Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The future of design review

Forty per cent of the commercial, housing and other development schemes whose designs were reviewed in 2009-10 by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) were in London, revealed Diane Haigh, CABE's design review director. "And the value of these schemes, when added up, was about £22 billion," said Haigh.

"Reviewing the design of these schemes cost 0.001 per cent of this total £22 billion," added Haigh, claiming that this was a tiny price to pay to make sure the designs of these huge schemes were successful. 

Thirty-nine per cent of the development schemes CABE reviewed that year were residential; 34% were commercial and 20% were civic, cultural and educational developments. Twenty-one out of 33 London boroughs received CABE reviews. Eleven boroughs run their own design review arrangements, according to research by Esther Kurland, director at Urban Design London.

Some schemes had multiple design reviews, even as many as four. "I think we reviewed Battersea Power Station six times," recalled Haigh. "Architect Rafael Vi├▒oly was very willing to be part of that dialogue and responded to our panel, robustly at times."

"Design review needs to be more of a process and a conversation," said Haigh, who has been involved in over 1,000 design reviews at CABE. "Schemes typically come back for a continuing discussion, and our stats show, 72 per cent come back improved after that first review."

Paul Coleman, London, March 2011

No comments: