Development as art
The birth of radicalThis is our development philosophy and manifesto. It's a description of our own approach to development, informed by our experience of both architecture and development.
We make development like others might make art. We care passionately about what we make. The market needs inspiration to make products that will retain value.
We don't design to meet targets. Rather, we make housing for discerning buyers - people who, given the low quality of new housing stock on the market, currently lack choice. We think of them as collectors, who need to be provided with well-designed products that are not currently available. In meeting the demand to house more people, it is crucial that opportunities are taken to develop excellent residential homes. Solidspace is responding to that challenge.
Ours is a radical proposition. We have developed the talent and expertise to make beautiful buildings - development as art - and have an abiding interest in the hand-made, the individual and the bespoke. It is our belief that quality will always be recognised and desired.
Residential architecture gains a new spiritThe housing industry needs to change. In these uncertain economic times, we can no longer expect poorly-designed homes to sell, merely because they fill a gap in the market. Witness the new-build urban apartments developed to satisfy the buy-to-let market now filling auction salerooms.
The reason why we believe in our future is that we build for people - thinking home-owners who care about design and the environment. There is a substantial group of home-buyers who want bespoke, intelligent, good-looking pieces of architecture that retain their cultural and financial value over time.
We take the long view. Our buildings will endure to become the heritage of the future. In fact, we are confident that our homes will gain and maintain their prices, despite these recessionary times.
This is not just rhetoric. We have looked at how other industries respond to their customers. From cars to catering, fashion to furniture - all of these industries have changed, and have created business models that offer choice and don't patronise their customers. They treat customers as they want to be treated.
The housing industry has lagged behind. It still works to the old paternalistic premise: that the public gets what it is given. Solidspace believes that, at this point, the public are ahead of the house-building industry. We are committed to meeting the demands of this new generation of buyers, and we are confident that our approach will help to change the industry for the better.
Excellent developmentSolidspace wants to create excellent residential buildings that express our values.
We propose a new housing typology that responds to our 21st century way of living. We do this in a number of ways: bespoke development projects on our own or customer's sites all offering the Solidspace product - the building's internal structure which can be wrapped to fit the occupants' desired image.
We use a collaborative management process that brings together architects, suppliers, craftspeople, visionaries, surveyors, consultants and specialists. Each development is the result of integrated teamwork. We are progressive, responsive and accountable. This process reduces risk and improves profitability.
Our role is to act as creative director, leading our developments and contracting expertise at every level. We project manage by directing a pool of skill and talent. Our buildings respond to locality and the demands of each site.
Creating our marketThe marketplace has changed - permanently. Many developers do not yet understand that shift.
Solidspace believes that the paradigm of speculative building has to turn. We believe that customers' tastes have been underestimated by the volume of developers. There is a new generation of architecturally-aware home-buyers who want freshness, excitement, innovation. Solidspace offers buildings that display a high degree of thought: homes that are inspiring, accessible and fulfilling. Our homes anticipate and answer customers' questions.
Design drives the product. Solidspace offers the kind of home that the new consumer can trust. Customers are hungry for new ideas and have been sold short; they wish to exercise their taste, as they do elsewhere in life.
The public interest in residential architecture has blossomed in the past decade. Solidspace developments are a response to this sophistication. We understand customers' needs for quality and for sustainable, efficient buildings. We also understand their desire for surprise, drama and originality. These are people who notice the difference between the handmade, the crafted, and the indifference of the volume developments built solely for the bottom line.
Lifting the spiritSolidspace believes that homes should raise the spirits of their inhabitants.
We think that when you awake, your home should uplift you with its light, volume and space. Therefore, Solidspace homes are designed to receive the maximum of natural light, and achieve a sense of space. They are not cramped, gloomy boxes.
Our homes are always built to enhance their neighbourhoods, to be indivisible from their locations. They are built to last, and made to acquire a sense of character. They provide the security for all the family as they grow together. They are homes for family memories.
Engaging social orderOur homes respond to the patterns and disciplines of modern life.
The terraced home arose as a housing response to the needs of Victorian family life. Similarly, Solidspace homes reflect the changed social order of our own era.
We are aware that domestic life has grown more complex. Therefore, we make homes that respond to the flexible needs of today's homebuyers. For example, we use the half-level section as a device to allow the extended family to live together, while retaining degrees of autonomy. Thought is always given to the differing needs of parents and children, and the requirements of working from home.
Our homes are designed to allow the balance of privacy and sociability. We design homes that encourage communal values. Work, play, leisure, retirement - Solidspace homes adapt to help support every life demand.
Using technologySolidspace homes are intelligent - mixing high-technology with the optimum use of natural resources.
Solidspace homes integrate function-driven technology - the white goods, the entertainment needs, the services - with the passive use of nature. Light, air, the daily orientation of the sun: our homes draw from natural benefits, and Solidspace designs to maximise them. We keep carbon usage down and efficiency up.
Solidspace homes don't baffle, or offer pretentious gimmicks. They behave as you wish them to behave - intuitively, intelligently, simply.
As with other well-designed technologies, our homes are easy to upgrade. We build them to last. Therefore, they are designed so that new features can be added.
Materials matterSensual, tough, tactile - our building materials are always right for the job.
The material specifications for Solidspace homes show the results of long research. They are durable. We know they age well, as we have tested them. They have also been chosen to have a low environmental impact and where possible, they have been recycled.
Moreover, these materials have been selected to work in the context of our homes.
They help build the specific character expected from a Solidspace home: and by the interplay of texture, colour and quality, they add immeasurably to the sense of architectural theatre.
Alluring architectureWe make architecture that combines the ingenuity of a railway couchette with the grandeur of a palatial reception room.
Solidspace makes small masterpieces of domestic architecture. Our homes are enjoyable, informal, flexible, surprising. They draw from a deep study of domestic traditions, and fit seamlessly into their contexts. They offer a sense of security, community, belonging. It is vital that they harmonise with their locations: Solidspace homes will always make a good fit. They take every advantage of the site, and anticipate the future. They look as if they have always been there.
The aim of gaining pleasure from the home is at the forefront of each Solidspace development. They are imaginatively-designed, elegant, and intimate: never poky, cramped, ungainly. Proportion, volume, and composition are vital in a Solidspace development. As with the best domestic architecture, each home offers its inhabitants a primed canvas upon which they can personalise their homes.