UK architecture centres confirm findings of practice’s research on Design Review / by rachel

Fresh comments from the heads of regional architecture centres in the UK confirm the findings of research by global architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan for a noticeable shift in the perceived value of Design Review. In September 2012, Broadway Malyan published research that two-thirds of developers and development-focused property professionals view Design Review as important.

Now, the heads of MADE and OPUN (the architecture centres for the West and East Midlands respectively) are quoted in Building Design magazine confirming that developers have become the biggest commissioners of Design Reviews and reporting the increase in appetite for Design Review.

Broadway Malyan Director Matt Brook said: “It’s positive and impressive to see developers stepping forward as the biggest commissioners of Design Reviews. In our experience, Design Review can be invaluable.

“It’s not just about highlighting the problems with poor quality schemes, rather, a rigorous internal and external process for ensuring the best possible product. For developers with strong designs external Design Review is also the most effective way to provide a planning committee with the confidence and evidence that a scheme meets the NPPF requirement for high quality of design.

“What’s more, recognition of the importance of collaboration in the Design Review process is spot on.  The key to successful Design Review is collaboration and early engagement. By submitting a scheme for review at an early stage a panel can help ensure that a clear and strong enough ‘big idea’ is outlined that will efficiently drive a scheme forward through design development, detailed design and implementation.

“Design Review works and it’s impressive to see that message getting through.”

The role and importance of Design Review is also set out in the National Planning Policy Framework which recognises that planning permission should be refused for development of poor design.

Broadway Malyan’s research was conducted by Ipsos MORI with 50 leading UK-based developers and development-focused real estate and property professionals. The research was published September 2012.

66% of developers viewed Design Review as important (50% fairly important and 16% very important). Meanwhile, 32% believed that it is not important (2% not at all important and 30% not very important).

Image – Broadway Malyan’s £80m scheme to transform the riverside Barons Quay development in Northwich, UK, recently approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Strategic Planning Committee.

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