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successful regeneration begins with a strong sense of place

The last few years have encouraged us all to take a fresh look at the importance of home, and the role that design plays in creating community cohesion and supporting a sense of belonging and well-being.

shedkm have been working at the forefront of masterplanning and placemaking since our inception, with pioneering schemes such as Chimney Pot Park and Ten Streets, which demonstrated that social and commercial value can work in hand in hand. Creating desirable places in which people want to live, work and play, increases the economic viability of development and unlocks long-term commercial opportunity.

We work with the existing built and social fabric of a city, consolidating its inherent strengths and emotional connections and adding bold new interventions where they can best contribute to the reinvention of a rich and sustainable place. Every scheme we undertake is considered as a piece of the city, with the connections and spaces between as important as the individual buildings in expressing history, community and place.

Our current regeneration schemes in Digbeth, Brighton and Wandsworth work in a variety of ways to transform disused industrial landscapes into lively new communities with a mix of uses, plenty of sustainable ground floor activation, and flexible open space for social use. Our starting point for each of these is to analyse and understand the existing, historic grain of the place, working with that to ensure that our proposals can develop gradually and authentically, grafted on to the past whilst looking to the future.

digbeth – a new creative community built on birmingham’s industrial heritage

shedkm is working with developers Hub to masterplan this mixed-use scheme in Digbeth, Birmingham. The Bordesley Junction masterplan will breathe new life into the city’s disused central bus garage site and re-establish an industrious sense of place with a creative environment to attract diverse new talent.

Our masterplan takes its cue from the raw ingredients that make Digbeth special: the materials and textures, the existing heritage of the canal-side, and the amazing arches of nearby Liverpool Street.  Our ambition is to create a place that is as bold and vibrant as the buildings and population that has existed here since the 18th century. We have broken down a large site into a series of smaller plots to create a more intimate urban grain that opens up to the amenity of the canal. New high-quality homes will sit alongside creative workspaces and leisure facilities, to offer a rich and integrated mix of uses ground in an authentic ‘Digbethian’ landscape. Our design approach focusses on simplicity of form and material expression that stays true to the industrial character of the place, and bold, vibrant colour introduced for signature building elements.

Adjacent the Grand Union Canal, and a short walk from the Bull Ring, the waterside residential-led scheme will create a new eastern gateway to Digbeth and better north/south connectivity, mediating between the area’s existing historic conservation area and emerging development being driven by the arrival of HS2. Many of the area’s old warehouse buildings have already been repurposed by creative businesses. Our masterplans will help draw this cultural activity south beyond the Duddeston Viaduct, providing essential scale-up space to support their growth and development within a strong existing community.

circus street – enlightened, ambitious placemaking inspired by location

Circus Street is an ambitious mixed-use development inspired by Brighton’s unique location and rich mix of people, culture and creativity.  We have worked closely with developers U+I to regenerate a derelict area of Brighton, masterplanning the scheme, designing each plot from inception, and acting as design guardian through to its completion.

The scheme benchmarks enlightened urban development, creating a sustainable, productive and healthy new neighbourhood which builds on Brighton’s existing character to provide a catalyst for future innovation and creativity. Residential and commercial buildings sit alongside a new cultural building for South East Dance, in a masterplan which priorities public and social realm and the notion of community.

We wanted to create an intimate, permeable and human scaled masterplan that felt as if it had emerged organically from Brighton rather than having been imposed on it, with a tight urban grain inspired by Brighton’s original ‘laines’, dense parcels of agricultural land.

Architectural variety, contrast and detail all contribute to a rich yet coherent visual mix, a distinctive place identity to inspire those living and working there to contribute to a continuously evolving neighbourhood.

a landscape-led masterplan for a disused gasworks at wandsworth

Located between town and Thames, this disused gasworks in Wandsworth is a key strategic site, offering a unique opportunity to unlock future growth, connect current development, and help the Local Authority achieve its strategic ambition.

shedkm has worked extensively before with developer Steve Sanham, formerly at Urban Splash and Hub, sharing an approach to projects which create regenerative and social value and provide welcoming, engaging places for local people. Our masterplan creates two distinct zones to help mediate between the grain of Wandsworth’s historic residential areas and new and emerging development along the Thames.

A new sense of place will be created with a mix of uses integrated with revitalised public realm. Residential accommodation will offer a variety of tenures, including senior living and affordable housing and sit alongside a new riverside park, routes and planting. The former gasworks site will be repurposed into yards, makers workshops, and spaces for meanwhile uses, with an emphasis on music and events to create a vibrant atmosphere at ground level.

Aware of the site’s significance and complexity, we have adopted a uniquely collaborative approach to its design, consulting widely with the council and its stakeholders, and bringing in a range of expertise through a design charette and ideas competition.