Chassay+Last Architects

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Chassay+Last Architects is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

www.chassaylast.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
12 | CHASSAY+LAST ARCHITECTS
Partner and Founder
MalcolmLast
Work in central London
Chassay+Last Architects is an award-winning practice with
over 30 years’ experience in urban planning, architecture
and interior design. Partner and Founder Malcolm Last
joined forces with Jill Facer in 2011; nine years on, the firm
has grown to a turnover of £1.2 million. Malcolm explains to
TheParliamentary Review
that a focus on sustainability, co-living
and embracing new models of construction has enabled the
firm toprosper.
I established the business in 1988 with my former partner, who retired from
the practice in 2011. We began with a focus on interior projects for clubs and
restaurants and worked our way up through smaller flats and houses to bigger
blocks and large mixed-use buildings. Over our history, we have diversified our
provision and expanded the services we offer.
With our new partner Jill Facer, we now have a turnover of £1.2 million and are
supported by our team of 15 employees. Our multicultural team, most of whom
have a planning background, have a diverse range of influences, and this is a real
strength of our practice.
Alongside our focus on mixed-use residential buildings, we also complete private
housing projects and conduct a lot of work in the fields of sustainable construction
and urban planning. The high standard of our work has been recognised with a
variety of awards, including the Sunday Times Best Development award in 2015
and both the regional and national LABC awards for Best Partnership with a Local
Authority in 2017.
FACTS ABOUT
CHASSAY+LAST ARCHITECTS
»Partner and Founder:
MalcolmLast
»Partner: Jill Facer
»Established in 1988
»Based in London
»Services: Urban design and
master planning architecture
interiors
»No. of employees: 15
Chassay+Last
Architects
13CHASSAY+LAST ARCHITECTS |
HOUSING
Diverse influences; diverse
projects
Our day-to-day work revolves around
problem-solving and using lateral
thinking and innovative methods
to tackle any issues that arise.
Although we have expanded into
larger buildings, we still complete
a number of smaller-scale projects,
using a variety of techniques which
range and progress from hand-drawn
plans to complex computer models.
This flexibility in our approach has
allowed us to complete a diverse array
of projects, from the regeneration of
listed buildings to permissions for a
cable car across the Thames.
Our work is supported by a set of
strong and visible values. All of our
employees work in one space; a
converted stable and industrial building.
Situated in the middle of Primrose Hill,
we are in close proximity to nature,
and the open-plan style of the building
complements and reinforces our
culture of open-mindedness and equal
opportunity. In terms of our work, we
focus on sustainability in a broad sense,
supported by our attention to detail
and the finer points of design, using
sustainable materials and renewables
where possible and ensuring longevity
in the buildings we work on.
The growing popularity of
co-living
In the residential sector, we have
begun to change our focus from
providing apartments for sale to
PRS. This has involved switching to
the construction of apartments for
rent which include communal areas.
These smaller apartments become
part of a co-living space – a new
way of living which is becoming
increasingly popular. Following the
same trend, these co-living spaces are
being combined with working spaces,
where residents can grow their own
businesses and share resources.
The popularity of these developments
has surged over the last two or three
years, and this has helped to fuel our
recent growth. Following the casting
aside of conventional office space,
we have adapted and grown a new
part of the business. Our expertise in
mixed-use buildings gave us an edge
in this growing field, and we have
focused on creating multifaceted and
multifunctional buildings that combine
and fulfil the dual requirements of
living and working.
Alongside embracing changing trends
in the types of buildings residents want,
we have also embraced the use of
more competitive computer programs,
such as BIM, to change the way we
work. We are continuing to adapt to
this new innovation, and one of the
most exciting developments is the
growth in factory-built housing. This
new way of delivering homes, using
prefabrication methods that utilise
SIPs or cross-laminated timber CLT
panels, provides an economical and
efficient new method to tackle housing
shortages and increase the housing
supply. We are currently working with
a construction company in Fife to fast-
track this type of construction and are
looking at five sites in the Epping area,
on peripheral green-belt land, where
these houses can be constructed.
Ifthe priority of a project is to deliver
Mixed-use regeneration
Our day-to-day
work revolves
around
problem-solving
and using lateral
thinking and
innovative
methods to
tackle any issues
that arise
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
13CHASSAY+LAST ARCHITECTS |
HOUSING
Diverse influences; diverse
projects
Our day-to-day work revolves around
problem-solving and using lateral
thinking and innovative methods
to tackle any issues that arise.
Although we have expanded into
larger buildings, we still complete
a number of smaller-scale projects,
using a variety of techniques which
range and progress from hand-drawn
plans to complex computer models.
This flexibility in our approach has
allowed us to complete a diverse array
of projects, from the regeneration of
listed buildings to permissions for a
cable car across the Thames.
Our work is supported by a set of
strong and visible values. All of our
employees work in one space; a
converted stable and industrial building.
Situated in the middle of Primrose Hill,
we are in close proximity to nature,
and the open-plan style of the building
complements and reinforces our
culture of open-mindedness and equal
opportunity. In terms of our work, we
focus on sustainability in a broad sense,
supported by our attention to detail
and the finer points of design, using
sustainable materials and renewables
where possible and ensuring longevity
in the buildings we work on.
The growing popularity of
co-living
In the residential sector, we have
begun to change our focus from
providing apartments for sale to
PRS. This has involved switching to
the construction of apartments for
rent which include communal areas.
These smaller apartments become
part of a co-living space – a new
way of living which is becoming
increasingly popular. Following the
same trend, these co-living spaces are
being combined with working spaces,
where residents can grow their own
businesses and share resources.
The popularity of these developments
has surged over the last two or three
years, and this has helped to fuel our
recent growth. Following the casting
aside of conventional office space,
we have adapted and grown a new
part of the business. Our expertise in
mixed-use buildings gave us an edge
in this growing field, and we have
focused on creating multifaceted and
multifunctional buildings that combine
and fulfil the dual requirements of
living and working.
Alongside embracing changing trends
in the types of buildings residents want,
we have also embraced the use of
more competitive computer programs,
such as BIM, to change the way we
work. We are continuing to adapt to
this new innovation, and one of the
most exciting developments is the
growth in factory-built housing. This
new way of delivering homes, using
prefabrication methods that utilise
SIPs or cross-laminated timber CLT
panels, provides an economical and
efficient new method to tackle housing
shortages and increase the housing
supply. We are currently working with
a construction company in Fife to fast-
track this type of construction and are
looking at five sites in the Epping area,
on peripheral green-belt land, where
these houses can be constructed.
Ifthe priority of a project is to deliver
Mixed-use regeneration
Our day-to-day
work revolves
around
problem-solving
and using lateral
thinking and
innovative
methods to
tackle any issues
that arise
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
14 | CHASSAY+LAST ARCHITECTS
35 per cent affordable housing, this
new method can be invaluable. Beyond
permanent residences, this technique
can also be used as temporary and
relocatable housing for vulnerable
people, and we are currently studying a
site in Hornsey where we aim to provide
30 units for single, vulnerable people.
Adapting to a changing
industry
The main challenge in our industry
is the increasingly onerous planning
process and the hurdles developers
face. There is an ever-increasing list
of reports these developers must
complete and more and more work
that needs to be done even for the
smallest of buildings. This increased
workload has also caused significant
strain within planning departments
themselves; many are overloaded
and continue to struggle even with
the support of PPAs. The same is true
for building control departments in
local authorities, and this can cause
developers to change to using private
contractors, which often leads to a
lower standard of work than if the
local authority were able to complete
it themselves. Our strong relationships
with local authorities do help to
mitigate these challenges, but the
high rate of staff turnover in these
departments makes it difficult to build
long-term and lasting relationships.
Planning consultants can act as a
useful interface between developers
and authorities, but more needs to be
done to make this process smoother.
The other change within the industry
that has forced everyone to adapt
is the increasing need to study
environmental impact as a result of
climate change. A key element of
this is the problem of overheating
buildings. As the level of insulation
has increased, focus has shifted from
the need to heat buildings to the need
to cool them. As with many issues
we face, the industry has adapted to
provide solutions, whether through
the use of prefabricated buildings to
deal with the lack of skilled labour,
or the increasing use of air source
heat pumps to provide a more
environmentally conscious way of
cooling buildings.
We plan to continue this trend of
adaptation and embrace new models
of construction and new models of
housing. We want to refine the co-
living and co-working model, working
on micro flats with large, communal
facilities, and work with our clients
to develop new, more sustainable
construction methods. By continuing
to adapt, we are confident we can
continue to prosper.
We want to
refine the co-
living and co-
working
model,
working on
micro flats
with large,
communal
facilities, and
work with our
clients to
develop new,
more
sustainable
construction
methods
Traditional meets
modern

www.chassaylast.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Chassay+Last Architects. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.