Designer insights on Duet: the UK’s highest-rated residential development

9th July 2020

Helen Berresford, Partner and Head of ID:SR speaks with HomeViews about the design philosophy that helped make the Duet development in Manchester the site's highest-rated building, the benefits of having in-house architecture and interiors teams, and the impact of Covid-19 on wellness and the convergence of home and office.

HomeViews: Helen, congratulations on Duet currently being our number one rated building in the UK (as of June 2020). Reading the reviews for Duet and other buildings you’ve worked on, it’s a great accolade for you guys to have the number one building and a massive pat on the back for your team.

HB: That’s brilliant. We’re very, very proud of that. I always feel like it’s those real user scores that are the most important of all.

HomeViews: It’s always been difficult, particularly when a building’s been lived in for a few years, to get that feedback from residents on how a building evolves and what does or doesn’t work. How have you integrated that into your process?

HB: It’s so, so valuable what you do at HomeViews because you’re collecting post-occupancy information in a way that all designers should take note of; empirical knowledge that comes from a chorus of voices rather than just the consultant team. It’s all about a people-centric understanding. Even if it’s the little details, actually little things are very important to people.

The use case is fundamental. Operations and facilities management are the drivers for activity within that space. Therefore, if you understand them, you can then do the lovely, wonderful things in terms of placemaking – once you know what that use case is.

For example, we’ve worked with Get Living for a couple of years now. We started looking at the very first refurbishments of the Stratford Olympic Village development and usage.

Those apartments had been used for a number of years. We were able to work with their detailed knowledge of all those lists of issues and concerns from an operational point of view. That really helped us to understand what the key drivers are and the little details that are so important.

Read the full article here.

Read more about ID:SR and Sheppard Robson's thinking on reoccupation at out Covid-19 Restart Portal.

Helen Berresford RIBA

Partner, Head of ID:SR