We are often asked by our clients how we can add ‘value’ on a new project….and as anyone in construction knows ‘value’ can have very different meanings to different stakeholders. To owner occupier clients it might mean an improved working environment for staff, to a planning committee it might be measured in aesthetics or the creation of new employment opportunities and to the agency team it could translate to increased rental values and positive tenant interest. As architects we need to understand all of these drivers and ambitions and be able to translate them in to a deliverable and sustainable product…..a building.
This question of quantifying value and measuring success is even more challenging when undertaking complex urban regeneration exercises and the design team is challenged with creating entirely new environments; or Placemaking as the current fashion demands. Unfortunately, however, Placelessness is just as common in many new developments and has become so accepted and such second nature that it is actually hard to think about what it might actually take to make a building or streetscape that’s appealing and that feels as if it belongs.