In January 2004 Axis Design were interviewed by the Coalville Partnership to undertake an Estate Masterplan for the redevelopment of the Coalville Estate, Stoke on Trent. A decade later members of the Coalville Partnership, Stoke-on-Trent Council officers and members, Compendium Living, Coalville Residents Association, Riverside and residents of the redevelopment now named Weston Heights came together on 23rd January to bury a time capsule containing drawings, public consultation papers, school project work, digital records and a few packets of sweets, scheduled to opened, and maybe eaten, in 2064.
Resident chair Ernie Clarke with Mike Menzies of Axis Design
It was a fitting culmination to our decade long relationship with the project, as we gathered in the new Neighbourhood Park originally conceived by Tony Goodall as he sketched up the first Masterplan ideas over Christmas 2003. Tony, a local lad, was born in Meir about a mile down the River Blythe from the new park which now has a commemorative wall bearing his name and those of other local residents, officers, friends and relatives.
Robert Flello, local MP, gave the regeneration team a ringing endorsement when he said:
“Weston Heights is the most successful regeneration partnership project in Stoke-on-Trent”
Axis Design joined the team of Architects for Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT) in 2009. Since then we’ve worked on a number of sites, 5 of which are now complete. This important work to deliver quality homes for Birmingham City Council continues and we’ve had a busy few months working on several new sites. As things stand, we currently have 2 sites which have been submitted for planning approval (image below right) and we have recently gained planning permission for a scheme in Bartley Green. Additionally, work is underway on a site in Sheldon and we recently attended the official opening event for 27 new homes we designed at Pype Hayes.
The homes at Pype Hayes have been a particularly interesting project for us. Back in 1989, Axis were appointed in an advisory capacity to the Pype Hayes Steering Group. Pype Hayes was an estate of over 1300 Boswell homes built in the 1930’s, but the buildings were designated defective and local residents formed a steering group in order to have control over the changes to the estate that were so desperately needed. Our involvement with the steering group led to our appointment as Masterplanners and Concept Architects for the wider masterplan of the entire estate.
Our involvement with the Pype Hayes resident group continued and the final phases of the development of the estate was to be delivered under BMHT. Serendipitously for us, we had already been appointed to the architect’s framework for BMHT and the design of 27 individual homes which would form the final phase of the development fell to us. We were able to call on 20 years experience of working on the estate – we know the area well, we know the residents, and we were able to apply our experience of social housing design to ensure high quality homes for the final group of new residents.
It was a pleasure for us to work with the residents group again – they saw us as old friends thanks to our one-to-one work with them previously. Working closely with them, assisted by Waterloo Housing Association and supported by Birmingham City Housing Department throughout the last couple of decades means we have helped deliver a successful transformation on the estate. Retaining an involvement for 23 years makes this our longest running project since Axis Design was formed 30 years ago.
A key handover event was held at the end of September 2012 to celebrate the success of the project, to recognise the hard work and dedication of the residents steering group, and to mark the completion of this last phase of works. The final 27 homes were delivered by Keepmoat Homes on behalf of BMHT in a process overseen by Capita Symonds. The photo (above left) shows representatives from the Pype Hayes residents group with Councillor Tahir Ali (3rd from left) at the key handover event last month.
Over 50 local residents and community representatives came along to the public consultation event held in Ladywood last month for the latest Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT) scheme we’ve been working on.
We have developed 3D models in BIM which allowed residents to take them on virtual journey through the proposals, giving them a clear idea of how the area will look when the development is complete. Sharing these drawings and models prompted comments and feedback which form a valuable part of the design process prior to the submission of a planning application. We also created a dedicated website which will help us keep local residents informed of the project’s progress.
Care of Podnosh, have a listen to Brandwood End Resident’s Group Chairman, Steve Walters, and other residents talk about the history of the Brandwood End housing project in Kings Heath, Birmingham:
Urban Vision North Staffordshire along with RIBA West Midlands recently asked us to be part of an event dedicated to Neighbourhood Planning. The event brought together representatives from four community groups based in Staffordshire with Architects who specialise in community engagement to help them in the early stages of their Neighbourhood Plan.
Rob went along armed with aerial photographs and a pile of blank Proboscis storycubes and stickynotes. He worked with the community group from the Burslem area of Stoke-on-Trent and was able to update the dedicated StickyRoom as conversation was taking place. Community representatives are being encouraged to use the StickyRoom after the event to allow dialogue to continue.
blurtonvision.co.uk needs your help… the new web site allows anyone who wants to take part in creating news about the neighbourhood to tell a story.
You could write something, take pictures or videos or even just use your mobile to send text messages. We’d like to hear from any residents in Blurton Farm, Newstead or Old Blurton who’d like to help us keep everyone in touch with the latest news and events from around the community.
Get in touch with Rob Annable at Axis Design architects if you’d like to take part…
After months of intensive collaboration with software developers Slider Studio, we can now announce the launch of our latest development in community consultation innovation. On behalf of Birmingham City Council and Urban Living we’ve created a 3D software platform for the Lozells neighbourhood that allows residents to see the latest proposals for the area by the city’s urban design team; then send feedback and chat with other residents and project team members.
The options can be viewed from above or from street level with the ability to switch between proposals from any point, helping the viewer make comparisons. It can be used both as an offline tool at venues without an internet connection and also online from home, outside of the usual time/location constraints for consultation events. The online option allows us to update the proposals as the project progresses and demonstrate the impact of the feedback we receive. Hopefully this project will provide a platform that Birmingham City Council can continue to deploy in future projects, commissioning 3D information to use in the software and for the creation of rapid protoyped models to use at public events.
Visit the project web site and download the software at: http://vision-lozells.org
*UPDATE: You can also see video footage of the software being used for the first time at a recent event by visiting the Lozells News web site. *
Works is progressing well with phase 2 of the ecoterrace project and like the previous properties we’ll be taking part in some open days for the public. Come along and visit us!
107/109 London Road,
Newcastle Under Lyme,
- 7th March 10am-2pm
- 14th March 10am-2pm
4/6 Victoria Street,
Newcastle Under Lyme,
- 18 April 10am -2pm
- 25 April 10 am -2pm
Kings Heath, Birmingham 2001—present
A 1950’s estate of some 250 Smiths houses being redeveloped in association with Waterloo Housing Association, Birmingham City Council and the local resident’s Estate Development Group.
The new homes are being built in phases and the brief is quite simply to recreate the Arts & Crafts residential and environmental qualities of Bournville Village within modern social housing regulations.
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Normacot, Stoke on Trent, 2005—present
Axis Design were appointed by Beth Johnson Group to undertake a consultation and masterplanning role for General Renewal Area of approximately 200 households.
Alongside the standard methods of enquiry we provided a basic web site using ‘off-the-shelf’ IT solutions to enhance the reach of the consultation process.
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