Noel Isherwood

Case Study

The Princes Foundation Charlotte Rd, Shoreditch

The Poundbury Series Removing The Road Blocks

Poundbury continues to court both controversy and influence government policy in equal measure. From Manual to Streets to the Building Better, Building Beautiful commission (BBBBC) the impact of the development is considerable not only in the UK but internationally.  My curiosity as to its growing influence persuaded me to take up the role of Poundbury Representative for the Princes Foundation for Building Community. 

The images on this page will give you a visual impression of my time at the Foundation and of the wide ranging debate that was possible there. This experience brought about a re-evaluation of my own practice and understanding of the art of architecture and urban structuring, two subjects that still often remain divorced from each other in the delivery of new developments today. Noel Isherwood Architects, seeks to re-unite architecture and the principles of sustainable urbanism as a unified, harmonic whole to benefit the future quality and value of your projects.

The Poundbury Series Structuring Settlements

Developing the Poundbury Series was one of the highlights of my time at the Foundation under the direction of senior design director Ben Bolgar. I was able to ask questions as to how and why such a reactionary project was enabled at a time when much of the architectural profession was looking the other way. How did they get away with the counter-intuitive zero traffic markings; how did they manage to deliver mixed uses – such as pubs, surgeries, shops, offices and factory’s so that resident numbers and jobs numbers are equal? Were terminated vistas just a picturesque conceit or did it go deeper than that? The pictures here are from the Poundbury Series event ‘Removing the Roadblocks’ (above) followed by ‘Structuring Settlements’ (below). 

The seminal moment for me was in leading a Leon Krier Masterclass with the great man. You can see this moment recorded for posterity on the picture gallery below.

Taking Action

Your projects deserve ample consideration at the outset as to the principles you need to establish so as to get off on the right foot. The development of Poundbury was accompanied by a deep understanding of structuring new settlements and has been under constant refinement ever since. Your projects too can benefit from having a deeper understand of how good place-making principles will add significant value to your development. It is highly advisable to engage in this kind of thinking before you put pen to paper or start digging up the turf. 

Building better and building beautiful are not pie in the sky aspirations. Certain principles when applied will ensure the desirability of the places you produce for future occupiers. This in turn produces satisfied customers which positively affects future value all round.

Don’t leave consideration of these ideas till its too late to stop the bandwagon of development. Contact us for an initial discussion and if you feel this approach is for you a consultation can be arranged to evaluate your principles and to adjust them where appropriate to get the most of of your next project.

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