PRP has found its mainstay housing work to be resilient amid the Brexit turbulence, with senior partner Brendan Kilpatrick reporting ‘reasonably frenetic activity’ in the housing market over 2018.
The practice edges a few places up the rankings after adding another four architects. Architectural fees rose slightly from £19.6 million to £20.2 million.
According to Kilpatrick, while there’s been no let up in the flourishing build-to-rent work, there have been some new trends in the type of work the practice is doing. London-based housing associations are increasingly looking to the fringes of London and there has also been an increase in housing-led regeneration of town centres, in particular in areas where private rented sector (PRS) accommodation is being used to breathe new life into ‘distressed retail’ assets. Projects include the £350 million regeneration of Stevenage town centre.
The tenure-led market has also become more fractured as registered providers look for innovative ways to make financial models work for them. ‘We’ve seen some social landlords dip a toe into the PRS for the first time,’ he says, referring to Clarion’s High Path estate redevelopment in Merton, south-west London.
As well as its expertise in designing for older people, the practice is keen to continue its work on multigenerational typologies. Its Pyder regeneration project in Truro town centre, Cornwall, combines multigenerational co-living with student accommodation, and the practice is keen to explore affordable models of the typology.
Interest in volumetric housing methods is ‘increasing across the piste’ despite some continuing market scepticism, and the practice is working with Berkeley Group on one of the housebuilder’s first ventures into volumetric development, in Kidbrooke, south-east London.
Looking ahead, the practice is expecting growth in its London workload in 2019 and would like to expand its Manchester office too. Further afield, it is exploring opportunities for designing PRS housing in Dublin.