Blog

Welcome to our blog, written by members of the QED team.

This is an outlet for news, observations on renewable energy, sustainable development, urban regeneration and movable buildings and even the occasional rant! (Please note these do not necessarily represent the opinions of QED as a corporate entity).

We hope you enjoy what you read and feel free to give us your feedback. If you would like our latest blogs delivered directly to your inbox please subscribe by clicking the 'subscribe' link below.

Sea Lanes; A strategic approach to meanwhile use

Sea Lanes; A strategic approach to meanwhile use

A recent weekend saw a hub of activity down on Madeira Drive with Sea Lanes playing a key part; Extinction Rebellion were holding workshops, yogis enjoyed early morning yoga, sea swimmers made the most of the warmer water and some enjoyed a dip in between saunas. The summer pop up was a hive of activity with the backdrop of the London to Brighton bike ride finish line and teeming with triathletes have just finished down the road at Hove Lawns. People of all shapes and sizes clustered together on this beautiful part of Brighton’s seafront, steeped in heritage and reactivated through Brighton & Hove City Council’s (BHCC) strategy of events and meanwhile use.

It has been a few years since Sea Lanes won BHCC’s competition to build an open air swimming pool on Brighton beach. Delivering it would be easy if it wasn’t so hard! (don’t worry this isn’t another blog about the planning system – quite the opposite in fact).

Regeneration is complex and deals with a number of intertwined systems that must all function and align to ensure delivery. Sea Lanes is quickly becoming a best practice example of a strategic approach to redevelopment through meanwhile use, with valuable lessons learnt along the way.

The summer pop up has allowed fledgling business such as the Beach Box Sauna to ripen from humble beginnings at the Brighton Festival to a thriving seafront attraction. Local collaboration with Save Madeira Terraces has added support to the campaign and brought the issues to the attention of new audiences. Jobs have been created and the space has allowed pop up food vendors to experiment with their latest creations. Sea Lanes swim coaching and Swim Gym are cultivating a health and wellbeing culture and community onsite.

The pop up experiment, while there remains a long way to go to deliver the 50m pool, has proven that reactivation can be done simply, quickly and effectively and support the creation of more interesting, cohesive and ultimately authentic urban environments. Validating the strategic approach to regeneration outlined in the Madeira Drive Regeneration framework with a less prescriptive more flexible approach to development paying dividends.

Continue reading

Errr.... Houston we have a problem

Errr.... Houston we have a problem

Statutory homeless – sounds horrible doesn’t it – a household is considered homeless if they no longer have a legal right to occupy their accommodation or if it would no longer be reasonable to continue to live there, for example if living there would lead to violence against them – certainly not getting any better.

Continue reading

Shipping Container Accommodation - not 'Ugly Ducklings' anymore

The old adage ‘An Englishman’s home is his castle’ has engrained the innate desire for home ownership
into the centre of the British psyche. It has seen unsustainable developments spring up all over the country, creating hordes of identical soulless housing estates where lush green fields once were. These
developments built from generic nationwide blueprints and corporate design templates show little
appreciation of site specific design aesthetics, detailed infrastructure needs and environmental factors in
favour of a quick fix wholesale solution which, granted, is needed, however in the long term is a detrimental approach, putting profit before ethics. Hence the search for a rapid, sympathetic and cost effective
modular building system is all the more pressing.

 

Continue reading

Shipping container accommodation questions

Below are my responses following an enquiry from a student investigating the viability of container homes as permanent dwellings.

Continue reading

Architecture World

Andy Winter and I were recently approached by Gail Taylor, a freelance writer for World Architecture News who is writing a piece on the subject of shipping container accommodation for the homeless.

Here is what Andy (AW) and I (RG) had to say in response to Gail’s questions

Continue reading