A creative development consultancy

SUSD provides the connection between architecture, communities
and development. We work in London and the UK to strategically
acquire sites for future redevelopment, where new architecture adds
value and helps nurture sustainable and economic growth.

Blog.

08.04.14 / SUSD

Water Tower Project shortlisted for the International Design and Architecture Awards 2014

The SUSD Ltd. Water Tower project has been shortlisted for the 2014 design et al International Design and Architecture Awards in the Regeneration Category.

SUSD Ltd. undertook the challenging project to create a unique house framed within an existing 1930s concrete water tower structure and have been praised for their efficient and sustainable design. The tower, which was situated in a very urban location on the bank of the Grand Union Canal in West London, was converted into a circular two bedroom home.

The build took just three days to complete as the design incorporated very precise and finished prefabricated wooden panels produced and craned in by German company Becker & Sohn. The panels are highly sustainable through the use of captured carbon. The complex project demonstrates how redundant buildings in challenging locations can be turned into amazing homes by the use of an architect’s creative skills.

The International Design and Architecture Awards are hosted to recognize talent, create opportunities and offer inspiration. Short listed entries are judged online by a voting system open to industry professionals as well as design et al readers, clients and customers.

14.01.14 / SUSD

The Water Tower

Towards the end of 2011 SUSD completed this challenging project on the Water Tower. A unique house was created, framed within the existing 1930s concrete water tower structure. Here, Harry Harris, Director of SUSD talks about the fascinating project and the challenges faced.

 

Video by Voist

18.12.13 / SUSD

SUSD to work as co-developers with the Gansevoort Hotel Group

SUSD are creating a reputation for innovative developments. The collaboration with the New York- based Gansevoort Hotel Group where SUSD will act as development managers as well as co-developers of the scheme in Shoreditch is one of the exciting projects in their portfolio for 2014.

New York, N.Y. – December 13, 2013 – Michael Achenbaum, the creative visionary behind New York-based Gansevoort Hotel Group, has partnered with Douglaston Development, SUSD and Hondo Enterprises to develop a full-service urban resort at 45 Curtain Road in East London’s fashionable Shoreditch district, set to break ground early next year. The $98 million project will feature 120 guest rooms with seven luxury suites, a restaurant, bi-level bar, rooftop swimming pool and lounge, 24-hour fitness center, over 6,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and a tech incubator.

Architects Dexter Moren Associates and interior design group Design DMU will merge Achenbaum’s high standard for style and service with the edgy, urban vibe of the up-and-coming Tech City area in Shoreditch, paying homage to the district with designs inspired by the local street art scene. Furthering his reputation as a catalyst for development in emerging neighborhoods, Achenbaum and his partners, with the support of London & Partners and UKTI, selected Tech City in Shoreditch for its growth, leadership and extraordinary cultural diversity.

“I’m always seeking to expand my portfolio in emerging neighborhoods that have a vibrant social life where businesses can grow and flourish,” said Michael Achenbaum. “Shoreditch aligns brilliantly with our vision for this project and we’re thrilled to break ground during such an exciting time for the neighborhood.”

The property is poised to become a social hub for the entrepreneurial community while meeting the growing demand from London’s financial center and the many companies primed to build up Shoreditch as an epicenter for technology, media and creative industries.

“Hackney Council’s Regeneration team has been working closely with Achenbaum and his team for two years to help realize their plans to build an exciting urban resort in Shoreditch. This successful collaboration has involved integrating this multimillion-dollar investment into our growing economy, creating jobs for local residents as well as contributing to the growth of the creative community in Hackney,” said Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration.

Gordon Innes, Chief Executive of London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional organization for London added, “Achenbaum has chosen the perfect London location for this project. The hotel opening in the digital hub of Europe will provide further options for London’s increasing visitor market and will make a great addition to the capital’s existing offerings.”

Royal Bank of Scotland provided debt financing for the development. The project is expected to create at least 150 jobs and is scheduled to break ground in the spring of 2014 with an opening slated for the following year.

16.12.13 / SUSD

The United Reformed Church- Video

Video by Voist

Throughout London there is a wealth of property just waiting to be revived and renewed, all  have a myriad of problems created to defeat the most determined of people. Top of the list  are old tired buildings encrusted in grime and requiring a face lift. Close behind are property  owners who want to remain in an area and need funds to continue but cannot see how they  can pay for a refurbishment.  Both these groups could benefit from a meeting with SUSD who  enjoy seeing how ‘no hope buildings’ can  be changed and enhanced with a bit of creativity  without knocking down and destroying the fabric of an area.

The story of United Reformed Church in Bayswater is aimed to get you thinking about the opportunities which are on every street just waiting to be giving a big shot of tender loving care to create places where people can work, live and enjoy. The video shows what can be achieved.

The United Reformed Church was built over 140 years ago, a magnificent example of Victorian architecture. The building stood firm, survived bombing and developers but raised a real headache for St Pauls URC and Thames North Trust on how to make the building fit for purpose and most importantly how to pay for it. A list of problems starting with lack of light, not meeting the stringent health and safety requirements and the upper floors were tired and under used.

Luckily, they knew Harry Harris, Director of SUSD has always loved difficult and perhaps impossible projects, in fact, Harry thrives on them.  Harry and his team worked with United Reformed Church to create a new chapel, community hall, offices and funded the project by the sale of two innovative apartments on the upper floors.

Harry then took the project one step further by opening up spaces to create natural light; included a host of energy saving features, from the mundane but important high level of insulation through to a provision to recycled water. The nineteenth century building was ready to face another hundred years of use.

Harry Harris and the SUSD team have turned a sad old building which some developers would have loved to demolish, into a mixed use fit for purpose building, that the residents of Bayswater can be proud to see on their street again. The parishioners love their new light bright community hall.  The Trust have new modern offices and two London families now have homes in our great Capital city.The two apartments sold for just under £2 million each within minutes of coming onto the market.  The apartments were not built to a formula.  Careful space optimisation  was utilised using the SUSD internal architectural interior designer who is a genius at creating something out of nothing.  The new owners appreciated the innovative way the architects had designed the space to use every nook and cranny to create maximum living areas.  View the video to see the four person bath high in the eves, and the huge Smeg fridge in the kitchen, this is space optimisation at its very best.

27.11.12 / Harry

United Reformed Church, Newton Road, London W2

SUSD has formed a joint venture with Thames North Trust to develop the 1870’s building, St Paul’s URC, situated just off Westbourne Grove between an adjoining Arts and Craft residential building and a Grade II listed detached house.

The project involves prolonging the life of the building, extending its community use, whilst also making it fully accessible for all visitors. SUSD is creating a new community hall and office facilities within the existing building and two new high quality private apartments on the upper floors, with completion due in Spring 2013.

 

Apartment for sale Newton Road, W2

The planning application consists of altering and dividing the existing building into two parts: creating church community space, offices and adding two residential apartments at the second, third and fourth floors, both with private roof terraces.

An entirely new basement level is being formed with the ground floor raised to provide level access throughout improving access for all the community to the new public spaces. The design will pay particular attention in retaining the building’s existing features at street-level, opening up spaces to improve natural light and sustainable & energy conservation elements, such as:

-       New efficient boiler and heating system;

-       High levels of insulation;

-       Natural ventilation;

-       Improving airtightness on existing windows, doors and skylights and new glazing elements will use low u-value;

-       Water saving devices;

-       Provision for recycling waste.

The intensity and mixed nature of the building use will ensure it is efficiently used throughout the week, rather than periodically which necessitates high- energy use for short-term return.  The new mixed use of the building leads to a sustainable community.

10.09.12 / Harry

Jovial Foresters – The Longhouse.

SUSD recently completed construction of ‘The Longhouse’ developement in the beautiful Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, and the building has been sold to a local family. The original Jovial Foresters Public House has also recently been refurbished as local shop with living accommodation, and sold to a young couple.

SUSD acquired the freehold interest in the Jovial Foresters Public House, Star Hill, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire in 2010. Planning permission was granted for erection of a new single dwelling, The Longhouse, on the land of the public house to the rear of the garden.

The site is located within the Settlement Policy Boundary and outside of the conservation area of Stroud District Council and is approximately 1 kilometer  north west of the town centre in beautiful surroundings making it a popular and sought-after place to live.

The view from the front garden of The Longhouse.

The Longhouse design is influenced by the existing pattern and density of the traditional buildings in the surrounding area. The Jovial Foresters Public House and its attached buildings were retained with sufficient rear garden.  The new house provides a four bedroom single house within the rear unused part of the former Jovial Foresters Pub and occupies approximately 140sqm with 150sqm of private garden.

Elevation of The Longhouse and the Pub.

Elevation of The Longhouse and The Jovial Foresters Pub.

 

Garden elevation of former Pub

Garden elevation of former Pub

The existing mixture of housing forms, sizes and appearances emphasizes a village-like atmosphere and leaves space between the buildings to preserve the vernacular character of the site. The idea was to enhance the family friendly atmosphere in-line with the character of Nailsworth and its surroundings. The new house forms a unity through its external appearance in similar form, size and materials, while blending contemporary design with traditional forms.

The Longhouse entrance and carport.

The spatial concept came in direct response to the elevated location in order to take full advantage of views to the east of the site. Various leveling of the outdoor spaces maximise the use of sunlight. By adapting the landscape and placing the living area on a lower level to the east of the site, the visual impact of the house is minimised from neighbouring buildings. Working with the natural slope of the land on a west-east axis, enabled single and two storey spaces to be brought under a unifying roofline.

Front Elevation of The Longhouse.

An additional garden strip between the new house and the garden of the former public house reduces the visual impact and creates a buffer against any potential noise.  Smooth transitions between interior and exterior are achieved through full height openings. The sizes of the rooms are shallow enough to achieve good daylight penetration for each room.

Master bedroom and ensuite – natural daylight and views over the valley.

The materials used are in keeping with the near environment and the former public house. The walls are rough and random coursed Bath Stone in hydraulic lime mortar with solid stone lintels.  The pitched roof is finished in slate tiles and galvanized gutters and downpipes.  Garden walls are Cotswold dry stone walls with traditional upright top row.

Material detailing.

The internal design of the house is reflected in the elevations. Generous fenestration offers full-height openings. Good size timber framed double glazed openings provide good daylight to the interior as well as outstanding views to the outside.

Living room – full height double glazed openings.

The natural characteristics of the selected materials; oak, Bath stone, slate and well designed detailing  define the appearance of the house, blending contemporary design with traditional form.

SUSD has now begun working on the final phase of the project – more information to follow shortly.

15.09.10 / Harry

Pride and Prejudice in the High Street Aesthetic?

Along with many, many others I am deeply concerned about the deterioration of the quality of the local retail offer within towns in the UK and the insipid aesthetic that has grown like Japanese Knotweed over our high streets. The position of a local retail operator within a community cannot be underestimated, in my opinion. A strong sense of belonging is developed from just being recognised by your local shopkeeper, and the transaction between local independent retailer and a local resident has so much more significance than just using a swipe credit card, interestingly first marketed as a ‘contactless’ card. ‘

What’s on offer on the local high street is becoming too predictable and inclined toward poorly designed generic brands purely because they pay more and make more money. The independent retailer cannot compete and needs support from the community. What’s good for the community should not be judged solely on the basis of what will attract the most money. A successful community relies upon contact and relationships being formed with the retailers supplying it rather than the ‘contactless’ offer from supermarkets and the national brands occupying the High Street. This is’having a dramatic effect on our eating habits and our diets, simply because of what is on offer or made available to us by the supermarkets.

A very interesting article appeared in the Guardian yesterday about a small town taking action against a major brand occupying a High Street shop. Its interesting that the paper chose to put forward the premise that the resistance to a major branded bar was founded on snobbery rather than strong local identity and a strong interest in good quality design and retail offer.

www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/sep/13/lymington-rejects-wetherspoons-pub

06.07.10 / Harry

Building 4 Change

SUSD’s environmentally sound development, Highwood Court has been featured on the new Building research Establishment BRE sponsored online magazine/ knowledge hub Building4Change, follow the link http://www.building4change.com/page.jsp?id=425 to read the article.

Building4Change is dedicated to sustainability issues in the built environment.

20.05.10 / dionne

Evening Standard New Homes Awards

Highwood Court won a special commendation at the London Evening Standard New Homes awards on Friday. Excellent news!

17.05.10 / Harry

Step On!

This is one of those “why has no-one ever thought of this before” moments! The pavegen system harvests kinetic energy from footfall and stores electrical energy in a battery for low-power use. I think its genius and love the concept, imagine the amount of energy that could be harvested from the 200 million annual visitors to Oxford Street alone.

Visit the pavegen site at www.pavegensystems.com and take a look at the article in the Observer at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/16/laurence-kemball-cooks-ethical-pavegen