Welcome to the second edition of Broadway Malyan’s Dispatches
Welcome from Chairman Stuart Rough
Welcome to the second edition of Dispatches, the new quarterly e-zine of global architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan which is designed to provide our clients and contacts with regular practice and project news.
Thank you to those of you who commented on the launch edition and our first piece of research, which looked at what kept UK-based developer professionals awake at night.
This quarter ‘The Caffeine Report’, as we’ve nicknamed it, looks at the retail sector in China and thank you to our clients and contacts who participated in the research, with a charitable donation made for each contribution.
This edition of Dispatches also reports on some of our recent news stories including ground breaking on our latest project for BP in the UK, the launch of Bhartiya City in India, completion of our largest shopping centre in China to date, the Lefo Mall Shopping Centre, and approval of our masterplan for Al Maryah Island in the UAE.
For us, Dispatches is more than just about one-way communication. It’s about creating a new platform for conversing and engaging with you through the market research and sharing insights and opinions.
Your engagement and feedback on our news and research will inform our decision-making, enhance our dialogue and strengthen our relationship.
Ultimately, it will enable us to improve the quality, range and reach of our services in response to your needs, reinforce our distinctive client focus as we grow in global reach and scale and support new and old clients in a rapidly changing marketplace – and develop our practice to be the best architectural, urbanism and design partner for your business.
Finally, some news just in, and I am pleased to inform you that the practice has been short-listed in the ‘International Practice of the Year’ category in the annual AJ100 awards, staged by leading UK architectural media title The Architects’ Journal. We look forward to the awards ceremony on 8th May in London, UK.
Practice invests £1.2m in design tools to enhance client services
Global Update from Managing Director Gary Whittle
Broadway Malyan and Autodesk, a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, have agreed a three-year strategic deal worth £1.2 million that will see Autodesk supporting our transition to a fully-integrated and cloud-based Building Information Modelling (BIM) strategy.
As part of our international growth strategy, which has seen us open three new offices and deliver projects in 41 countries in the last year, we are now investing in a new global approach that will enable our teams to pass on technological-driven efficiencies to clients and reinforce our distinctive client focus.
We will integrate the latest Autodesk BIM cloud technologies, including BIM 360™ Glue, a data-centric management system for building and infrastructure projects, into our global workflows, enabling us to simplify BIM co-ordination across global project teams.
BIM’s ability to drive enhanced coordination and design collaboration is a key benefit in our role as lead consultant on major global projects. It will also enable us to stay ahead of the pack, respond to client demand and the trend for more projects being delivered in BIM.
As part of the global agreement with Autodesk, we will receive a significant number of licences of the Autodesk® Building Design Suite, an integrated building design software portfolio, featuring BIM and CAD tools, a Global licence use agreement and 500 licences of Autodesk® Buzzsaw® data management and collaboration software.
It will also consolidate our use of Autodesk licences internationally, enabling us to optimise the use of licences, with access to the right licences at the right time anywhere in the world, facilitating a more flexible way of working and cohesive approach to global service delivery.
Moving on to other news, we are also continuing to invest in enhancing the skills, expertise and experience of our integrated team of diverse design experts, and this quarter Broadway Malyan has appointed Ernesto Zabarte to spearhead our ambitious growth plans in Southeast Asia’s retail sector and the delivery of retail-led and mixed-use new build and refurbishment projects in the region.
Ernesto has over 25 years’ experience in leading multi-disciplinary design teams on large-scale and complex projects including mixed-use schemes, retail centres, hotels, high-rise office and residential complexes in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.
This strategic appointment is a sign of our intent to accelerate the growth of our practice in Southeast Asia on the back of recent project wins and will reinforce our successful regional business strategy, which is seeing us firmly focused on targeting opportunities in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and The Philippines, where the fundamentals of the markets remain strong.
Ernesto brings a wealth of international experience to our Singapore-based team, he will add weight to our retail sector credentials in the Southeast Asia region and help our diverse team of expert architects, masterplanners and designers partner with clients to deliver world-class schemes and a return on design.
Please get in contact for more detail on these investments in our practice and our wider company plans and activities.
Tapping into global tourism trends
Expert View from Director Margarida Caldeira
In partnering with hotel owners and operators through feasibility studies, masterplans and designs, to help deliver on clients’ development ambitions and grow their businesses, our teams are encountering some distinct challenges but there is also plenty to be optimistic about.
With Brazil set to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 summer Olympics the government’s tourism body is currently supporting the expansion of hotel capacity. But as hotel owners and operators are turning to asset-light models, with properties run under retained management contracts or through franchisees, meaning development is dependent on franchisees’ and investors’ ability to raise finance, exponential increases in purchase and rental prices mean that money is more likely to be ploughed into residential schemes.
Despite Government-led initiatives to subsidise finance for hotel building, capital remains restricted and expensive with commercial banks often unwilling to finance hotel development. In addition, owners and operators face the challenges of complex zoning laws, burdensome taxes, weak logistics and high labour costs.
However, on the plus side Brazilians have never travelled so much, with the majority staying in the country, and this is helping to drive demand. Plus, with only one brand-affiliated hotel room for every 2,800 Brazilians, there is a huge opportunity for established brands in the longer-term, with some now acquiring the hotel portfolios of larger independent groups.
Like many emerging markets, China is witnessing a rapid increase in hotel development with over 500 hotel projects onsite and one global hotel chain even committing to opening a new hotel each month for the next three years.
This growth is driven by the government rather than the market, with most developers being state-appointed, along with the sites on which they build. Meanwhile, top tier hotel development is often driven by the government’s desire to raise the profile of a given city to attract further investment.
While the vast majority of schemes are part mixed-use developments, in an attempt to mitigate overall risk across a wider stream of revenue generators, the market is far from risk-free. Slowing economic growth, oversupply in some major markets, restrictive government oversight and a lack of skilled labour all pose challenges to development.
Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world and the number of people visiting southern Africa is projected to almost triple by 2030. Following the end of a 15-year long civil war in 1992, Mozambique is emerging as a middle-market tourism destination, with the country blessed with sandy beaches along its Indian Ocean coastline and large inland national parks.
With the support of international development agencies the government is working hard to develop the country’s hospitality sector into a major foreign exchange earner and its strategic plan to develop tourism has helped result in a surge of domestic and foreign investment into new tourist infrastructure.
But that infrastructure is still described as ‘challenging’, Mozambique has some way to go before it competes with its regional rivals, Kenya and Tanzania, in terms of visitor spend and even in the capital Maputo there are only a few established hotels, there is a dire lack of mid-market facilities and the luxury market is restricted.
India is becoming a prime tourist destination, with international tourism increasing year on year, and together with the country’s strong domestic tourism sector the market has huge potential for growth. Over 850 million trips were completed by Indians in 2012 and domestic demand is driving the growth in mid-market hotels. However, one of the biggest challenges faced by international hotel owners and operators is recruitment. Some are taking a twin-track approach of flying-in management expertise as well as developing a local skilled workforce through local training and even academy programmes.
Despite political unrest across the Middle East, many global operators have ambitious growth plans in the region, with good returns from room rates that remain higher than those in Europe. Despite the regional boom in hotel building over the past decade, occupancy rates in 2012 were above 80 per cent in the UAE’s two main destination cities, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the later continuing to grow as a global tourism hub. Similar rates were enjoyed by Mecca, Medina and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
What about the established markets in Europe? The fallout of the Eurozone crisis means that owners and operators with high room counts in Europe face a continued weakening of business. Many are targeting the majority of their growth in emerging markets and pursuing asset-light strategies, moving away from owning or leasing hotels towards franchising agreements and management contracts.
The UK and London in particular is expected to experience a so-called ‘hotel hangover’ as demand for rooms slackens following a construction boom in the build-up to the Olympic Games. Mid-market hotels are likely to be the most squeezed, faced with increasing completion from boutique operators such as pub inns as well as the budget sector, with the latter setting ambitious expansion plans.
Through a fresh and integrated approach to hotel and resort design and with a diverse offering of world-class services from feasibility studies, masterplanning and space planning, to architecture, landscape and interior design and branding, Broadway Malyan is actively partnering with owner and operator clients to address and overcome these opportunities and challenges.
Whether it is a business hotel or integrated resort, our expert team understands the drivers underpinning development and operation, the complexities and challenges of the market and we stick like glue to our clients’ priorities to help deliver commercially successful schemes that are well thought-out, efficient, enhance brands and ultimately secure a ‘return on design’.
We also understand the motivations of the end user and believe that hotel design is all about the experience, revolving around the creation of amazing, inspiring and memorable experiences for guests, whatever the reason for their stay.
Please get in touch to hear more about our projects, teams and how we can support your vision, growth plans and planned developments.
Practice’s Caffeine Report reveals China-based retail developers’ nightmares
Market Focus from Shanghai-based Director Jeremy Salmon
The continuing growth of online retail sales and corresponding threat to spend in physical retail malls appears to be the standout ‘nightmare’ for senior real estate developers in China.
That’s the headline of research commissioned by global architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan and entitled ‘The Caffeine Report’. The study marks the second quarterly research project into what keeps developers in different countries awake at night, as well as what helps them sleep more easily.
The fieldwork has been conducted by Ipsos MORI, a key part of the Ipsos Group, a leading global research company. A total of 24 telephone interviews were conducted in February and March with China-based development leaders and development-focused real estate and property professionals.
The research covers a range of topical issues and the extent to which industry professionals agree or disagree with each of the areas below (using a five point semantic scale – strongly agree, tend to agree, neither agree nor disagree, tend to disagree, strongly disagree).
‘Nightmares’ – issues that keep developers awake at night (% who agree: ‘strongly’ or ‘tend to’):
- The continuing growth of online retail sales and threat to spend in physical retail malls (83%)
- The lack of good market, demographics and consumer spend research to aid planning retail development in tier two, three and lower city locations (75%)
- The lack of new and differentiated consumer brands (63%)
- The increasing vacancy rates in shopping malls in tier two and three cities (63%)
- The broad slowdown in the economy and drawn-out ‘soft landing’ (58%)
- Current land policies and speculation driving valuations beyond realisable levels in the foreseeable future (58%)
Other concerns are the challenges posed by the move towards retail-led mixed-use development, away from the emphasis on residential-led schemes (54%), lack of understanding about the commercialisation and leasing infrastructure processes due to the lack of maturity of the retail industry (54%), slowing expansion plans on the part of luxury brands (50%) and residential ‘bubble’ and long term effect on the ability of Government to curb inflationary pressures across the property sector (42%).
‘Sweet dreams’ – issues that help developers sleep at night (% who agree: ‘strongly’ or ‘tend to’):
- The desire and even craving on the part of customers for new, innovative and enjoyable retail experiences (88%)
- The newly appointed next-generation Central Government’s commitment to the internal market and promotion of domestic consumption (83%)
- The continued focus on China on the part of international retailers and their associated expansion plans and general long-term commitment e.g. food and beverage chains (75%)
- The increasing creation of new Central Business Zones and supporting infrastructure by Local Government and associated sustainable development opportunities (67%)
- The pace of change and growth in home-grown brands and their move to premium locations (63%)
- The opportunities presented by the move towards retail-led mixed-use development (63%)
Other positives are the release of land by Local Government for urbanisation and development (46%) and the international growth potential of ‘brand China’ and knock-on boost in confidence for the home market (38%).
Respondents were also asked an open question about the common aspects of the China retail experience and evolving retail sectors in other emerging economies such as India and Brazil.
Similarities referenced include the huge potential afforded by the markets, their large populations, growing middle classes, strong desire for development and growing consumer demand, as well as the increasing economic strength, maturity and sophistication of consumers and brand awareness, and the opportunity for creativity in the face of increasing consumer expectation.
However, the uncertainties faced by major retailers considering inward investment were also mentioned as similarities, as were the disparities in consumption across regions and between cities within countries.
Differences highlighted included suggestions that China is witnessing faster increases in domestic consumption and market transparency, the country is more evolved in terms of infrastructure and transportation and benefits from greater demand for high-end and luxury goods, as well as family-centred consumption.
However, it was also suggested that faster development in China has resulted in the country seeing more substandard development, in terms of design and quality, as well as higher labour costs.
For each of the respondents who participated in the research the practice donated 500 Yuan (equivalent to circa £50 in GBP) to ‘Heart2HeartShanghai’, a charity that provides support and financial assistance to Chinese children who require heart surgery to repair their congenital heart defects.
Practice Director Jeremy Salmon said: “The principal concerns resonate with many markets across the world and the emphasis placed on the threat of online shopping is evidenced in China by the recent closure and market exit of some key international brands.
“The domestic market in China has come a long way very quickly and really evolved over the last three years. This represents a real challenge to all those in the industry and new marketing and commercial innovation is needed to reconnect income streams to real estate overheads.
“As designers we are committed to rising to the challenge by placing more emphasis on the creation of great places, diverse and mixed-use development and experience-driven and engaging environments for human enjoyment.
“Objective one must be to get customers to visit and visit again and once they have arrived to keep them as long as possible. That requires the right commercial approach supported by the right design and layout.
“That approach will make retail space distinctive from day one and keep it flexible enough to enable continual renewal and repositioning, without the expense of major overhaul or rebuild, to deliver authentic and fresh customer experiences and project coherent meaningful lifestyles.”
Please get in contact for more detail on our research, China-based services and project news.
MAJOR PROJECT NEWS
Major project news from Broadway Malyan
Construction starts on practice’s latest project for BP
BP’s new Upstream Learning Centre, designed by Broadway Malyan, has started construction in Sunbury, UK. The Centre will provide a 4,000 square metre learning environment for BP’s employees and is to be built by BAM Construct.
The project, located at BP’s International Centre for Business and Technology in Sunbury, follows previous completed office schemes designed by Broadway Malyan for BP in the UK over a 20 year period – including the regeneration of the 45,000 square metre Sunbury campus, a new Link Building on the same site, as well as the fit out of BP’s Stockley Park offices near Heathrow.
The practice’s integrated team comprises a diverse mix of education, workplace, interior, branding and landscape architects and design experts, which is building on the work of masterplanning and town planning colleagues. The scheme draws on expertise from the practice’s offices in Reading, London and Weybridge, UK.
The Learning Centre will include classrooms and informal settings and has been laid out around a large double height collaborative space which is designed to connect into the wider campus and foster open and comfortable interaction and informal learning by BP’s employees.
Practice plays major role on new city launched in India
A new city spanning 125 acres in North Bangalore, India, has been launched by real estate and infrastructure development company Bhartiya Urban, part of the Bhartiya Group, with major input from Broadway Malyan.
Bhartiya City is the single largest urban development within the limits of any Indian metropolitan area and will provide a fully-integrated mix of residential, retail, hospitality and Special Economic Zone uses, as well school, healthcare and sports facilities, making it the first of its kind in India.
The practice’s wide ranging brief in support of precincts two and three covers the delivery of the architectural concept and schematic design, retail interior design, landscape design and public realm strategy. The two precincts comprise of 460,000 square metres of mixed-use development over basement parking and feature six office towers, three hotels, a convention centre, shopping centre, cinema, park and major landscaped areas, as well as Celebration Square, a public performance area that will accommodate 5,000 people.
The practice’s appointment also covers the concept residential design for precinct one, comprising 2,400 residential units, as well as place-making, branding, marketing collateral, graphics and way-finding for the entire city.
Chairman Stuart Rough said: “This project launch is a major chapter for our practice in India, where we opened a permanent office in 2011, and it is testament to our integrated and world-class team of diverse design experts working in close partnership with our visionary client, across a wide range of sector disciplines, to create an inspirational place that will improve the quality of life for many.”
Practice’s largest retail centre in China opens its doors
The Lefo Mall Shopping Centre has opened its doors to the public in Suzhou, in Jiangsu Province Eastern China, with the scheme being the largest retail project to be built to a design by Broadway Malyan in China to date.
The design for the 65,000 square metre destination mall, located at the heart of Suzhou’s new Wuzhong Central Business District, was delivered for client Suzhou Zhongrun Real Estate Ltd, part of Zhongrun Resources Investment Corporation. It sets a new benchmark for commercial development in the region and targets young and design-conscious customers.
The practice delivered a wide range of services, from concept design through to site services and including interior and landscape architecture and branding / environmental graphics design. The design was led by the practice’s Shanghai-based team, drawing on the world-class retail and retail branding expertise of its teams in Europe and Singapore.
The design takes inspiration form the city’s canals, bridges and gardens with Suzhou known as the ‘Venice of the East’. Natural elements such as water shape the design, with the feeling of ripples and pools flowing through the space and the inclusion of curved balustrade details.
Primary void spaces are designed with organic forms to soften and bring identity to key spaces. Bridges and pools have been designed within the floorscape to create seating areas, while bespoke furniture has been constructed from natural local materials. The landscape design reinforces the concept by using the existing canal edge and including new water features, land bridges, bench seating and planting areas.
Director Jeremy Salmon said: “The successful delivery of the scheme is testament to our world-class and integrated team of diverse architectural, interior, public realm, landscaping and branding design experts working in close partnership with the client, with the resultant mall reflecting both international design best practice and the natural beauty of Suzhou.”
Green light for practice’s Al Maryah Island masterplan
The concept masterplan for Al Maryah Island (formerly Sowwah Island), recently renamed by the Abu Dhabi Municipality in recognition of its economic and historical importance and geographic location, has been approved.
The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) has approved the plan, which covers over 3.5 million sqm of mixed-use development across commercial, residential, retail, hospitality and community uses, and will become the center of Abu Dhabi’s New Central Business District. Al Maryah Island occupies a unique location at a midpoint between Mina Zayed, the upcoming developments at Al Reem Island and the new cultural district of Saadiyat Island.
The practice’s Abu Dhabi-based team has led the scheme since 2009, providing a full range of masterplanning, public realm, architecture and landscape design services, as well as sustainability consultancy, as lead consultant and part project manager to client the Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure (MREI), a business unit of Mubadala Development Company.
Director James Rayner said: “The green light for the concept masterplan is a major milestone in the creation of this huge new mixed-use development, with the success testament to close partnering with the client and the world-class skills, expertise and experience of our global masterplanning experts, as well as their understanding of critical factors such as local climate and culture.”
The practice will now target new appointments to support the delivery of the next stages of the scheme, and deliver detailed masterplans for phases one to four of the scheme, also for MREI, with the plans set to be submitted for planning approval in the near-future.
Practice in key role as £100m London housing scheme advances
Planning permission has been granted by the London Borough of Bexley, subject to Greater London Authority (GLA) and legal approval, to transform a high-rise estate in Erith, London, UK, into a new community of houses and low rise apartments for Orbit South.
The masterplan, detailed design for dwellings and landscape design have been delivered by the practice and once the demolition begins next year, seven tower blocks will be torn down and replaced with around 620 low rise homes in the £100m regeneration project. It will include a mix of houses and low rise apartments for affordable rent, private sale and low cost home ownership.
The first phase of the scheme proposes building 66 homes for sale, 82 for shared ownership and 195 for rent to create a mixed community, with the first homes ready in early 2015. Open green space, including the Dell nature area, will also be improved.
The plan, partly funded by the GLA, is designed to completely regenerate the Larner Road area and the five year scheme represents one of the largest projects of its type in London.
Geoff Brocklehurst, Director of Architecture at Broadway Malyan, said: “The planning green light is a major milestone in the creation of a new family-friendly neighbourhood that will be safe, permeable and legible and is testament to our London-based team of design experts working in a close partnership with the client and wider project team.”