sure will bring new challenges.”
Digging The Scene
A Hunters scheme has been awarded overall winner at the National Housing Awards 2015.
The Scene is located at one end of Europe's longest street market in Walthamstow. Hunters’ EA team worked on the affordable part of this scheme for Islington and Shoreditch Housing, which includes a seven-screen cinema and restaurants.
The judging panel felt that The Scene had “exceeded in moving the home ownership industry forward by introducing an outstanding solution or development into the sector”.
The Scene was originally nominated in the Best Regeneration Project category, which it also won. In this category judges looked for projects that had transformed an area, demonstrating that regeneration had “left a positive and lasting legacy on the local community”.
The scheme has created over 100 new jobs for Walthamstow and acted as a catalyst for ongoing regeneration, which has led some to dub the area “Awesomestow”.
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “Schemes like The Scene show that putting the right homes in the right places can be part of something much bigger, sparking new life into communities and bringing in additional investment.”
The Scene is also a finalist in the Housebuilder Awards in the Best Regeneration Initiative category.
A2Dominion’s Stunning New Office
Our architects have designed the exceptional new regional office for A2Dominion on Uxbridge Road, Ealing, which has just opened its doors.
The new development provides over 3,000sqm of workspace replacing an unsightly 1970s block.
The floor space has almost trebled, with increased floor-to-floor height and glazing that maximises the office's natural light.
Three 'glazed pavilions' step back from the street, allowing the creation of a new landscaped plaza along Uxbridge Road. Along with the striking fins on the outside of the building, these help to lessen the sound of the busy main road.