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Client:  Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, Iraq

Collaborators: Dar Al-Imara, Baghdad

Description:

As part of our work on the urban renewal plan we prepared a number of pilot projects for Kufa City Centre.  One of the earliest mosques in Islam is located in Kufa – the Great Mosque dating from the 7th century.

The work formed as part of the detailed studies for the project and presented in a separate volume of wall display sheets for public consultation.

There were two key pilot projects to demonstrate how new housing could be implemented, in addition to the renewal of housing with the city centre which was designated as a conservation area.

The housing sites within the city centre were chosen to be relatively small interventions, chiefly here better access was required and the urban fabric could be then repaired. The new subdivisions respected the existing pattern of plots.


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Project:  Chhattisgarh Capital City Residential Design

Client:  Chhattisgarh Capital Project Administration

Acknowledgments: Barbara Hartley at WS Atkins International & Co

Description:

We were asked to prepare a full master plan with detailed studies for the state government of Chhattisgarh.   This built upon our earlier work in this limited competition and focussed on preparing an urban structure plan supported by local planning studies.

Our urban structure plan was based on a flexible grid arrangement adapted to the topography of the designated area.  It provided a central business district and administrative quarter linked by a light rail system to Raipur, as well as an upgraded regional road structure.

We prepared detailed studies for the proposed residential districts of the new city based on a sector and neighbourhood structure.  Particular care was taken to integrate the various forms of slow-moving transport on Indian roads, and to provide a focal point for each neighbourhood.


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Project:  Kut City Master Plan Pilot Projects

Client:  Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works and Wasit Provincial Council, Iraq

Collaborators: Iraqi Planners Group

Description:

The new master plan for the provincial capital of Kut was a comprehensive commission with Iraqi associates and was undertaken in six phases. In order to demonstrate how the master plan could be implemented, a series of detailed studies were requested.  These covered key sites for which the client wanted specific and inspirational proposals.

The work formed as part of the detailed studies for the project and presented in a separate volume of wall display sheets for public consultation.

There were two key pilot projects to demonstrate how new housing could be implemented, in addition to the renewal of housing with the city centre which was designated as a conservation area.

The housing sites within the city centre were chosen to be relatively small interventions, chiefly here better access was required and the urban fabric could be then repaired. The new subdivisions respected the existing pattern of plots.

Pilot projects were commissioned for key sites in the new master plan.  These included expansion of the university, a new business quarter and a cultural centre, as well as sites for 5-star hotels and new housing.

In addition, we prepared proposals in a variety of media for waterfront sites to be transformed into public parks, including a major regional park for the province and for a Botanic Garden serving the region.


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Project:  Former Baliol School Site Master Plan

Client:  Confidential

Description:

We were commissioned to prepare a master plan and detailed proposals for a former special school site on the edge of Sedbergh.  This was a site identified for business and allied development in the local plan.

The former school building is of historic interest, but internal changes over the years has meant it was not considered for listing by Historic England. Nevertheless, our clients wanted to retain the building and make the best use for it as apartments.

We carried out extensive historic research into the building and its owners to inform our proposals. The former Baliol special school was operated by North Yorkshire County Council until it was moved to a new site near Harrogate making the building and grounds redundant. 

The house was built by Herbert Newsome Baxter in 1897 who saw service as a soldier in the Boer War and WWI before he lived in Canada and was died in Winnipeg.

We studied conversion of the house into several options for apartments, including the handling of car parking on the wooded site.  A new building was designed to help create a courtyard with the existing house.

The former playing field alongside the site entrance was found to be ideal for a 36-room special care home which is considered highly desirable for the town.


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Project:  Nasiriyah Euphrates Waterfront Detailed Study, Iraq

Client:  Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, Iraq

Collaborators: Iraqi Planners Group

We were asked to carry out detailed studies as part of the major Nasiriyah City Master Plan, including the Euphrates waterfront.  These studies included planning policies that expanded on master plan policies at the strategic level and proposals for key development projects.

The Euphrates River is Nasiriyah’s most important natural feature and provides the city with enormous potential.  The Master Plan proposes that the whole of the river frontage should be fully accessible as part of the public realm, and that no part should be in private ownership.  Cultural, leisure and commercial activities have been integrated along a waterfront pedestrian route.

The purpose of the detailed study was to provide a development framework to ensure a comprehensive approach to the regeneration of the waterfront and to secure the highest design quality.  We applied our master plan policies to coordinate public realm and infrastructure improvements with investment.

For the most part this can be achieved naturally by means of appropriate soft landscaping along the corniche and waterfront parks extending the greenway theme of the overall city master plan.

We identified a number of development sites linked by a linear parkway along both sides of the river with landscaped car parking areas at regular and convenient locations.  Urban design proposals were provided for these sites supported by artistic illustrations of how we envisaged them.


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Project:  Morecambe Urban Design Appraisal

Client:  Lancaster City Council

Description:

Morecambe is a much-loved seaside town which is being regenerated under the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Townscape Heritage Initiative. We were commissioned by the City Council to produce a set of urban design visualisations to support their successful bid for Stage 2 HLF funding. This involved carrying out an urban design appraisal of the study area.

We carried out a series of urban design appraisals in order to understand how the study area related to its urban context. The key studies were Legibility and Visual Analysis or Townscape for which we employed the classic techniques of Kevin Lynch and Gordon Cullen, respectively. 

The latter included a serial vision sequence and identification of features that contributed to the distinctiveness of ‘place’, such as enclosed areas with ‘ambience’ and particular views.

Having understood the structure and identified issues with the urban fabric we were able to prepare an urban design concept.  This formed the basis for our visualisations of opportunities for public realm improvement in the conservation area.


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Project: Al Barza Omani Resort

Client: Confidential

Description:

This special Resort is based around a first class, low-rise resort hotel and associated facilities.  It was designed to respect and reflect traditional Omani buildings – both exterior and interiors – and to introduce the various distinctive geographical regions of Oman and their traditions.

The Resort will provide a unique destination of regional importance that will also encourage visitors to stay in other places throughout Oman.

It has been designed to accommodate tourist vacationers, business travellers and day visitors.  The facilities will include a main resort hotel with a separate complex of suites, and resort villas.

There will be speciality restaurants, guest lounges and atrium space, external terraces, restaurants, and coffee shops. In addition, there is a function/conference area/meeting rooms, a health/gym club, a holistic spa, and retail outlets. 

Of particular importance is a heritage centre with artisans craft school and souk, and an equestrian/camel riding centre.

The Resort is set in landscaped grounds with trails, lawn areas, pools and shade structures laid out and designed to reflect traditional Omani styles.

Our 3D software was used to visualise the Resort and its facilities based on procedural modelling for the various buildings within their setting.


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Project: Nungwi Views Resort Master Plan

Client: Confidential

Description:

This project was conceived as a superior residential beachfront community with a range of leisure and recreational facilities.  These offer a range of different experiences for residents and day visitors.

The project is intended to be a unique destination for East Africa.  It will reflect the region’s great architectural heritage and its trading traditions.

The accommodation is a mix of private villas and apartments in a landscaped setting. The main buildings reflect local architectural heritage with balconies and verandas, surrounded by native planting. 

The centre of the Resort is marked by 3 and 4/5-storey residential/commercial buildings grouped to frame a small harbour around which a promenade stretches. It has harbourside restaurants, cafes and shops. 

The beach area will be accessed from the promenade and walkway running the length of the resort frontage. Visitors will be able to swim and dive or go fishing alongside a pleasure pier. 


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Project: Nasiriyah Master Plan

Client: Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, Baghdad

Collaborators: Iraqi Planners Group

Description:

We were commissioned to prepare a new master plan for Nasiriyah city, the provincial capital of Dhi Qar in the south of Iraq.  It was produced over six linked phases that together served to provide a sound procedure for future planning. Nasiriyah’s population is projected to grow to 839,500 in 30 years. 

Preparation of the final master plan was the culmination of a comprehensive planning process stretching over six phases and many months of effort.  Central to our studies was the desire to repair the damage inflicted on the city in recent decades and to achieve a sustainable and robust city form for future generations.

Our work produced an overall development strategy in the form of an Urban Development Framework and the City Master Plan itself.  The latter consisted of a systematic description of the various land uses and supporting infrastructure for which a set of policies and proposals was produced.   

Avoidance of large-scale road construction and the introduction of a tramway system were recommended as part of moving towards a sustainable city for the future.  Nasiriyah is close to the ancient city of Ur which even today attracts international visitors. A conservation area was recommended for the historic core as part of positioning the city to exploit future tourism potential. 

Implementation of the City Master Plan was envisaged in several phases guided by a set of zoning regulations modelled on contemporary international practice. We explained how the various levels of plan-making should be carried out and also recommended how best to restructure the planning administration of Nasiriyah to respond to the new era of urban planning being introduced by the new Master Plan.


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Project: Yenkit Resort Community, Oman

Client: Yenkit Tourism Development LLC

Description:

We were commissioned to prepare a detailed master plan and urban design proposals for a major new resort community.  This was located in a tourism development area being encouraged by the government in pursuit of the ‘Vision 2020’ long term development plan.

Our work consisted of detailed site planning and visualization of a comprehensive community incorporating a town centre together with major 5-star hotels, apartments and villas, a championship golf course and community and tourist facilities.

The community was envisaged as a model resort based on principles of sustainable development and sound urban planning.  It sought to embrace Omani heritage and environment in order to fulfil cultural aspirations.  Our designs sought to build upon the great Arabic Islamic heritage while adding new influences from historic European and American sources.

The resort housing took a variety of forms inspired by the architecture of Omani jebel villages, the historic Islamic towns of Spain and Portugal as well as the Andalusian-style developments in California.