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Best of Ted
May 13 / Design, Property

Best of TED: Magical houses, made of bamboo

Elora Hardy and her team in Bali create the most amazing homes out of Bamboo. A must watch TED Talk, she explains how they made such incredible buildings, incorporating amazing architecture and a process that involves making scale structural models out of the same material used to build the house.

Making serious engineering and art form, simply spend 10 minutes watching the video below and be inspired.

Best of Ted
May 3 / Design, Property

Best of TED: Bjarke Ingels architecture tales

Wonderful architecture tales are those that completely blow your mind. To see the final product itself is usually incredible enough. But when you hear the story of how a building came to be, the wonder becomes so much more.

Bjarke Ingels, a danish architect, gave a talk at TED Global in 2009 where he explained the process behind 3 projects he developed, and the incredible stories of how he used nature in every element of design. From using it for a project management process, all the way through to buildings that don’t just look like nature, but act like it too.

Take a short break and invest 18 minutes in watching this TED Talk – we’re certain it will be well worth it for the inspiration alone.

Did you like the CGI animations at the end of Bjarke’s video? Take a look at our video service and see if we can help you create similar.

Grand Designs
April 27 / Design, Property

How to appear on Grand Designs

Grand Designs has offered great viewing for property enthusiasts for over a decade now (in fact, we’re only 3 years from the 20th anniversary of the show). Each home that has been featured has been truly unique and often awe-inspiring. But have you ever wondered how you can have your home featured on the show?

If you are developing a new property, one that you yourself will end up living in – perhaps the dream build you have always wanted to create, or the world’s most sustainable building – then you can easily appear on the show. The process is rather simple.

Grand Designs is produced by Boundless Productions for Channel 4. So the first step is to stop emailing or tweeting at Channel 4 and instead bother Boundless Productions. Their email and phone number for enquiries about appearing are below. But first, read this checklist:

  1. Your project is a new residential build or significant (and they mean significant!) residential conversion.
  2. The project is truly unique or has interesting elements of design, materials used, construction techniques, location or the people involved (that’s your own story).
  3. Planning permission is in place – despite what you may have seen on the show in the past where featured couples haven’t exactly had this beforehand, you must.
  4. You are planning to live in the property yourself – sorry developers, maybe next time. However, previous shows have featured those building multiple properties but living in one of the homes.
  5. You agree to be filmed. Well… what else did you expect?

So, do you have a project coming up that is worthy of being featured on Grand Designs? The publicity is huge, and being featured can drastically increase the property value, so we thoroughly recommend it.

If so, just contact the production company by email: or by phone: 01494 733538.

Good luck – and let us know how you get on!

TED Talks Blog Post
April 14 / Design

Best of TED: Using nature’s genius in architecture

TED Talks are often inspirational, thought provoking and allow us to consider things in ways never before. With this in mind, TED Talks can be a powerful tool for architects to break new boundaries, using new technologies, out-there ideas and to charge their creative juices.

In our new blog series, ‘Best of TED’ we’ll share some of the great TED Talks we come across that will help inspire, excite and cause pause for thought. We’ll post these as and when we discover new talks, but if you’d like to see them more often, sign up to our newsletter as we’re sure to share them monthly on there too (sign up using the form below).

Our first Best of TED looks at using nature’s genius in architecture. This talk is by Michael Pawlyn, an architect who uses nature to inspire sustainable architectural environments. Watch the video below to see how he and his team manage this.


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March 29 / Design, Property

6 of the Best City Centre Office Developments in the UK

The UK is experiencing real growth in the property development industry at the moment. One sector where this growth is particularly high is office development.

Last year Deloitte Real Estate’s Crane Survey showed that a new wave of office construction was well underway in London alone. The capital saw a growth of 24% in the amount of space under construction for large-scale developments from late 2014 to mid-2015.

It’s not just London where this kind of development is high in demand. New office blocks are being planned up and down the UK and prospects don’t look like there’ll be drying up anytime soon.

Luckily for property enthusiasts like us, much of the office square footage currently being developed is a little out of the ordinary. We’ve gathered together 6 of the best city centre office developments for your perusal.

No.2 Capital Quarter, Cardiff

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No.2 Capital Quarter is an eye-catching seven-storey development right in the heart of Cardiff’s City Centre Enterprise Zone. We think the scale of this development is particularly impressive for a smaller city: it covers more than 85,000 square feet. It’s also designed to meet the technological and environmental needs of even the most discerning of business clients. The project was set for completion in late 2015 and was developed by award-winning team J R Smart.

More details available here.

11 York Street, Manchester

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11 York Street is currently a 1960s office building known as 40 Fountain Street. The team at Aberdeen Asset Management have put forward plans to transform it into a state-of-the-art uber modern new office development. This site is an interesting one as it sits on a traffic island. Architecture firm AHR are behind the stunning design of the redevelopment which includes a glass, stone and steel elevation and a fantastic double storey corner entrance we can’t wait to see. This development is still in the early stages and has no set completion date as yet.

More details available here.

Aldgate Tower, London

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Aldgate Tower is a truly modern skyscraper. It sits right in the centre of one of the capital’s most popular regeneration areas. This newly completed development has a range of features we think would make it ideal for an unbeatable corporate HQ. There are flexible floorplans and a huge range of interior facilities as well as panoramic city views, high-speed lifts and a large basement space. One of our favourite parts, however, is the brand new tube station entrance, built right at the front door! The project was developed by Aldgate Developments and designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects.

More details available here.

Paradise Circus, Birmingham

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If you’re on the hunt for a dramatic office development, there’s no need to look beyond Birmingham’s Paradise Circus development. This ongoing city centre project includes better road and pedestrian routes, new public spaces, and two new office developments. One Chamberlain Square has been designed by Ed Parry Architects and manages to honour its historic setting while still looking fantastically contemporary. Two Chamberlain Square was designed by Glenn Howell Architects and is strikingly modern. Both developments have ‘wow’ features we’re keen to draw attention to; number one has a roof terrace on the sixth floor and number two feels spectacularly bright and spacious thanks to floor to ceiling glazing. Both buildings are expected to be completed in 2018.

More details available here.

Broadway Two, Glasgow

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Titan Investors have set forward plans for a ten storey office development on the former city centre site of STV studios. Along with existing development Broadway One, Broadway Two will complete a full city block. In order to ensure the two developments sit well together, Cooper Cromar, the architects behind Broadway Two, have created an unusual stepped profile. And the impressive design features don’t stop there! Interestingly, the north side of the building will be finished in natural stone while the east side will feature transparent curtain glazing. No completion date has yet been published.

More details available here.

S1 Handyside, London

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S1 Handyside is an upcoming development phase in the capital’s new King’s Cross development. It will be a Grade A office building offering 175,000 square feet. This is the ideal development if top notch transport links are important to you: within a ten-minute walk of the building, there are six tube lines, two mainline stations and the Eurostar. We particularly like the environmental aims of the building: it’ll use thermal modelling, thermal mass and sun terraces to keep the interior cool. The building has been designed by Mossessian and Partners and is scheduled for completion in early 2018.

More details available here.

Are you involved in an office development project that’s a little out of the ordinary? Take a look at our services to find out how we could help get it the recognition it deserves.


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