Space Solutions

Housing plans for vacant Aberdeen papermill plot

Proposed view from North Deeside Road

Detailed plans have been lodged to develop more than 100 new homes on the site of a disused papermill plot in Aberdeen.

Gordon Investment Corporation has submitted a full planning application with Aberdeen City Council to build around 112 homes off Cornyhaugh Road, Peterculter.

The proposed development would provide a mix of private, affordable and retirement housing.

A design statement by Space Solutions, agents for the application, said the proposals would “provide opportunities” for older residents to “downsize” and young couples to move up from flats to accommodate families.

It added: “The proposals are for the redevelopment of a former brownfield landfill site, which would provide an extension to an existing community which will have the effect of sustaining the local primary school, local shops and services in the area.

“The density of the proposed development will deliver the house-types which are most needed in the local community helping to fill the gap between the many smaller one to two bedroom flatted developments and the larger detached executive housing developments in the community.”

The plans show there would be a mix of assisted living apartments, houses and bungalows for private sale to the over-55s, private houses for sale and rent, and affordable homes from one to three bedrooms.

Space Solutions merges with office design architects haa design

Steve Judge, Space Solutions MD (left) with Hugh Anderson of haa design

Steve Judge, Space Solutions MD (left) with Hugh Anderson of haa design

Property and office design group Space Solutions has merged with Glasgow-based workplace design specialist haa design to create a new “stronger force” in the workplace design sector.

Founded in 1994 by Hugh Anderson, haa’s award-winning consultancy-led design practice counts J.P. Morgan, the University of the West of Scotland, the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Cisco and Pinsent Masons on its client roster and has completed over 400 projects spanning the last two decades.

The ten-strong team from haa will relocate to Space Solutions’ Glasgow office before the end Q1 2017, working closely alongside Space Solutions while retaining the haa brand.

The senior management team expect the combined Space Solutions-haa to emerge as an even stronger force in the workplace design market and continue to compete for the top contracts across the commercial, public, further education and professional services sectors.

Steve Judge, managing director at Space Solutions, said: “We believe the quality of the team and the experience haa brings to Space Solutions will be quite transformative in terms of the proposition we are able to offer clients and the merger is consistent with our strategy to add strength to our service and product lines across the group.”

Derek Binnie, director for strategic growth at Space Solutions, said: “Hugh Anderson and haa design have been at the forefront of the UK office design industry for over twenty years.  We have both come through challenging recessionary times by offering high value support to clients and through working in a collaborative way with the rest of the property industry with a view to achieving the best possible outcomes for our customers – something that will remain a mainstay following the merger.”

Hugh Anderson, haa’s managing director, added: “We describe ourselves as ‘commercial architects’ in the sense that we understand business, taking a research-driven approach to how buildings and people combine to the greatest effect.

“What we often explain as ‘from the inside out’ is all about creating the most productive environment for workforces in the 21st century and with this philosophy we realised we were very much on the same page as Space Solutions when we were approached and started talking about how we could join forces to deliver an even better service to customers.”

Space Solutions employs 230 people across its main offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Livingston and Dundee.

Keppie aims to inspire future architects with schools design challenge

Hardeep Singh KohliKeppie Design has called for architects to address the gulf between education and practice as it announced Cumnock Academy as the winner of the top prize at the finale of its ‘Interaction’ challenge.

Run in partnership with East Ayrshire Council and Ayrshire College, Interaction was an enterprise education challenge in which seven secondary schools in East Ayrshire participated. The finale was held in the council chambers and was hosted by TV personality and broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli.

In November the pupils were challenged to design an inspirational, flexible and open learning space for the new Ayrshire College campus, which is being built on the site of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock and for which Keppie is the delivery architect.  Using the construction project as the basis for the brief, the college has been acting as a client for the students.

David Ross, design director from Keppie and the creator of Interaction, said: “As part of their business and enterprise programmes, the school pupils have been learning skills and attitudes to help prepare them for the world of work. The Interaction project is a great way to develop those skills and to help create the open, interactive and collaborative learning environment the new college is aspiring to be.

“It has been fantastic to see all of the teams’ incredible design ideas. The judging panel of design professionals, educators and leading business people were genuinely speechless at the quality of the ideas and the polished way in which they were presented. The teams from all of the participating schools are an absolute credit to East Ayrshire and exemplify the mature and innovative way in which learning is delivered in the area.”

The winning design from Cumnock Academy will form the basis of the solution which the college team (including Keppie Design, structural engineer Ramboll, contractor McLaughlin & Harvey and interior designer Space Solutions) will implement, with the winning team remaining part of the process. The next step is to present the design solution to the college’s project board.

The following people made up the judging panel:

  • Hardeep Singh Kohli, TV personality and broadcaster (chair)
  • Professor Christopher Platt, head of Mackintosh School of Architecture
  • Marie Macklin CBE, Ayrshire College Board of Management and CEO of the Klin Group
  • Eileen Mackin, Ayrshire College project team leader
  • Ryan Sylvester, divisional director at Keppie Design and project architect for the new Ayrshire College.

Cumnock Academy demonstrated thinking in a wide variety of areas including furniture, lighting, acoustics and fabrics. The team presented a comprehensive solution that showed a significant amount of background research which included testing the durability of materials, the flow of traffic in the college and accessibility of the space. The team also showed several skills by using video content and the use of modelling software in their presentation.

Professor Christopher Platt, judge and head of Mackintosh School of Architecture, said: “The Interaction project is a fantastic example of schools, higher education and industry working together. Architecture is not taught in schools as a subject so it is increasingly important for firms like Keppie to engage with education to improve how the profession is perceived by those who may go on to become the architects of the future.”

David Ross explained the background to the project and its aspirations: “In general terms, architects engage far less with the communities in which we operate than we’d like to admit, given that listening and communicating with those who experience our work is an essential part of the job. To an extent, this could be as a consequence of a gulf between education and practice which has already been recognised by many educators. By addressing this issue there is an opportunity for architectural practices to become directly involved in changing how the profession is understood and perceived by those who may go on to become the architects of the future.

“What we get from an initiative such as Interaction is a real sense of contribution.  Keppie operates a specific work experience programme that has seen several of those who’ve been through it become full-time employees after their further education courses.  They have been coached in the way we want to work and have therefore made an easy and quick transition into the world of work.  It is my view that more practices need to collaborate with, and support, the wider spectrum of education in order to protect, nurture and ultimately strengthen the profession for the future. That seems like an aspiration worth sharing.”

Marketing specialist joins Space Solutions following record results

Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong

Workplace specialists Space Solutions has announced a key appointment to lead and deliver a new marketing strategy to capitalise on record financial results from the company.

Project completions for The Scotsman Newspaper, the BIG Partnership and ongoing projects such as the Heartlands Development on the M8 helped increase turnover in Q1 by £12.5m (up 40 per cent) on Q1 last year.

Neil Armstrong, who has more than ten years marketing experience across property, professional services and pharmaceutical clients in both domestic and international markets, will now focus on marketing the complimentary workplace services found across the Space Solutions’ portfolio; from architectural and interior design, to space planners, relocation specialists and facilities managers.

Most recently the business development director at Forth Communications Ltd, where he delivered an increase of 30 per cent net profits within 12 months. Neil had also spent three years as business development and marketing director at HBJ Gateley and a decade in various roles at Merck Serono a division of pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA.

Neil’s new remit with Space Solutions is to deliver greater alignment and performance across the marketing and sales functions of the Space Solution group of companies and to sustain growth across their core markets.

Commenting on his appointment Neil Armstrong said: “Having achieved significant growth, despite the recession, Space Solutions has a desire to continue to grow its presence and services in Scotland. As we look to expand and grow, the investment in marketing and sales function will be a significant part of delivering this objective. It is an exciting time to be joining the business and I am looking forward to the coming months as we look to open up more markets for the Space Solution brands.”

Derek Binnie, Central Belt director of Space Solutions added: “We have seen terrific growth at Space Solutions as well as record figures in the last quarter despite the continued challenging market. This increased growth stems from the development of services for new markets and the rebrand of their specialist commercial relocation and installation division to Corporate Moves. We believe therefore that it is vital that the breadth of our services is communicated and understood as we are seeing more and more businesses realising the importance of making the most of their space.

“Neil’s wealth of marketing and sales experience will ensure our continued success and we are looking forward to the future.”