Business space must have a demonstrable capacity to meet the requirements of a wide range of users. The market understanding which informs development decisions should be backed by a commitment to designing space which will meet the needs of the target market sectors.

We continue to be engaged in a number of projects, some commissioned by developers and some initiated by ourselves, which seek to identify requirements, recognise the potential of existing buildings or sites, and bring the two together to create value.


From a developer's perspective, Briefing is the process of establishing appropriate information for a design team to ensure that market requirements are met and that development potential is optimised.

The first stage is to determine the capacity of a site or existing building to meet development criteria.

Once strategic decisions are established (the nature of the shell, the configuration of space, the servicing strategy...), further layers of more detailed information may be introduced to inform the detailed design process.

It is crucial that an appropriate level of information is available at each stage of the design process: just as the absence of critical information may generate false assumptions about major issues, so a concentration on matters of detail at strategic design stages can impede decision-making.

Design Appraisal

With an understanding of a target market's space requirements, the tools are in place to appraise the suitability of a design to meet these needs. These enable user needs to be addressed at concept stage and in repeated focused interventions through the design process.

Monitoring a design from an effectiveness point of view, as it is developed and refined by the consultant team, can add incalculably to the long-term value of a commercial development. Failure to do so can result in a development which may be difficult to let, and which may, ultimately, fail to meet its development purpose.

As the design firms up, the simulation of use patterns can become an extremely effective marketing tool; these may form the basis of space planning simulations for prospective tenants.

Where we are engaged as architects, we undertake constant appraisal of our design as a matter of course. We offer Design Appraisal as a consultancy service to developer clients, both during the design process and at marketing stage.

Space Planning

An effective set of strategic space planning guidelines will be the natural result of a properly organised briefing and design process.

This may form the basis for assisting prospective tenants as they consider the available premises solution against other options; the provision of space planning services to a tenant, founded on a proper understanding of the potential of the available space, can bring vital added value to a development offer at marketing stage.