Citydesigner’s approach is founded on principles of design excellence and the knowledge that all can benefit from its achievement in the built and ever-changing historic environment. The belief that architectural integrity and visual harmony can provide positive support to humanity and the wider harmony of society is reflected in our belief that the less good historic buildings should yield to contemporary replacements of integrity and high quality, rather than retained fragments.
We specialise in giving expert advice on:
Heritage / Townscape / Visual Assessment / Design Collaboration / Expert Witness / Environmental Statements
We advise development teams in the UK and Ireland. Click here to see testimonials from some of our collaborators. Based in London and Brighton, we apply our expertise on small and large development schemes seeking planning permission and listed building consent, where sensitive environments, World Heritage Sites, designated views, listed buildings, conservation areas and registered parks and gardens may be affected. From helping choose the architect and providing design assessments, to interpreting consultation responses or giving a confidential peer review of projects at an interim stage of design, the consultancy provides a unique and comprehensive service focused on supporting appropriate interventions within the historic environment at planning stage.
We collaborate with architects throughout the design process, provide regular assessments of developing designs and strategic advice on projects, and assist landowners and investors in achieving optimum returns through high quality design in the context of sensitive environments. We pride ourselves in the skill of design collaboration working alongside architects fluently without diminishing their central role. We are well known in the planning, architecture, planning QC, and visualisation worlds for honing these skills to a unique level. We see value in combining in a single document the heritage, townscape and visual assessments.
We also provide strategic advice on the presentation of development schemes to national and local organisations, authorities and interest groups, bearing in mind that different forms of presentation are generally needed for each situation.
What sets us apart is that our written work is concise and proportionate such that our reports are fluent, focused, well-illustrated and enjoyable to read. Being deeply involved in the design process, we are also aware of the consequence of different options for schemes and are proactive in helping to develop strong arguments for a particular approach, in collaboration with the architects.
One of our earliest commissions was the Gherkin, in fact the first UK urban scheme to require an Environmental Statement. We played a major role in the conceptual design of the building. Since then we have advised on over 900 schemes both large and small. We have also assisted two administrations of the Greater London Authority to initiate, develop and review the London View Management Framework. We have assisted the VuCity team to develop their views platform, providing constructive feedback at the early stages of the software’s development. We hold a London license inhouse to do preliminary tests of the implications of height and massing on selected views using VuCity’s software as part of preliminary studies of the scheme.
We have experience of collaborating with the UK’s and Ireland’s most skilful architects for the most prestigious of clients from the Duchy of Lancaster to Vatican Properties, Surveyor of St Paul’s Cathedral, The Mayor of London, BBC, Royal College of Art, Land Securities, British Land, U&I, Londonewcastle, Aberdeen Standard Life, Ronan Group Real Estate, Irish Life Assurance Plc, Irish Electricity Supply Board and many others. The consultancy has developed a unique method of design assessment and analysis where a certain level of subjectivity is objectified, and the high quality of architectural proposals is clearly identified.