The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Cover Story -

Ser­gi­son Bates, the ar­chi­tect firm I have ap­pointed, com­prise Jonathan Ser­gi­son (far right) and Stephen Bates (near right). Both are in their for­ties – which makes them a young prac­tice – based in Lon­don, with ex­pe­ri­ence in af­ford­able hous­ing. I like the fact they are not cyn­i­cal about de­sign­ing vol­ume hous­ing: they are ex­cited, and want to ex­plore what can be done.

Their approach is quiet and sin­cere, with an em­pha­sis on the ma­te­ri­als that build­ings are made from, and how they are put to­gether. Like me, they have never tack­led a scheme like Alder­shot be­fore.

Their brief is that po­ten­tial buy­ers have to be able to see the dif­fer­ence that their ar­chi­tec­tural skill has made in the the way, for in­stance, light en­ters a room, or the space you have in the hall to wel­come guests, or the thick, solid feel of the first floor.

Costs must be kept to a min­i­mum. The project is point­less if we lose money: the vol­ume house­builders will just laugh at us. It is only if we make a profit – and that means cus­tomers lov­ing what we’ve done and buy­ing it— that any­one is go­ing to sit up and take no­tice. This is not about “look at me” or one-offs. This is of­fer­ing ben­e­fits for ev­ery­one.

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