April 25, 2018

Safe Regeneration picks firms for its £200m framework


A swathe of firms across the North West have been picked by Safe Regeneration for its £200m framework, with winners including big hitters Morgan Sindall and Robertson alongside SMEs across architecture, construction, and the built environment.

Bootle-based Safe Regeneration focuses on community and heritage projects; business enterprise support; community-based landscape, habitat and ecological projects; and training.

The framework is split into 15 lots covers house building, general construction, design services, refurbishment and project management.

Among the winners were Preston-based FWP, which won places on six lots including construction design management, project manager, structural engineer and quantity surveyor.

Rochdale-based contractor the Casey Group secured three lots including housebuilding, general construction and refurbishment.

The £200m framework by Bootle-based Safe Regeneration will cover a number of different disciplines, including housing, health, community care, education and local authority sectors across the North West, Yorkshire & Humberside, Wales and Scotland.

Contracts for work through the framework will be on a lot by lot basis with the option for mini-competition or direct appointment. Mini-competitions will be weighted towards technical ability, followed by cost.

Five Liverpool practices including Brock Carmichael Architects, Edge Architects, KKA Architecture, Mersey Design Group and Unit3 Design Studio scooped places on the architectural services lot.

The framework attracted notable interest from SME’s, with 16 of the 19 firms bidding for work on the general construction lot comprising of small businesses. Of the 20 firms to bid for architectural services, 18 were SMEss.

Major firms which also scooped places include Morgan Sindall, Robertson, Vinci and architects BDP.


Sharjah unveils first international platform on architecture


The northern emirate of Sharjah will be hosting the first platform on architecture and urbanism in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (Menasa) region, thus continuing its cultural engagement expansion in the UAE.

Founded by Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Urban Planning Council, the Sharjah Architecture Triennial aims to stimulate debate on regional built environment by reframing on-going conversations from a regional perspective.

Taking place in the UAE and engaging with regional and international discourse, the first edition commences in November 2019.

The Sharjah Architecture Triennial is holding its first public programme, a panel discussion entitled “Shifting Morphology of Gulf Cities,” on April 7 at Maraya Art Centre in Al Qasba, Sharjah.

This programme is organised in partnership with the College of Architecture, Art and Design at the American University of Sharjah (CAAD at AUS) and Sharjah Directorate of Town Planning and Survey (SDTPS).

This first programme represents the Triennial’s mission to invite critical dialogue amongst a cross-section of audiences including architectural practitioners, scholars, students, as well as government bodies and the general public.

“Shifting Morphology of Gulf Cities” explores the effects of Khaleeji populations movement to rapidly growing modern cities and away from the dense coastal settlements where their social and cultural identities were rooted.

The programme opens with a conversation between Khalid Bin Butti Al Muhairi, Chairman of SDTPS, and Maysa Sabah, Urban Planner, Housing Specialist and Advisor to Affordable Housing Institute.

The panelists will be joined by speakers Bahraini architect Ali Karimi, Kuwaiti architect Hamed Bukhamseen, and Associate Professor in CAAD at AUS Rafael Pizarro. Varkii Pallathucheril, Professor and Dean of CAAD at AUS will moderate.

Sheikh Khalid said, “This is a crucial moment in the understanding and development of architecture and urban planning of the Menasa region. The regional urban landscape is evolving at a tremendous speed and impacting how urban dwellers interact amongst themselves.”

“Sharjah Architecture Triennial will offer an accessible platform for critical reflection on the social and cultural issues that we face at both regional and international levels. Through the creative process of this exchange, we believe that we can arrive at new ways of designing cities,” he added.


Gillespies’ Partner Mike Sharp to retire after 30 years at the practice

Mike Sharp

It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of Mike Sharp, after 30 years of dedicated service at Gillespies; 20 of which he spent as a Partner.

Mike joined Gillespies in 1988 and was made a Partner 10 years later. Following his rise to Partner, he went on to set up Gillespies’ Bradford office and subsequently the Leeds office with fellow Partner Tom Walker, where he has since been successfully leading a strong portfolio of urban design projects across the north of England.

Notable works around the region include the Gainsborough Town Centre Masterplan, Hartlepool Town Centre Masterplan, a design guide for Middlesbrough Town Centre and landscape strategies for both Leeds and Newcastle University.

Mike’s retirement is a well-deserved respite for him, and he will be greatly missed by all his colleagues at Gillespies, as well as those in the industry who had the opportunity to work alongside him.

Alongside his architectural commitments, Mike is also the Chair of Headway Leeds, the Brain Injury Association Charity that provides help and support to people affected by a brain injury.

Tom Walker, Partner in Gillespies’ Leeds office, said,

“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with such a talented, kind, ‘sharply’ intelligent and vivacious man.  We wish Mike well as he starts an exciting new chapter in his life. He won’t become a total stranger, as he will continue to assist the team occasionally on existing projects.”

ASLA Survey: demand high for residential landscapes with sustainability and active living elements

Applauds ASLA

People want to do downward-facing dogs in their sustainable designed backyards or shared outdoor spaces—while their phones are charging nearby. That is one of the possible conclusions of the 2018 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

Landscape architects were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements in 2018. The survey was fielded February 22 through March 8, 2018, with 808 responding.

ASLA revised the survey this year to include new types of outdoor amenities that appeal to both single-family and multi-family owners and residents. Residential design is the largest market sector for the landscape architecture profession. Most of that work consists of single-family homes but also includes multi-family and retirement communities.

Because of this change in the survey, flexible outdoor spaces for such activities as yoga and outdoor movie nights as well as charging stations for mobile devices entered the top ten project types for the first time.

Here are the top ten project types with the expected highest consumer demand:

  • Native plants – 83.3%
  • Native/adapted drought tolerant plants – 83.0%
  • Low-maintenance landscapes – 80.0%
  • Flexible use space (for yoga classes, movie night, etc.) – 74.2%
  • Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 72.4%
  • Permeable paving – 74.0%
  • Rain gardens – 71.2%
  • Reduced lawn area – 70.8%
  • Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards, vineyards, etc.) – 70.5%
  • Charging stations (mobile devices) – 70.0%

This lineup is virtually unchanged from 2017 except for the additions of flexible-use space and charging stations.

The top three most popular outdoor design elements include fire pits/ fireplaces (66.0 percent), lighting (65.4 percent) and seating/dining areas (64.0 percent). Last year’s top three were fire pits/fireplaces (71.5 percent), wireless/internet connectivity (70.8 percent) and lighting (67.8 percent). Wireless/internet connectivity was grouped this year with movies, TV, and video theaters and stereo systems, a lineup that received 48.0 percent of the vote in the outdoor design elements category.

The top landscape and garden elements are expected to include native plants (83.3 percent), low-maintenance landscapes (80.0 percent) and rain gardens (71.2 percent). In 2017 the top three were native plants (81.6 percent), low-maintenance landscapes (79.3 percent) and food/vegetable gardens (76.5 percent).

Enhanced railing systems, which include those with cable or glass, is a new answer choice added to the outdoor structure category this year. It is ranked first in this category (51.0 percent), followed by pergolas (48.3 percent) and decks (42.8 percent). Last year, the top three were pergolas (50.3 percent), decks (41.4 percent) and fencing (39.8 percent).

The hottest sustainable design elements include native/adapted drought tolerant plants (83.0 percent), permeable paving (74.0 percent) and drip/water-efficient irrigation (72.4 percent). Last year’s top three in this category were almost the same: native/adapted drought tolerant plants (82.3 percent), permeable paving (76.3 percent) and reduced lawn area (72.7 percent).

The outdoor recreation amenities category has been revised this year to include amenity types for both single-family and multi-family residences. Sports courts were broken down into more specific types and labyrinths were removed. The top three types in 2018 include dog-related recreation areas (68.0 percent), designated areas for other outdoor recreation (61.5 percent) and bocce courts (42.5 percent). Last year’s top three in this category were sports courts (42.4 percent), spa features (39.7 percent) and swimming pools (39.2 percent).

ASLA added a new question about multi-family outdoor amenities this year. The top three trends for this category include flexible use space (for yoga classes, movie night, etc.) (74.2 percent), charging stations (mobile devices) (70.0 percent) and bike storage (69.9 percent).

For more landscape ideas for your home, and to find a professional in your area, visit www.asla.org/residentialinfo.

Editors, need gorgeous, high-res photos to illustrate this story? ASLA can provide media with images of residential projects that have won ASLA professional awards. Contact Karen Grajales at ktgrajales@asla.org or (202) 216-2371.

Outdoor Design Elements

Ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018

Fire pits/ fireplaces – 66.0%
Lighting – 65.4%
Seating/dining areas – 64.0%
Outdoor furniture – 59.1%
Outdoor kitchens – 58.8%
Decking (i.e., rooftop decking, etc.) – 53.6%
Grills – 50.0%
Movie/TV/video theaters, wireless/internet, stereo systems – 48.0%
Outdoor heaters – 40.5%
Stereo systems – 36.9%
Pools and spa features (hot tubs, Jacuzzis, whirlpools, indoor/outdoor saunas) – 36.9%
Utility Storage – 32.3%
Hammocks – 29.2%
Outdoor cooling systems (including fans) – 28.5%
Showers/baths – 22.9%

Outdoor Recreation Amenities (Single Family and Multi-Family Residences)

 Ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018

Dog-related recreation area – 68.0%
Designated area for other outdoor recreation – 61.5%
Bocce courts – 42.5%
Swimming pools – 36.8%
Pickleball courts – 30.0%
Hot tubs/whirlpools/Jacuzzis – 29.3%
Outdoor gym – 28.6
Lap pools – 27.2%
Basketball courts – 16.6%
Paddle tennis courts – 14.2%
Lawn croquet – 13.9%
Saunas – 11.8%
Tennis courts – 9.1%

Multi-Family Outdoor Amenities

 Ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018

Flexible use space (for yoga classes, movie night, etc.) – 74.2%
Charging stations (mobile devices) – 70.0%
Bike storage – 69.9%
Play area for children – 57.7%
Water feature (aesthetic feature, not pool) – 46.5%
Bike repair station – 45.9%
Transit screen (updates on public transit) – 39.1%
Pet spa – 32.1%
Plunge pool – 18.6%

Landscape/Garden Elements

 Ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018

Native plants – 83.3%
Low-maintenance landscapes – 80.0%
Rain gardens – 71.2%
Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards, vineyards, etc.) – 70.6%
Water-saving xeriscape or dry gardens – 65.9
Organic gardens – 59.6%
Rooftop gardens – 53.4%
Plant walls/vertical gardens – 53.0%
Planters, sculptures, garden accessories – 48.4%
Decorative water elements (ornamental pools, fountains, splash pools, waterfalls, grottos, water runnels or bubblers) – 42.6%
Ponds/streams – 28.6%
Formal gardens – 15.2%

Outdoor Structures

 Ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018

Enhanced railing systems (cable, glass, etc.) – 51.0%
Pergolas – 48.3%
Decks – 42.8%
Fencing – 41.5%
ADA Accessible structures (ramps, bars, shelving, etc.) – 39.9%
Arbors – 37.4%
Play structures (tree houses, swing sets, etc.) – 34.1%
Porches – 32.6%
Pavilions – 32.6%
Utility sheds (tool sheds, garden sheds) – 30.0%
Gazebos – 21.0%

Sustainable Elements

 Ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018

Native/adapted drought tolerant plants – 83.0%
Permeable paving – 74.0%
Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 72.4%
Reduced lawn area – 70.8%
Rainwater/graywater harvesting – 68.7%
Recycled materials – 63.6%
Solar-powered lights – 60.4%
Compost bins – 47.2%
Geothermal heated pools – 21.3%

About the American Society of Landscape Architects

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the professional association for landscape architects in the United States, representing more than 15,000 members. The Society’s mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education and fellowship. Sustainability has been part of ASLA’s mission since its founding and is an overarching value that informs all of the Society’s programs and operations. ASLA has been a leader in demonstrating the benefits of green infrastructure and resilient development practices through the creation of its own green roof, co-development of the SITES® Rating System, and the creation of publicly accessible sustainable design resources.


Construction of Emaar’s Creek Horizon development reaches podium level


Located at the Dubai Creek Harbour master development, the Creek Horizon project will also offer individual townhouse opportunities.

Emaar Properties’ Creek Horizon residential project at Dubai Creek Harbour, has now reached ground level.

The project, following the theme of ‘living on an island’, offers a bold ‘destination living experience’ and comprises two towers, rising from a landscaped podium structure. Located at the Dubai Creek Harbour master development, the Creek Horizon project will also offer individual townhouse opportunities and shared leisure amenities, such as a swimming pool, gym and recreation areas, which will help to define a vibrant atmosphere in the residential community.

 Emaar appointed leading architecture and engineering consultancy SSH to carry out the design and construction supervision for the Creek Horizon project.

The project’s design encourages an integrated lifestyle development that promises island-style living in Dubai. The scheme is integrated into the district master plan using landscape and place-making to position the development as one of the most desirable in the area.

With construction now at podium level, progress on the residential scheme will accelerate. Once complete, the towers will top out at ground + three-level podium + 39 storeys and ground + three-level podium + 36 stories. The towers’ orientation has been designed to maximise on the available views of the waterfront, harbour and central park within the district while also offering long-distance vista opportunities, including the city skyline and Burj Khalifa views.

Creek Horizon will form part of Dubai Creek Harbour, a new master plan development from Emaar Properties in joint venture with Dubai Holding that is focused on building urban island residences onto the contours of the creek. The architectural forms create a destination within the new district and responds to the views of the Dubai skyline, waterfront, central park and creek beyond.


Image: Dubai Creek, UAE