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Client Adviser case study: The Landing

Project Title: The Landing, Maidenhead, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
RIBA Client Adviser: Sarah Williams
Design Team Lead: Studio Egret West
Project Type: 500,000 sq ft Mixed-Use scheme
Project Value: £150m

The Landing will be a new mixed-used scheme. © Studio Egret West

The RIBA Client Adviser was commissioned by the developer for a new mixed-use scheme at a key site in Maidenhead town centre, adjacent to the station.

The Landing comprises the demolition of existing buildings in a triangular site and the construction of a new high quality mixed-use scheme, which will revitalise the town centre. The scheme is a mix of retail, commercial, offices and residential buildings with associated underground parking and a new public town plaza at its heart. It seeks to improve accessibility and links with the local Shopping Centre, High Street and the Maidenhead railway station, which will become the Western terminus of Crossrail in 2019.

Key learning:

  • Working with the RBWM regeneration team, and based on Sarah’s early work, the basic parameters were agreed which gave sufficient comfort for the client to proceed with the purchase of the site.
  • Running a design competition, with the RIBA, enabled the client to commission high quality architects, led by SEW and supported by Allies and Morrison. Sarah chaired the panel and process. Ultimately, this resulted in a quick outline planning approval for a site that had not managed to obtain planning approval for the previous 7 years.
  • Sarah championed design quality for both the building and public realm, and offered objective advice throughout the process, which gave comfort to the client and RBWM members, officers and councillors who had to approve the scheme at various stages of its development.

Aerial rendering of The Landing. © Studio Egret West

Sarah was commissioned by London and Aberdeen prior to site purchase, to determine the mix, massing, heights and density for the new development. The scheme had already been through a number of design iterations with another developer and had not been successful in achieving planning approval. Sarah, working closely with the client and RBWM, helped to set and get agreement to the basic parameters for the scheme, which enabled the client to purchase the site.

A detailed brief was then developed, which covered all the key design elements, and the RIBA Competitions team then ran a large open competition to secure a design team. Once SEW and Allies and Morrison were appointed, Sarah also assisted in the selection of planning consultants, engineers, quantity surveyors, branding consultants, property agents and the wider team.

Sarah then chaired design team meetings and provided on-going support and advice for the client and architects, ensuring that designs were of the highest quality and within budget. She worked very closely with the client, RBWM and the design team to ensure optimum outcomes. The scheme received outline planning approval in 2016.

The site plays an important role in RBWM’s plans to reinvigorate and strengthen the town centre and is seen as a catalyst for redevelopment in the area. It is identified as a key town centre opportunity area in the Windsor and Maidenhead Area Action Plan. The scheme will be characterised by high quality contemporary buildings, an accessible and vibrant public realm, a lively day and evening economy, successful businesses, high quality apartments and a variety of retail destinations all integrated to form a true mixed-use development in the heart of the town.

Rendering of The Landing viewed at street level. © Studio Egret West

The value that the client adviser brought to the project was in both the development of and agreement to the brief, quantum and heights of the proposals and the commissioning of an excellent design team who were able to achieve planning approval in a relatively short period of time. Sarah championed design quality throughout and this gave comfort to the client and RBWM councillors and members on decisions and the approvals process.

'We have been working with Sarah for the last couple of years and have now appointed her as our RIBA Client Adviser on our 500,000 sq ft regeneration scheme in Maidenhead Town Centre. During the early stages of this transaction, before purchase, she exhibited great architectural, commercial and diplomatic skills. This included evolving and sketching up the essence of a large scheme in front of Local Authority Officers and Councillors at large meetings.

With her charming dialogue and persuasion, she achieved a general consensus and an excellent, professionally-designed development brief. Her tenacity, continuing enthusiasm, skill and energy make her a delight to work with whilst adding great value to projects.' - Bill Higgins, FRICS, Executive Chairman London and Aberdeen.

RIBA accredited Client Advisers are experienced architects that can provide impartial and informed advice from the earliest stages of your project. Find out more about why a Client Adviser may be right for your project, how to choose one, and read more case study examples.

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